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Proceedings of the Convention of the Equal Rights and Educational Association of Georgia : assembled at Macon, October 29th, 1866 : containing the annual address of the president, Captain J.E. Bryant

1866 Macon GA State Convention.16.pdf

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13

refused to do so, but be declared that he was opposed to the whole affair. I gave an account of the difficulty in the Loyal Georgian, and, for doing so, he commenced a system of persecution, unrelenting, unmerciful aud unscrupulous. I was charged with robbing colored men of money which they contributed for the paper, and, in fact, with almost every crime known to men, I denied the charges, and requested tkt a uorumittee migbt be appointed, before which I woula appear and meet every charge that might be made. He refused to do this, but continued to repeat the charges. When the Council met in July l st, I infJrmed the members that charO'eS had been made against me by General Tillson, and requested bthat they might be investigated by a committee. A committee was appointed, and, after two days careful investigation, they made a report fully exhonorating me i ncverthcles , the General came before the Couneil, and in a most -violent and ungentlemanly, I might almost say disgraceful and reck­ less manner, repeated the 0harges which had been already proved to be false i calling me a lier, a sc0undrel, a thief and a beggar. He also made a spee h which contained much valuable informu,tion. A resolution was passed, thanking him for the ·speech. I am aware that it was the intention of the Council to thank him for the iuforma· tion which the speech contained, upon subjects that had no relation to myself, and that nearly every m mbcr of the Council disapprov d of that part of the speech which related to myself, but a different irnpree.sicn has been made upon the public mind, to a certain ex· tent. I therefore ask that, in justice to myself, the resolution of thanks be expunged from the records of the Council. Many persons have tho'.Ight that I have had a personal quarrel with Gen. Tillson, and that I have used the Lc.1'11 Georgian as a me.. dmm through which I could gr ctify feelings of hatred against that officer. Such perso'Js entirely misunderstand the difficulty. My relations with the General were of a very friendly nature, previous to the attempt to do honor to the memory of the Un ion dead who lie buried in the CL'metery at Augusta, and up to the very. day, when au account of that affair appeared in the columns of the Loyal Geor gian. I published that account, not because I had feelings of hatred to gratify, for I had no ouch feelings towards General 'fill., sou; on the co'ltrary, a I have said, my relations with that officer, and with his family, wore of a very friendlyl nature; but I publish" ed the account, because I felt that the memory of the brave Union soldiers who had died in defence of their C<- mtry had been insulted. I fdt that a General of the United States Army had disgraced him· self to please men who had fought to destroy the country, and had killed the very men wh.ose graves we desired to decorate with flowers. And because I published this account, I have been assailed by rebels and dough,face officers vvho are a thousand times meaner and more contemptable than rebels, for many of the former are honest, while the latter are ready to crawl in the dirt to gain a little popularity. The Augusta cemetery is under the control of the city authori ..

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