William Sherman Special Order 15 Analysis

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Skylar Windholz Professor Mills US History Since 1876-History 1632 10 December 2017 General William Sherman Special Order 15 In the primary source, it states that near the end of the Civil War in 1865, General William Sherman, who represented the military and government, was faced with a huge issue that needed to be solved. Since he was given ownership of “the islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields...and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida,” which mostly contained newly freed slaves, Sherman had to execute a plan of where to place these individuals (Sherman). As a result, Sherman wrote and proposed, Special Field Order 15, that set aside these areas for freed slaves to settle. Each family was offered 40 acres and military mules, leading to the phrase, “40 acres and a mule,” which became a symbol of the economic independence gained by former slaves and like “other Americans, believed essential to genuine freedom (Foner 555). Interestingly enough, Sherman spent a few more weeks having meetings with local black leaders. During the meetings, Sherman “asked the group's leader..Rev. Garrison Frazier, a series of questions,” one of them asking if they would rather live “among the whites, or in colonies” by themselves (McCammon). To which Frazier admitted that they would rather live by themselves, due to the continuous prejudice in the South against African Americans, so Sherman ordered that “no white person, unless military officers and soldiers

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