African American History Forum
Special Field Order No. 15
To solve problems caused by the mass of refugees, Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15, a temporary plan granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land on islands and the coast of Georgia. The army had a number of unneeded mules which were also granted to settlers.
News of "forty acres and a mule" spread quickly; freed slaves welcomed it as proof that emancipation would finally give them a stake in the land they had worked as slaves for so long.
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