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[134] had become newly aroused by the action of the President, and could be controlled only by military authority. So far as the disposition of troops permitted, he gave orders for the protection of loyal white men and freedmen, and for the punishment of the atrocities of unrepentant rebels. His influence and his action, as might be expected, were all on the side of law and order, and against the arrogant and vindictive spirit which exulted in cruelty and atrocity.

Andrew Johnson's policy, and his direct communications with the Louisiana rebels, encouraged them to the most bitter opposition to the loyal element in that state, and caused the New Orleans riot of August, 1866, when they wantonly attacked the members of the State Convention, which had previously framed a constitution, and reassembled according to the terms of its adjournment. Whether the assembly was by proper authority or not, there was no justification for the bloody opposition manifested by the rebels, with Mayor Monroe and some of the state officials at their head. But the support and encouragement which they received from the President led them to commit the outrages and murders by which loyal men, white and black, were assailed, hunted down, and killed. General Sheridan, who commanded the department, and who was absent at the time in Texas, was not disposed to tolerate the rule of that rebellious spirit which he had fought for four years to conquer. He investigated the affair, and reported the atrocious spirit and acts of the rebels, and acting under the instructions of General Grant, he took measures for the protection of loyal men, and watched the schemes of these still malignant rebels. He was sustained

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