|General Rufus Saxton
General Orders No. 7 - Staff Assignments
August 9, 1865
Freedmen Bureau Records
Headquarters Assistant Commissioner, Bureau Of Refugees, Freedmen, And Abandoned
Lands, South Carolina, Georgia And Florida,
Beaufort, S. C, August 9, 1865.
I. To avoid confusion, until otherwise directed, the officers of the army representing this bureau, in
chief charge of the affairs of refugees, freedmen, and abandoned lands, in the States of South
Carolina, Georgia and Florida, will be designated sub-assistant commissioners, and all other army
officers assigned to duty under their orders will be known as acting sub-assistant commissioners,
and all civilians as agents.
II. The headquarters of the sub-assistant commissioners for Georgia and Florida will be at once
established at the headquarters of the commanding generals of those departments, and the
headquarters of the sub-assistant commissioner for South Carolina will be established at Beaufort,
III. Brigadier General E. A. Wild, United States volunteers, is hereby appointed as sub-assistant
commissioner in charge of all affairs connected with the bureau in the State of Georgia, (his
headquarters at Augusta,) with the exception of the district of Savannah, which is placed for the
present under the charge of Captain A. P. Ketchum, aide-de-camp.
IV. Brevet Colonel T. W. Osborn, United States volunteers, immediately upon his reporting for duty,
will assume a similar control, as sub-assistant commissioner for the State of Florida his
headquarters at Tallahassee.
V. As soon as the details of officers for duty, which have been requested from the several
department commanders, have been made, or agents can be appointed, the headquarters of such
officers and agents will be established at each district, sub-district and post in the several
departments of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and at such other points as may be
The senior officer on duty at these headquarters will be entitled to assume the chief charge of
matters within the limits of his sphere of duty.
VI. All communications intended for the Commissioner of the bureau at Washington will be
forwarded invariably through these headquarters, and communications relating to affairs
connected in any way with the bureau emanating from acting sub-assistant commissioners or
agents on duty in the bureau, or from other persons, will be addressed to the sub-assistant
commissioner of their respective States.
Sub-assistant commissioners will address their communications to the assistant commissioner of
the bureau at Beaufort, South Carolina.
An officer will be announced as sub-assistant commissioner for South Carolina in future orders.
Until such announcement all communications from acting sub-assistant commissioners, agents, or
other persons in the State of South Carolina, will be addressed to these headquarters.
By order of Brevet Major General R. Saxton, assistant commissioner.
STUART M. TAYLOR, Assistant Adjutant General.
1. Edward Augustus Wild (November 25, 1825 â€“ August 28, 1891) - In 1855 he joined the
Ottoman Army as a medical officer and served in the Crimean War. In the War of the Rebellion he
served in Company A of the 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After Seven Pines he
became Colonel in the 35th Massachusetts Infantry. His arm was amputated after being wounded in
the battle of South Mountain. Wild took command of a brigade was known as "Wild's African
Brigade." The brigade was composed of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry, and the 2nd and 3rd North
Carolina Colored Volunteers (36th and 37th U.S. Colored Troops respectively).
2. Tillson became the sub assistant Commissioner of Georgia on September 22, 1865 replacing Wild.
By the end of 1865 Tillman would become the assistant commissioner of Georgia and would report
directly to O. O. Howard. Georgia Assistant Commissioners: General David Tillson; succeeded
January 14, 1867, by Colonel C. C. Sibley; served till January 1, 1869.
3. Florida Assistant Commissioners - Colonel T. W. Osborne; succeeded June 1,1866, by General J.
G. Foster; succeeded Decembers, 1866, by Colonel J. T. Sprague; served till November 1868, when
he was replaced by Bvt. Lt. Col. George W. Gile (See Gile's Report)
4. Florida Subassistant Commissioners (known) - Barancas : Subassistant Commissioner: L. L.
Fernandina : Subassistant Commissioners: Thomas Leddy, Januaryâ€“August 1866, A. A. Cole,
August 1866â€“July 1867, D. A. Hammond (subassistant commissioner and post commander), July
1867â€“December 1868; Key West : Subassistant Commissioner: J. B. Rawles, December 1867â
€“Janurary 1869 ; Monticello:
Subassistant Commissioner: A. B. Grumwell, May 1866â€“May 1868 ; Ocala : Subassistant
Commissioner: J. A. Remley, June 1866â€“November 1868. Pensacola : Subassistant
Commissioners: F. M. Cole, Februaryâ€“August 1866 , J. R. Brinckle, October 1866â€“January
5. South Carolina Assistant Commissioners - General Rufus Saxton; succeeded, January, 1866, by
General R. K. Scott; succeeded July 31, 1868, by Colonel J. R. Edie; served till January 1, 1869.
6. Organizational structure of the bureau -
a. Head of the land division was Major William Fowler, assistant adjutant general. He had supervision
of the sale, rental,and other disposition of bureau lands. Through the assistant commissioners and local
agents he was to carry put the policy prescribed by the O. O. Howard and the President Johnson.
b. The educational work of the bureau was originally under the general direction of Captain S. L.
Taggart. But each assistant commissioner chose a superintendent to take charge of the schools in the
state in which he was located. Lieutenant Colonel Balloch was chief disbursing officer of the bureau,
while Rev. J. W. Alvord was charged with the inspection of schools and finances. Rev. Alvord would
later be placed in charge of the educational work.
c. Each state had assigned a commissary of subsistence who distributed rations and supplies, subject
to the orders of the commissioner and the army commissary department. Colonel Balloch was the
inspector of the commissary department of the bureau.
d. The medical department was in charge of Surgeon C. VV. Horner. He was assisted by several
army surgeons detailed by the surgeon general, by hired private physicians and attendants selected by
these army surgeons.
e. For securing justice and civil rights to freedmen, officers of the bureau appointed by assistant
commissioners often constituted freedmen's courts for the trial of cases to which freedmen were parties.
f. There was additional assistant quartermasters, inspectors of plantations, provost marshals for
freedmen, bureau missionaries, bureau counsellors, bureau printers, bureau storekeepers,
superintendents of marriage relations, district superintendents, and local agents.
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