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Headquarters Sub. Dist. Lauderdale, Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, &c, Lauderdale, Miss Jan'y 31, 1868. Lieut Merritt Barber, 34" Inft. A.A.A. Gen. Bu. R. F. and A. L. Vicksburg, Miss. Lieutenant. I have the honor to submit the following report (letter form) of the operations of this Office for the month of January 1868. --Nature of Contracts for the present year-- Owing to the financially prostrate condition of the people of this portion of the State, resulting greatly from the partial failure of the Cotton Crops for the past two years, and the great depreciation of that article in value, but few planters contemplate planting extensively this year. Consequently the majority of the freedmen have not entered into contracts. But little cotton will be planted, and more corn than herefore will be cultivated. On account of the depreciated prices of labor and the manner in which they have been paid for their labor, many of the freedmen
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