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"Marriage of a colored soldier at Vicksburg…,” by Alfred R. Waud, Harper's Weekly, June 30,1866

A chaplain of the Freedmen’s Bureau married this solider and his bride in Vicksburg, Mississippi, soon after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

"Marriage of a colored soldier at Vicksburg…,” by Alfred R. Waud, Harper's Weekly, June 30,1866

The Freedmen's Bureau - 1

In 1865 Congress created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, known as the Freedmen’s Bureau, to address the needs of displaced and formerly enslaved persons. The bureau administered humanitarian, economic, and legal services; supervised labor contracts; and redistributed abandoned lands. Congress re-chartered the Freedmen’s Bureau over President Andrew Johnson’s veto in 1866, but terminated its activities in 1872. African Americans elected to the House who had worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau included John Mercer Langston, Jeremiah Haralson, Josiah Walls, and Robert C. De Large.