He told me that when he found that the case might probably come before Congress, he wanted to prepare himself in advance as far as possible to deal with it justly, and to defend the right effectively.
Hence he went to General Grant
to obtain the best possible view of the military questions involved.
gave him the theory of the military situation and of the operations of the opposing armies, as well as that of Porter
's own conduct, which had been presented to, and evidently accepted by, the court-martial, as presenting the true merits of the case.
accepted that theory as unquestionably correct, and bent all his energies to the construction of unanswerable arguments in support of Porter
At that time neither General Grant
nor General Logan
knew anything of the new evidence which was afterward submitted to the board of review.
's powerful arguments in the Senate were based upon his preconceived opinion of the case, supported by such part of the new evidence, as well as of the old, as could be made to support that view.
In reply to my statement that he had unquestionably been led astray, he said that that was quite probable, but that Grant
was responsible, and it was then too late to change.
I do not think that anybody will now hesitate to say that General Grant
's view of his duty in respect to this last point was the more to be commended.
But the fact I wish to record is that of Logan
's sincerity in the great efforts he had made to convict Porter
on the floor of the Senate, and his explanation of the way in which he had been led into the greatest possible error.
It suggests the reflection that even a senator of the United States
might better form his own opinions rather than adopt those even of the highest authority, when the only question involved is one of justice, and not one of public policy, in which latter case differences of opinion must of necessity