Congressional Report History of the Bureau of Freedmen and Refugees March 10, 1868 Page 10 Congressional Records
Notes: 1. United States Sanitary Commission - was created June 18, 1861 Its purpose was to promote clean and healthy conditions in the United States Army camps. The Sanitary Commission staffed field hospitals, raised money, provided supplies, and worked to educate the military and government on matters of health and sanitation. The medical corps was indifferent and in some cases hostile; the War Department was in opposition; President Lincoln feared that it would be a " fifth wheel to the coach." But finally the acting surgeon-general was won over and recommended the appointment of " a commission of inquiry and advice in respect to the sanitary interests of the United States forces." The purpose of the commission became: "To inquire into the recruiting service in the various States and by advice to bring them to a common standard; second, to inquire into the subjects of diet, clothing, cooks, camping grounds, in fact everything connected with the prevention of disease among volunteer soldiers not accustomed to the rigid regulations of the regular troops; and third, to discover methods by which private and unofficial interest and money might supplement the appropriations of the Government. "
2. Transportation was a big issue. The benevolent societies providing teachers were able to concentrate their money strictly in teacher salaries and even this was eventually supplemented by freedmen fund raising and later some tax dollars. Transportation of people and supplies became a key pillar of the Freedmen Bureau's education program. (See Transportation Bill) (See also Letter to General Hallack)
4. General O. O. Howard in his Circular No. 5 to Assistant Commissioners sets the land issue of the bureau as: "Assistant commissioners will aid refugees and freedmen in securing titles to land according to law. This may be done for them as individuals or by encouraging joint companies."
5. General Howard in Circular No. 11 broadens this to include rented land: "Attention is especially called to section IV of the law establishing the bureau with regard to setting apart land to every male citizen, whether refugee or freedmen, &c, and the same arrangement is recommended when it can be effected between private parties. Already many farmers have rented land to freedmen and refugees. This course is a recognition of the general principle in the law."
6. O O. Howard had to combat that all plantation lands would be considered as Abandoned lands and broken up. (See Circular Letter)
7. O. O. Howard Circular No. 15 describes the determination of abandoned lands.