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Memphis Freedmen's Bureau Report

Identifier: MS-3240

  • Staff Only

Captain T. A. Walker wrote this report for the Freedmen's Bureau in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 31, 1864. It is divided into sections entitled: Financial, Expenditures; The Freed people of the city, The city schools; Holly Springs, Schools; Shiloah [sic]; Brick Yard; President Island, Schools; and General Remarks. Throughout the report, Walker lists some of the grievances experienced by freedmen and describes how the Bureau is attempting to address these issues.

Walker discusses a number of issues in Memphis proper, including housing problems, cases of sickness at the Freedmen's Hospital, and schools. He also describes the Holly Springs, Shiloh, and President's Island contraband camps. He reports that most of the residents of Holly Springs are about fourteen years of age and gives the numbers of those attending school. He mentions that Shiloh houses primarily the wives and families of soldiers and was recently ordered to be consolidated with Holly Springs. He has good things to say about the state of President Island camp regarding morale, farm production, and progress in schools. In the General Remarks section, Walker expresses a belief that the conditions of freed people in the district are generally improving. He also mentions the need for some military support.

Interested researchers may also wish to consult MS.3106: Thomas A. Walker Letter, 1864 May 2 for more information about Thomas Walker and freedmen in West Tennessee.


  • 1864 May 31

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0.1 Linear Feet


This collection consists of a four page report detailing events in the Memphis, Tennessee district of the Freedmen's Bureau during the month of May 1864. The writer, Captain T. A. Walker of the 63rd Infantry Regiment (Colored Troops), describes the city of Memphis (particularly its schools) as well as the contraband camps of Holly Springs, Shiloh, and President's Island.

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas A. Walker was a captain in the United States Colored Infantry, 63rd Regiment. He was superintendent of the West Tennessee branch of the Freedmen's Bureau, an organization that aided freed slaves during and after the Civil War.


This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

This collection was purchased on 2007 February 20.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA