1865 August 19: The Latest from Texas, Railroads Functioning Again, Fullerton’s Work with the Freedmen’s Bureau, and Other News
The following reports come from The Prescott Journal of August 19, 1865.
B Y T E L E G R A P H
NEW YORK, Aug. 12.—The Herald’s New Orleans correspondent says a continuation of lawlessness is reported in portions of Texas, bordering on the Rio Grande ; bands of thieves infest the country driving off stock and stealing whatever they think worth laying their hands on.
The arrival of two divisions of National Cavalry, moving across the State from Louisiana, was anxiously awaited.
General Weitzel [Godfrey Weitzel], commanding the 25th Army Corps, has issued an order stating that it is probably that the command will remain there for some time.
Gen. Canby [Edward Canby], commanding in Louisiana, has addressed an important communication to Governor Welles [sic: James M. Wells] of that State, requesting him to warn local and civil officers against attempting to force any police laws for regulation of negroes who are in conflict with the act establishing the Freedmen’s Bureau, to the agents of which, the supervision of these matters exclusively pertain.
The Times’ Washington special says : Robert Ridgeway of the Richmond Whig, and Jno. S. Barbane, President of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, today announced themselves candidates for Congress, for Virginia.
Since August 1st there have been mustered out of the service 60 regiments and batteries, including over 20,000 men.
The receipts of Internal Revenue to day amounts to $1, 305,695.00.
The Railroads in Virginia are fast approaching completion and will shortly all be in running order, and cars will run to Lynchburg from Shenandoah on Monday, and the Richmond and Aquia Creek Railroad will communicate with Fredericksburg in a few days, thus doing away with staging.
The unfinished Loudon and Hampshire road will be completed at an early day.
The Herald’s special says: Mr. Greer, of the original South Carolina delegation, is in the city, and reports affairs progressing in that state, to the perfect satisfaction of every one.
Gov. Perry [Benjamin F. Perry] has been well received by the people of that state, and Mr. Greer knew nothing of the reported collision between the civil and military authorities until he read the radical papers at the North. He pronounces it a fabrication throughout.
Brigadier General J. T. Fullerton [sic: J. S. Fullerton],¹ of the Freedmen’s Bureau, returned to this city last evening, from a tour of servation in eastern Florida and central Georgia. The trip occupied about four weeks, and was productive of much and valuable insight to the operation of the scheme adopted by the Bureau for the development of freedmen. From a close observance throughout the states alluded to, Gen. Fullerton is inclined to believe that the number of whites and blacks who receive government rations is about equal.
1. Joseph Scott Fullerton (1835-1897) was originally from Chillicothe, Ohio, and attended law school in Cincinnati, graduating in 1858. Soon after receiving his law degree he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. There, while preparing to practice his profession, he took an active part with the Union men of Missouri in their struggle against secession. In October 1862 he entered service as a private and soon thereafter was promoted to lieutenant in the 2nd Missouri Infantry. He then served as General Gordon Granger’s aide-de-camp. In April, 1863, he was appointed major and assistant adjutant-general, and assigned to duty as General Granger’s chief of staff.General Fullerton participated in the first battle at Franklin, Tennessee; Shelbyville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard Roost Gap, Dalton, Resaca, New Hope Church, Pine-Top Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach-Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesborough, Lovejoy Station, Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville. He was brevetted colonel for “distinguished services and gallantry in the Atlanta campaign,” and brigadier-general “for most valuable services and distinguished personal gallantry at the battles of Franklin and Nashville.”
In May, 1865, he was assigned to duty to assist General Howard in organizing the Freedmen’s Bureau. In October, 1865, he was sent by President Johnson to adjust the difficulties existing in Louisiana between State officers, citizens, officers of the military service, and officers of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Having succeeded in this work, he returned to Washington and offered his resignation from the military service, which was not accepted, and he was assigned to duty with the President as acting military secretary.
In April, 1866, he was sent South with General J. B. Stedman, by the President, to inspect the social and political condition of the people, and the conduct of the Freedmen’s Bureau. The reports made by these officers caused expressions of great bitterness from radical politicians then engaged in the work of reconstruction in the Southern States. For the third time, he tendered his resignation from the military, and was finally mustered out in September, 1866.
After the War Fullerton served as postmaster in St. Louis for two years before returning to the practice of law. He retired from the law in the fall of 1890 and from 1890-97 he was chairman of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Commission.