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tters, answered many that were seen by no other man, and necessarily knew his opinions on most subjects closely and intimately. Wherever he went at this time I accompanied him. In his tour through the South after the close of the war, in his visit to Canada, his journey over the entire North, which was one long triumphal procession; his stay at his little Galena home; during the stormy days of Reconstruction and the struggle between Congress and the President; at the time of the removal of Stanton; the impeachment of Johnson; the attempt to send General Grant out of the country; in the Presidential campaign of 1868; down to the preparations for his first administration, I was constantly in his society and confidence. Enjoying these opportunities for knowing the man, and engaged at the time in writing his military history, I naturally took to studying his peculiar characteristics. For a long while he was just as much of an enigma to me as to the rest of the world. The apparent ab
rms at Appomattox. The terms at Appomattox were neither dictated by the Government, nor suggested by Mr. Lincoln, nor inspired by any subordinate. Early in March, 1864, the Administration had positively prohibited General Grant from attempting to settle or even discuss the conditions of peace; and at the interview between Mr. Lincoln and the commissioners sent out from Richmond in February Grant was not permitted to be present. There was a determination on the part of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanton to exclude the military authorities altogether from the final settlement, after submission should be secured. During Mr. Lincoln's stay at City Point, prior to the final movements of the war, he had many conversations with Grant, but said nothing to indicate definitely what steps he intended to take at the close. Those steps were probably uncertain in his own mind, for, like all sagacious statesmen, he left much to be determined by circumstances as they might arise. Even after the fall
st in the South the next year, even with the war ending now, will be beyond conception. People who talk of further retaliation and punishment, except of the political leaders, either do not conceive of the suffering endured already or they are heartless and unfeeling and wish to stay at home out of danger while the punishment is being inflicted. Love and kisses for you and the children. Ulys. This letter was written eleven days after the assassination of Lincoln. Grant disapproved of Sherman's terms as absolutely as Stanton or the President; he had just revoked all negotiations for civil conditions, and insisted on the absolute military submission of the enemy; but he was full of pity for the people of the South, and had only harsh rebuke for the rancor that would inflict further suffering. He turned from war and its horrors to the spreading oaks of Raleigh for relief, and while waiting the answer to his inexorable summons sent love and kisses to his wife and the children.
pularity of Grant at this period made it important to win him over to the support of the enterprise. Grant was unused to the arts of placemen and politicians, and indeed unversed in any manoeuvres except those of the field. He still retained his magnanimous sentiment toward the conquered, and was at first in no way averse to what he supposed were the President's views. He protested against the harsh measures advised by many Northerners, and was far more in accord with Johnson than with Stanton. The Democrats claimed him; the Republicans distrusted him. General Richard Taylor came to me about this time and proposed that Grant should become the candidate of the Democratic party in the next Presidential election, promising the support of the South in a mass if it was allowed to vote. James Brooks, then the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, made similar overtures, also through me. Brooks was my intimate personal friend; he always predicted that Grant would b
s, indeed, far more than tact, it was political and patriotic wisdom. And his course throughout all these proceedings was entirely his own. He listened to the advice, or opinions, or persuasions of those who felt they had a right to offer either, but every decision was the result of his own judgment, of his own instinct of what was right. He seemed to me at the time greater than in any emergency of the war, and when I look back upon both crises now, I remain of this opinion still. During these contentions Congress created, or rather revived, the grade of General in the Army for Grant. His nomination was announced to him by the Secretary of War in the following letter: War Department, Washington City, July 25, 1866. General,—The President has signed the bill reviving the grade of General. I have made out and laid your nomination before him, and it will be sent to the Senate this morning. Yours truly, Edwin M. Stanton. Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant. Zz
