to Richmond, Va.
, as one of the Peabody
trustees, he said to me that the conduct of Mr. Stanton
had become intolerable to him, and, after asking my opinion, declared in emphatic terms his intention to demand either the removal of Stanton
or the acceptance of his own resignation.
But the bitter personal controversy which immediately followed between Grant
, the second attempt to remove Stanton
in February, 1868, and the consequent impeachment of the President
, totally eclipsed the more distant and lesser controversy between Grant
, and, doubtless, prevented Grant
from taking the action in respect to Stanton
's removal which he informed me in Richmond
he intended to take.1
Of the impeachment and trial of President Johnson
it is not my province to write.
My special knowledge relates only to its first cause, above referred to, and its termination, both intimately connected with the history of the War Department, the necessities of which department, real or supposed, constituted the only vital issue involved in the impeachment trial.
The following memorandum, made by me at the time, and now published with the consent of Mr. Evarts
, explains the circumstances under which I became Secretary of War
in 1868, and the connection of that event with the termination of the impeachment trial:
In compliance with a written request from Mr. W. M. Evarts, dated Tuesday, April 21, 1868, 2 P. M., I called upon that gentleman in his room at Willard's Hotel, Washington, a few minutes before three o'clock P. M. of the same day.
Mr. Evarts introduced conversation by saying something about the approaching trial of Mr. Jefferson Davis, but quickly said that was not what he wished to see me about.