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[353] did about as much; they supplied funds where the famine was severest, sending through their teachers and agents sometimes food and sometimes clothing. General Whittlesey said that voluntary contributions from this source had served to lessen the demand so much that the expenditure had fallen far short of the original estimate of the relief needed. Surely this was an unusual exhibit.

Our Claim Division was of great help in protecting ignorant colored soldiers and sailors, now scattered in different parts of the country, who were claimants for bounties, back pay, and prize moneys. Referring to this General Swayne remarks: “Five hundred and sixteen applicants passed through my office (at Montgomery, Ala.) during the month of August. There is reason to believe that convenient and gratuitous assistance is almost indispensable to the parties in interest.” Yet without further legislation the Bureau could not give sufficient protection. There were some claim agents who had taken advantage of the late colored soldiers. They at first charged them exorbitant fees. Then by various expedients they managed to get from them a large part of their claims. As long as they could work into the Treasury the receipts well drawn up, signed and witnessed, and satisfy the deceived soldier that his cash in hand was all he could get, and all right, the fraudulent claim agent laughed at the feeble complaints that subsequently reached his ears, and escaped with the poor man's money too often without punishment. Officers of the treasury and myself, finding that there were on foot extensive frauds of the kind described, brought the matter to the attention of Congress.

The Hon. Henry Wilson introduced a joint resolution

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