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This Day in Georgia History

January 16, 1865

Special Field Order 15

From Savannah, Gen. William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15 that stated in part:

“The islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice-fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the Saint John’s River, Fla., are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.”