Upon the adjournment of the State Convention, I sent the following letter to General Grant:Richmond, Va., August 8, 1867.. . . VI. Military commissioners are reminded that they are to be ‘governed in the discharge of their duties by the laws of Virginia, so far as the same are not in conflict with the laws of the United States, or orders issued from these headquarters,’ and that they are not to supersede the civil authorities, except in cases of necessity. In such cases the action, or failure to act, of the civil officers should be fully reported, in order that the commanding general may hold them to a proper accountability for any neglect of duty . . .
Richmond, Va., April 18, 1868.dear General: In spite of every effort that could be made to prevent it, the Virginia Convention has adhered to its proscriptive measures, or rather to the most objectionable of them. After every other means had failed, I even went so far as to visit the Convention and urge the repeal of the test oath. But what I said seemed not to have the slightest influence. I inclose a newspaper report, which is a pretty accurate one, of what I said, and which will show that I have at least done my duty in that regard, if not more. The same baneful influence that secured the election of a majority of ignorant blacks, and equally ignorant or unprincipled whites, to the Convention, has proved sufficient to hold them firmly to their original purpose. They could only hope to obtain office by disqualifying everybody in the State who is capable of discharging official duties, and all else to them was of comparatively slight importance. Even the question whether their Constitution will be ratified or rejected, they treat with indifference. Congress, they say, will make it all right anyway. . . . Of course I may be mistaken, but my opinion is that the Constitution must be adopted. This would not be a serious matter if it (the Constitution) were a good one, and good officers could be elected under it. But it seems hardly possible that the Union party can organize upon a satisfactory basis for the election. The negroes and their associates will doubtless insist