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The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Georgia
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1869
National Archives Publication M798 Roll 36
"Unbound Miscellaneous Papers"

Request of the Freedmen of Columbus, Ga. to Maj. Gen. Steadman not to withdraw the Federal Troops and leave them unprotected

Columbus, Georgia
Nov. 5th, 1865

Maj. Gen'l Steadman

Dear Sir!

We the undersigned Freedmen, having learned that the Federal Soldiers are soon to be withdrawn from Columbus, feel constrained most respectfully and request in the name of the Lord, to implore you not to leave us unprotected by Federal troops. We firmly believe that the Almighty has ordained our freedom; but at the same time, we wish to inform you that if the Federal Soldiers are withdrawn from us, we will be left in a most gloomy and helpless condition. A number of Freedmen have already been killed in this section of country; and from expressions uttered by prominent men in this community in civil life, we have every reason to fear that others will share a similar fate. We think our commander here might do better than he does. And we do know that there are men here who would protect us if they had the power.

We therefore most humbly and earnestly pray you General, not to leave us to the tender mercy of our enemies - unprotected.

Harry Watkins
Abraham Smith
George Blunt
S. W. Love
Morgan Gale
and 120 others (colored)