Mr. Johnson replied, repeating what he had before published through newspapers hostile to Grant and Congress, and adding that four members of the cabinet ceased to be Secretary of War ad interim, and who saw the President open and read the communication, brought back to me from the President a message that he wanted to see me that day at the cabinet meeting, after I had made known the fact that I was no longer Secretary of War ad interim. At this meeting, after opening it as though I were a member of the cabinet, when reminded of the notification already given him that I was no longer Secretary of War ad interim, the President gave a version of the conversations alluded to already. In this statement it was asserted that in both conversations I had agreed to hold on to the office of Secretary of War until displaced by the courts, or resign, so as to place the President where he would have been had I never accepted the office. After hearing the President through, I stated our conversations substantially as given in this letter. I will add that my conversation before the cabinet embraced other matter not pertinent here, and is therefore left out. I in nowise admitted the correctness of the President's statement of our conversations, though, to soften the evident contradiction my statement gave, I said (alluding to our first conversation on the subject) the President might have understood me the way he said, namely, that I had promised to resign if I did not resist the reinstatement. I made no such promise. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
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