This month reality begins setting in among the freedmen of the Sea Islands along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. The land they were promised, the land upon which they are now trying to make a living and support their families, is imperiled.
In January Union General William T. Sherman signed an order turning plantation lands over to former slaves, accommodated by promises of farming animals, implements and food.
Now, freedmen are told that the promises were never made, and warned to tamp down their future expectations. In the months following, freedmen are required to work for their former masters, who do not want to pay their former slaves anything other than a pittance.
Among freedmen, of whom many are Baptists, disillusionment and suspicion is setting in.
Source: Mary R. Bullard, “A Thatched Cabin on Cumberland Island, Georgia,” African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter, Vol 13, Issue 3, September 2010 (link)