Post Civil War

History of Emancipation: Gen. David Hunter and General Orders No. 15 historical marker
Thirteen-year old sharecropper boy near Americus, Georgia
Jones County - Plat - Samuel Gordon for Homestead petition

In 1865, after taking control of Savannah, General William T. Sherman issued Field Order No. 15, which redistributed 400,000 acres of coastal farmland to freedmen and women. When this order was overturned only a few months later, African American farmers were required to return the land to white plantation owners. Thereafter, the systems of sharecropping and tenant farming developed to continue farm production with cheap labor. As the country expanded, programs such as the Southern Homestead Act attempted to address land ownership; however, African Americans were not able to capitalize on these programs at the rate of their white counterparts.