GREGORY, EDGAR M. (?–1871). Edgar M. Gregory, Union officer and Freedmen's Bureau official, was a college-educated, native-born, Yankee Protestant and an avowed abolitionist. He was commissioned a colonel in the Ninety-First Pennsylvania Regiment on August 2, 1861, and was wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia, on March 3, 1863. After his participation in the Richmond campaign in August 1864, he was brevetted brigadier general, on October 17, 1864, and placed in charge of the Second Brigade, New York Volunteers. At the end of the war he was appointed assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau for the Texas area and took over his duties at the customhouse at Galveston in September 1865. There he appointed twelve local agents to assist him in attempting to settle the labor problem by promoting the contract system between freedmen and their former owners. In the fall of 1865 he ordered that henceforth any labor contract would constitute a lien on the crop worked. He supervised relief work and labor contracts for the freedmen and interfered in court cases allegedly in order to protect blacks from unscrupulous employers. In January 1866 David G. Burnet attacked the bureau, accused Gregory of inspiring freedmen to hate their employers, and recommended his removal, which occurred on April 2, 1866. Gregory subsequently became a bureau inspector. On April 13, 1866, after commendation by the national Freedmen's Bureau for ability and energy in discharge of his duties, he was relieved of his position and left Galveston for a new assignment.


Mark Mayo Boatner, Civil War Dictionary (New York: David McKay, 1959). Dallas Herald, April 26, 1866. Claude Elliott, "The Freedmen's Bureau in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 56 (July 1952). Galveston News, January 28, April 2, 1866. Alton Hornsby, Jr., "The Freedmen's Bureau Schools in Texas, 1865–1870," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 76 (April 1963). Charles W. Ramsdell, "Presidential Reconstruction in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 11, 12 (April 1908, January 1909). Charles W. Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas (New York: Columbia University Press, 1910; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1970). William L. Richter, The Army in Texas during Reconstruction, 1865–1870 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1987). Third Pennsylvania Cavalry Association, History of the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, Sixtieth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers in the American Civil War, 1861–1865 (Philadelphia: Franklin, 1905).

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Handbook of Texas Online, "GREGORY, EDGAR M.," accessed June 18, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 15, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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