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George H. Thomas, General Order No. 9, Nashville, Tennessee, July 21, 1865

George Henry Thomas, detail
This military order, along with its detail and clearly expressed anger, gives an interesting early look into the problems that would arise in the post-slavery South during Reconstruction. General George H. Thomas was a distinguished battlefield general now overseeing the Department of Tennessee. He was also a Virginian and a former slave owner himself whose family never spoke to him again when he remained loyal to the Union in 1861. His words here demonstrate the level of detail his duties entailed as well as his disgust at the treatment of newly liberated African-Americans. Affairs across the South like this one in Columbia, Tennessee were starting to draw attention and Thomas would be become known for his actions against those he described as of "malignant, rebellious spirit" who enjoyed "the persecution of the weak and helpless." With this order, he suspends the local government of the small town and orders two men leading the resistance to his authority to be arrested. (By John Osborne)

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How to Cite This Page: "George H. Thomas, General Order No. 9, Nashville, Tennessee, July 21, 1865," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/44314.