Nashville has now been a Union-occupied city for two months, and will remain occupied for the remainder of the war. A mixture of southerners (those who chose not to evacuate), northern soldiers and freed slaves, the city lives in daily tension. Former African slaves roam the city with freedom, although a curfew is in effect in the evenings. But for this night and the next, Nashville’s Union officials provide permits for black residents to be out after curfew in order to attend a supper at the First Baptist Church.
The colored members of the 1st Baptist Church will give a supper to-night, next door to the Methodist Publishing House, on the Public Square, for the benefit of their church, and the Managers have obtained from the Provost Marshal a permit for colored persons to pass unmolested on to-night and to-morrow night for the purpose of attending the supper.
The Union occupation of southern cities and towns continues. Two days ago, New Orleans, the South’s largest city, surrendered to Union forces. With each municipal surrender, African slaves remaining in the city and surrounding areas are freed by the Union army, effecting a growing emancipation movement. Newly freed blacks thus begin the process of incorporation into American citizenship–at least on a limited basis–even as the war progresses, under the watchful eyes and protection of Union soldiers.
Source: Nashville Daily Union, April 30, 1862 (link)