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Major General Quincy A. Gillmore to Brigadier General E.D. Townsend, War Department, Washington, D.C., April 13, 1865

Quincy Adams Gillmore, detail
The Catholic Bishop of Savannah had made a strong protest to the War Department over fortification work underway in the Union occupied city. New emplacements were disrupting the city's main Catholic cemetery, involving the exhumation and removal of bodies. He had also written directly to the Department of the South commander, Major General Quincy Adams Gillmore, demanding a cessation of the project and restorations, even seemingly threatening the Catholic general with Church action against him, like excommunication. Here, an angry Gillmore explains his actions to Washington, noting that all the regrettable disruptions were complete and that the fortifications vital to his defense of Savannah be retained until peace returns, when a full restoration could take place. This small dispute indicates the complications that immediately arose once the fighting had ceased and the occupation of enemy civilian populations had begun in 1864 and 1865. (By John Osborne)

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