The Georgia Historical Society, the state Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Battlefield Association are sponsoring a plaque telling the story of “Special Field Orders 15.”
U.S. General William T. Sherman issued the order while Union forces occupied Savannah in January 1865.
Georgia Historical Society President Todd Groce says Sherman promised free black families 40-acre tracts of land along the Georgia coast.
“This is land that had been abandoned by Confederates, it was seized by the federal government, and it was to be distributed to freedmen to use for farms to help these newly-freed slaves a chance to start in life.”
After President Lincoln was killed a few months later, President Andrew Johnson revoked the order.
The marker is part of a statewide educational campaign for the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.