negroes in the enjoyment of privileges in the national institutions for which they had not become either mentally or morally fitted.
A presidential election was pending, and the colored vote and that in sympathy with it demanded assurance of the hearty and effective support of the national administration.
Nothing less than a radical change at West Point
would satisfy that demand, and who could be a more appropriate victim to offer as a sacrifice to that Moloch than one who had already gone beyond the limits of duty, of justice, and of wisdom in his kind treatment of the colored cadet?
It was decided in Washington
that he, the over-kind superintendent himself, should be sacrificed to that partizan clamor before the coming election.
Some rumor of this purpose had reached me, though it had been concealed from General Sherman
, who assured me that no such purpose existed.
In General Sherman
's absence, General Alfred H. Terry
was chosen to succeed me. He came to West Point
, August 14, for the purpose of learning from me in person the truth as to the assertion made to him that the proposition to relieve me from duty at West Point
was in accord with my own wishes.
When informed, as he had suspected, that I could not possibly have expressed any such wish under the circumstances then existing, he positively refused, like the honorable man that he was, to be made a party to any such act of wrong.
There was not the slightest foundation in fact for the assumption that my relief from command could be based upon my own request, and no such reason could have been given in an order relieving me. That assumption could have had no other apparent motive than to induce my warm friend General Terry
to accept the appointment.
As soon as he learned the truth from me, General Terry
went to Washington
and exposed the falsehood of which he and I together were the intended victims.