More of the 40 acres and a mule story…
As the Civil War was winding down 150 years ago, Union leaders gathered a group of black ministers in Savannah, Ga. The goal was to help the thousands of newly freed slaves.
From that meeting came Gen. William T. Sherman’s Special Field Order 15. It set aside land along the Southeast coast so that “each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground.”
That plan later became known by a signature phrase: “40 acres and a mule.”
After wrapping up his famous march, Sherman spent weeks in Savannah, staying in an ornate Gothic revival mansion called the Green-Meldrim House. That’s where he and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton held their meeting with local black leaders.
The Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., is where Gen. William T. Sherman held meetings with local black leaders, creating the plan later known as “40 acres and a mule.”Sarah McCammon/NPRhide caption