Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of South Carolina
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1870.
National Archives Microfilm Publication M869 Roll 34
"Reports of Conditions and Operations"
Headqr. 3rd Sub-District
Western South Carolina
Anderson C. H. Oct. 23rd 1865
B' Brig. Genl. C. H. Howard
Chief of Staff
In compliance with request I have the honor to communicate the State of Affairs within the limits of my command.
The colored people in this section of the State are not Freedmen and Women---they are nominally such---but their condition indeed is worse than bondage itself---and ever will be unless this Sub-District is flooded with the States Cavalry---or a civil protective law is enacted at once---and the latter I fear will be no preventative of assassination --- robbery --- burglary --- assault and batter with intent to kill &c &c. Crimes are increasing daily-the freedman is safe nowhere except very near the garrison. The U. S. Soldiers and freedmen are alike threatened and despised and a very little respected. The Military authorities are seldom obeyed except when necessity compels---and the garrisons is limited, hence a majority of the guilty go unpunished.
Some of the desperadoes must be encouraged in their acts of violence and screened from the hands of justice by citizens of boasted connections professing to be loyal and above implication of being in any way party to these outrages.
The determination among a certain class is to get rid of the freedmen and women now their crops are nearly gathered --- hence the immediate necessity of increasing the force in this Sub-District. There are those who delight in killing Negroes and they cherish the same old desire to butcher U. S. Soldiers---which is clearly demonstrated by the fact that I hear today that five Negroes have been murdered within a week or two in Greenville District also by the fact that three of my command have been wantonly murdered within three weeks. Humanity and the integrity of the Government demands that more troops be forwarded at once---a battalion of Cavalry in addition to the present force is actually needed. We do all we can with our present force but can not do all that can be done with an ample force of mounted men.
The authorities must remember we are still among our enemies (I say enemies without qualifications) and they communicate no intelligence to us except from necessity --- and the Negroes are afraid to tell half they know and do see. I make this general statement of facts without giving details --- that you may at once call the attention of the authorities to the wretched conditions of the Freedmen and Women --- the silent though powerful opposition to the Military authorities --- and the fact that the Treasury Agent is crippled also in his operations. The attentions of the authorities should be called more to this section than any part of the South --- and that at once.
I am Very Respectfully
Your Obt. Servt.
Signed C. S. Brown
Lt. Col. Comdg. 3rd Sub-Dist.