Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard

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Second Federal (Union) Occupation and "Valley Forge" Period

Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard

At the end of his April 4-10, 1863 visit to the Army of the Potomac in Stafford, Lincoln sat in the headquarter’s tent of Major General Oliver Otis Howard, commanding the XI Army Corps. Looking up, Lincoln saw the first verse of the 23rd Psalm written on a board.  Howard, known as “The Christian General” had a different verse placed there daily.  They discussed the verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  When Lincoln left he realized he had found his man to run one of the cornerstone organizations his planned national “Reconstruction,” the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or most commonly the “Freedmen’s’ Bureau.”  (Howard’s tent was near the Stafford Courthouse. Click on the Photo Gallery to see a picture of the Stafford Courthouse that was standing during the Civil War.  Also in the Gallery you will see a picture of Howard University that Howard founded along with a picture of Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee which he also founded.)