ween the State authorities, which were friendly to Johnson, and those of the City of Baltimore. The Governor appealed to the President for armed assistance, and Johnson made several attempts to induce Grant to order United States troops into Maryland. Grant's anxiety at this suggestion was acute. He held numerous conversations with the President, and though no disloyal proposition was made to him in words, he conceived a profound distrust of Johnson's designs. This feeling was shared by Stanton, then Secretary of War. In the excited state of feeling aroused by Johnson's course the use of troops was certain to prove exasperating, and it seemed to be the President's purpose to tempt or provoke his opponents to some illegal act which would warrant a resort to arms. It was too soon after a civil war to incur such risks without alarm. Grant at once protested verbally but earnestly against sending troops to Baltimore. But the President persisted in his suggestion. He did not give
bsequently Grant wished these steps reversed, Stanton never objected. During Early's invasion of M of which proved abortive. In this emergency Stanton finally appealed to Grant. He directed Charl, lest it should be made public too soon; but Stanton was within his rights, and the subject was ne9 I sent him my account of his relations with Stanton which is similar to that now given; he found ; that the ability, energy, and patriotism of Stanton were undoubted, and as for himself he certainrgency of Grant on this occasion strengthened Stanton's hold on the President. In March, 1865, Gibuted what they thought an implied rebuke to Stanton's influence. But they were wrong; for Lincoldid not, indeed, resent what he disliked, for Stanton never transcended his technical rights—though my personal chief, I am convinced that while Stanton was undoubtedly lacking in delicacy and perhaany through which they had already passed. Stanton's accord with Grant at this crisis is indicat[22 more...]
the spring and summer of 1866 both Grant and Stanton were opposing their common superior, for both people, to whom Presidents are responsible. Stanton remained in the Cabinet for the express purpoIn considering the behavior of both Grant and Stanton at this period it must be borne in mind that and informed him that he intended to suspend Stanton, and at the same time remove Sheridan from Neat once made known the President's purpose to Stanton and Sheridan, as well as to others in his cone prevent further mischief. He could take up Stanton's course when Stanton was no longer in the Ca, in a formal letter, the President requested Stanton's resignation. The same day Stanton answeredStanton answered, also in writing, that public considerations of a high character constrained him from resigning beob't serv't, U. S. Grant, General. To Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. To this Stantonhat he should not have accepted the post, but Stanton could hardly have been in an amiable mood whe[19 more...]
Chapter 12: Grant and Sheridan. Stanton had fallen and the next official victim was to be Sheridan. Stanton was suspended on the 12th of August, and on the 17th Grant received the President'Stanton was suspended on the 12th of August, and on the 17th Grant received the President's commands for the removal of Sheridan. He at once protested against the execution of the order. He was indeed profoundly moved, and even exasperated; for his regard for Sheridan had now become per On the 1st of August the President announced to Grant that he had made up his mind to suspend Stanton and remove Sheridan. I have already quoted the language in which Grant protested against this intention in regard to Stanton. In the same letter he added these words referring to Sheridan: On the subject of the removal of the very able commander of the Fifth Military District, let me asky in which he had hitherto supported Grant. Deprived now of his two coadjutors, without either Stanton as a friendly superior or Sheridan as a loyal subordinate, Grant was left to bear the whole bru
protest before him against the suspension of Stanton; he had the knowledge of all Grant's previousome degree to Grant, when he was seen to take Stanton's place. Some of his stanchest personal frieasons which had brought about the removal of Stanton and Sheridan. The two officers who were subsy to the province of the Secretary, and Secretary Stanton would have refused. I was surprised andhought Stanton would have done; and doubtless Stanton would have refused. In December Congress rtwenty days his reasons for the suspension of Stanton. This he did, and on the 13th of January the of the law this decision at once re-instated Stanton. Grant had informed the President two days bs greatly concerned. He was not anxious that Stanton should be restored, for he felt that the Mini Cabinet officer upon the Head of the State. Stanton could hardly be expected to share this feelinho would be acceptable to the Senate, so that Stanton might be legally relieved. Grant proposed Ge[4 more...]
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