through the war, that it was necessary to provide for some executive power as far as possible free from the interference of his wrong-headed will.
had given such evidence of his adherence to the policy on which the war had been carried through, and of his obedience to law, that Congress saw in him, as the head of the army, the officer whose authority and influence would aid in the execution of its laws, and oppose a barrier to the schemes by which the President
sought to restore the. rebels to power.
The rebel states were divided into five military districts, each to be commanded by a major-general.
These officers were selected by Grant
, though appointed to those places by the President
, and in making the selection he took those whom he knew to be faithful to the policy on which the rebellion had been suppressed, and opposed to the restoration of rebels to power.
, and Sheridan
were the officers appointed to the several districts; but Thomas
, desiring to remain in command in Kentucky
was designated in his place.
The authority of these commanders was great, but their acts were subject to the approval or disapproval of General Grant
, who thus had the responsibility of the execution of the laws and the exercise of military power in the rebel states, so far as such responsibility could be separated from the President
It was necessary that this should be done in order to remove “impediments” to reconstruction, and to restrain the greatest of all impediments, Andrew Johnson
, from thwarting the will of the people as expressed in the just measures of Congress.
The result proved that