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

Letter: Headquarters, Department of the South, Atlanta, Georgia, to General U[lysses] S. [Grant], Washington, D.C., 1868 Oct. 3

author: Meade, George Gordon, 1815-1872
date: October 3, 1868
extent: 2p
summary: George Gordon Meade, commander of the Department of the South's Third Military District in Georgia, writes to to Commanding General of the United States Army, U[lysses]. S. [Grant]. This letter is written on October 3, 1868, after Meade received, on October 2, an investigative report by Captain William Mills on the Septmeber 19 outbreak of violence between freedmen together with Republicans who attempted to hold a political rally in Camilla, Georgia, and the white townspeople who opposed them. Meade encloses both his letter to Georgia Governor Rufus B. Bullock and Captain Mills' report. Meade tells Grant that he has troops in readiness but has not sent them to Camilla, as according to departmental instructions he must only intervene at the behest of local civil authorities. Meade further explains the decision of the Georgia Legislature to decline authorization to Governor Bullock to make such a request for troops from Meade. Yet Meade tells Grant he has assured Bullock that if local civil authorities are prevented from acting on their own, that he is still prepared to send troops, and that he will definitely be sending troops to keep order during the upcoming presidential election ( the election in which Grant was to be the winner).
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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Headquarters, Department of the South
Atlanta, Ga. October 3d 1868.
General U.S. [Grant]
Commanding [illegible text]

You have been receiving intelligence of the disorders occurring [illegible text] 19th instant at Camilla in Mitchell County - that [illegible text] had troops in readiness to meet any call of the civil authorities, such as are referred to in the letter of instructions from the General-in-chief, of date August 25th 1868 and that at the same time I despatched [dispatched] Captain Mills a most reliable, and intelligent officer on whose cool sound judgment and freedom from any prejudice or party bias

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I could depend - to investigate thoroughly and report the facts in the case -

The affair passing off with the riot or rather collision of the 19th instant - and no call having been made on me - the Legislature, (as I think properly) declining the request of the Governor to authorize him to make the call -no troops were sent.

The report of Captain Mills was yesterday received and after its perusal I discerned the only thing for me to do, was to transmit [to the] Governor of the state, the officer with whom I [illegible text] communicate and to assure him, that in [illegible text] might be taken by the civil authorities investigation of the affair and punishment of derelect civil officers or citizens - that in case he met with resistance or he or they found themselves unable to execute the laws - I was prepared on being so informed to aid and cooperate with him to the fullest extent of the force under my commands.

My letter to the Governor, the Report and accompanying documents of Captain Mills are herewith forwarded by the hands of Captain C M Kibbin, U. S. Army, and I should be pleased to receive any commands thereon which yourself, - the Honorable Secretary of War or the President may please to make. -

I deem it proper to add that in a few days I shall distribute the troops in the Department with a view of "aiding the Civil authorities to Keep the peace" during the approaching Presidential Election.

Very respectfully
Your obedient Servant
Geo [George]. G [Gordon]. Meade
R C Drum
Asst Adj't Genl [Assistant Adjutant General]

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