General Orders, No. 11 (Department of the South) (May 9, 1862)

Updated: February 02, 2015

On May 9, 1862, Major General David Hunter, commanding the Department of the South, issued General Orders, No. 11, declaring the slaves in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida to be forever free.

General Orders No. 11

Headquarters Department of the South
Hilton Head, S.C., May
9, 1862

The three States of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, comprising the Military Department of theSouth, having deliberately declared themselves no longer under the protection of the United States ofAmerica, and having taken up arms against the said United States, it becomes a military necessity to declare them under martial law. This was accordingly done on the 25th day of April, 1862. Slavery and martial law in a free country are altogether incompatible. The persons in these three States---Georgia,South Carolina, and Florida---heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free.

David Hunter
Major-General Commanding

Ed. W. Smith
Assistant Adjutant-General

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"General Orders, No. 11 (Department of the South)," Ohio Civil War Central, 2022, Ohio Civil War Central. 29 Sep 2022 <>

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"General Orders, No. 11 (Department of the South)." (2022) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved September 29, 2022, from Ohio Civil War Central:

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