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Brigadier General Davis Tillson to Major General Oliver O. Howard, Augusta, Georgia, April 7, 1866

Oliver Otis Howard, detail
President Andrew Johnson's April 2, 1866 proclamation that the rebellion was at an end, encouraged local Southern politicians and confused Union troops occupying the region. Here, one Union commander telegraphs his immediate superior and requests speedy clarification, wondering whether martial law still holds in Georgia, especially where it has been protecting the rights and lives of newly emancipated slaves. Brigadier General Townsend, Adjutant General at the War Office was forwarded the request and responded that martial law still ran but from now on where civilian courts were deemed more appropriate in dealing with civilian offences they should be used. (By John Osborne)