Executive Order—General Orders: 145
Whereas certain tracts of land, situated on the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, at the time for the most part vacant, were set apart by Major-General W. T. Sherman's special field order No. 15 for the benefit of refugees and freedmen that had been congregated by the operations of war or had been left to take care of themselves by their former owners; and
Whereas an expectation was thereby created that they would be able to retain possession of said lands; and
Whereas a large number of the former owners are earnestly soliciting the restoration of the same and promising to absorb the labor and care for the freedmen:
It is ordered , That Major-General Howard, Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees. Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, proceed to the several above-named States and endeavor to effect an arrangement mutually satisfactory to the freedmen and the landowners, and make report. And in case a mutually satisfactory arrangement can be effected, he is duly empowered and directed to issue such orders as may become necessary, after a full and careful investigation of the interests of the parties concerned.
By order of the President of the United States:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Andrew Johnson, Executive Order—General Orders: 145 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203353