the confidence of Congress and the people was not misplaced.
That the reconstruction acts were executed with any degree of fidelity and success, was due chiefly to General Grant
From him emanated the general instructions under which the military commanders acted, and with him rested the power to revoke or approve their acts.
Like their superior, the commanders who were first designated for the several districts were faithful to the principles upon which they had fought through the war. They were obedient to the law, and knowing the spirit of those who opposed it, they were watchful and energetic in the performance of their duties.
Had they been under the discretionary orders of the President
, and consented to be the instruments of his will, no principle of reconstruction determined upon by Congress would have been carried out. Mr. Johnson
's influence was constantly exerted against congressional reconstruction in every way in which he could make it felt; and his well-known bitter hostility to negro suffrage, his avowed hatred of the “radical” Congress, and his language and promise in his frequent conversations with the unsubmissive rebels who went to Washington
to misrepresent the condition of southern affairs, and to secure his aid to their plans for thwarting the will of Congress, did more than anything else to prevent an early settlement, and rendered the duties of the military commanders
But for the firmness of Grant
, the influence of the President
, and his rebel and Democratic supporters, might have been more disastrous.
The general was determined to carry out the provisions of the law, so