In January of 1865, Major General W. T. Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15, reserving land confiscated from rebellious landowners in for settlement by Africans freed under President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Each family was to be given a plot of up to 40 acres of tillable ground, and the Government would lend mules to work the land. The order confiscates, as Federal property, a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina to the St. John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast (including Harris Neck, Georgia; see timeline entry for September 2, 1865).

Reference: Deadria C. Farmer-Paellmann, Excerpt from Black Exodus: The Ex-Slave Pension Movement Reader,in Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations(ed. Raymond A. Winbush, PhD 2003) at p. 25.

Back to Timeline

You may also like