Soon after Fort Pulaski surrendered, David Hunter exercised his abolitionist ideals by freeing all the slaves in the area. He would be chastised, but ultimately his views would win out.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 7.
Fort Pulaski, Cockspur Island, Ga., April 13, 1862.
All persons of color lately held to involuntary service by enemies of the United States in Fort Pulaski and on Cockspur Island, Ga., are hereby confiscated and declared free in conformity with law, and shall hereafter receive the fruits of their own labor. Such of said persons of color as are able bodied and may be required shall be employed in the quartermaster’s department at the rates heretofore established by Brigadier General T. W. Sherman.
By command of Major General David Hunter:
CHAS. G. HALPINE,
OFFICE COMMISSARY- GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
By the way, this event and thousands of others relating to emancipation during the civil war period are collected in a really great map-based application at “Visualizing Emancipation“, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Check it out!