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Oliver O. Howard to Edwin Stanton, Washington, DC, September 17, 1866.

Oliver Otis Howard, detail

Since the end of the war, Army victuallers in the South had been issuing rations to the needy, both black and white under the direction of the War Department's Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Between June 1, 1865 and September 1, 1866, according to government figures, almost 30,000 rations per day had been issued, for a total number of 13,412,263 individual sets, roughly divided between white refugees and newly freed slaves. After almost eighteen months, reacting to emerging public perceptions of "handouts" harmful to the work ethic of newly freed slaves across the region, General O.O. Howard, the head of the Bureau writes to recommend to his chief, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, that further rations issue be halted, except in the most dire of circumstances. Stanton concurs a week later and orders the new policy implemented, effective on October 1, 1866.  (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: "Oliver O. Howard to Edwin Stanton, Washington, DC, September 17, 1866.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,