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[463] its essential features as thoroughly as I did, and that his judgment was precisely the same as that which the board had reached. He intimated very decidedly that no impartial and intelligent military man could, in his opinion, possibly reach any other conclusion. The general evidently desired to make it perfectly clear that he had not adopted the opinion of the board of which I was a member, nor that of any one else; but that he had thoroughly mastered the case for himself, and formed his own judgment in regard to it. I take pleasure in recording the fact that he unquestionably had (lone it, and I never knew a man who could form more positive opinions, or one who could express them more convincingly, than General Grant.

The board was not called upon to express any opinion respecting the action of the court-martial upon the evidence before it, and it would have been manifestly improper to do so. Speaking for myself, and not for any other member of the board, I do not now hesitate to say that the finding and sentence of the general courtmar-tial which tried General Fitz-John Porter were not justified by the evidence before that court. In my judgment, formed from long observation and much experience, the passions of war often render the administration of justice impossible. A suggestion once made to me by a man in very high military authority, that a finding and sentence of court-martial rendered in time of war should be regarded as res adjudicata, produced in my mind the painful impression that a very great man did not find the word ‘justice’ anywhere in his vocabulary; and I watched for many years the conversation and writings and public speeches of that man without finding that he ever made use of that word, or ever gave as a reason for doing or not doing anything that it would be just or unjust. In his mind, whatever might have happened to any person was simply a matter of good or bad fortune which did

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