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[360] or during the recess of Congress that the acting assistant adjutant general of the Bureau should do the work. The second and last paragraph directed me to discontinue the Bureau altogether on January 1, 1869, except the educational department and payment of bounties and other dues to colored soldiers and sailors or their heirs. These two latter divisions were to go on until otherwise ordered by Act of Congress.

Very naturally this bill was vetoed by the President, but was speedily passed by both the Senate and the House over his veto, and so became a law.

To close out my general work, and to aid schools and pay the bounties, I was equipped with just the right kind of an organization, and also relieved of much of the previous responsibility and consequent anxiety. The necessary orders and instructions were issued very soon after the publication of the Act of Congress which, in fact, was to effect the substantial close of the Freedmen's Bureau.

Officers, agents, and clerks were notified that their services would be no longer required after December 31, 1868. The freedmen were generally carefully apprised of the situation, and shown that they must now look to the civil magistrates more directly than heretofore for protection of their rights and redress of their wrongs, and that supplies of food and clothing for the destitute, medicines and care for the sick, the transportation of laborers to new homes, and all aid and oversight of contracts must very soon cease to come to them from the general Government.

Disbursing officers were directed promptly to settle outstanding obligations, and to sell the public property no longer needed. “Abandoned lands and lots,” now few in number, must at once go to their owners?

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