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[411] in respect to the origin of that crisis soon became obscured by other events, and have never been correctly published.

The assassination of President Lincoln occurred a very short time before the end of the Civil War. It appears that his successor in the Presidential office did not withdraw any part of the supreme authority which had been conferred upon General Grant by President Lincoln a year before. Nevertheless, Secretary Stanton, who had very reluctantly yielded to President Lincoln's order, began, soon after the end of hostile operations, to resume the exercise of those functions which had formerly been claimed as belonging to the War Department, and which had been suspended by President Lincoln. Stanton ‘boldly took command of the armies.’1 By this General Grant was deeply offended, and finally declared that the action of the Secretary of War was intolerable; although he refers to it in his ‘Memoirs’ as ‘another little spat.’ The authority which Stanton assumed was the constitutional authority of the commander-in-chief of the army, a large part of which authority had been delegated by the President to General Grant, not to Secretary Stanton. Hence the Secretary's assumption was offensive alike to the general and to the President. General Grant acted with great forbearance, and endeavored to obtain from Secretary Stanton due recognition of his rightful authority as general commanding the army, but with no permanent effect.2

General Grant opposed the removal of Mr. Stanton by the exercise of the President's prerogative alone, for the reason, with others, that such action would be in violation of the Tenure-of-Office Act.3 He also objected at

1 Grant's ‘Memoirs,’ Vol. II, p. 105.

2 Grant's ‘Memoirs,’ Vol. II, pp. 104, 105; Sherman's ‘Memoirs,’ second edition Vol. II, pp. 446-450.

3 See General Grant's letter to President Andrew Johnson, August 1, 1867, in McPherson's ‘History of Reconstruction,’ p. 307.

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