Digital Library of Georgia > Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

Letter: Washington, D.C., to Secretary of War John M. Schofield, Washington, D.C., 1868 Oct. 9

author: Howard, O. O. (Oliver Otis), 1830-1909
date: October 9, 1868
extent: 2p
summary: On October 9, 1868, Freedmen's Bureau Commissioner Oliver Otis Howard writes to Secretary of War John M. Schofield regarding the incident in Camilla. Howard says he is forwarding the affidavits from witnesses to the incident collected by Georgia Bureau agents that he received from Georgia Assistant Commissioner Caleb C. Sibley. He also tells Schofield that Sibley has remarked on the unlikelihood of bringing the guilty parties to justice through the Mitchell County authorities. Howard says that Sibley did not comment further to him on the incident, but merely submitted the affidavits, along with a private letter from a Bureau officer in Mitchell County. The letter that Howard refers to, apparently not forwarded to Schofield, is the private synopsis of the incident that Christian Raushenberg provided to O.H. Howard upon request, which included Raushenberg's personal evaluation of factors contributing to the incident, and was forwarded through Bureau ranks to Sibley, who in turn forwarded it to O.O. Howard in Washington, D.C.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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War Department,
Washington, October 9th., 1868 .
Hon. [Honorable] J. M. Schofield,
Secretary of War.

I have the honor to forward to you the affidavits sent me by General Sibley with regard to the Camilla riot. The General says that "no action whatever has been taken by the Civil authorities at this date ( October 6th. ) toward bringing the guilty parties to punishment, and no inquest was held upon the bodies nor investigation had except by this Bureau and Captain Mills by order of the Commanding officer of the District of Georgia, whose report has been forwarded to the Commanding officer of the Department of the South."

He further says: "It is not believed possible to bring the guilty parties to punishment through the

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civil authorities of Mitchell County, they being engaged in the affair and justifying it, and no unbiassed [unbiased] jury could be found in that county."

The General makes no further remarks which relate to this riot but simply submits the affidavits together with a private letter from an officer in that County, who makes a special request of him that it be not published.

Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant.

[Signed] O. O. Howard

Major General Commissioner.

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