upright young man, but unaccountably took part in this attack upon the Bureau and upon the administration of some of our best subordinates. The two men set out, reporters with them for the press, generally unfriendly to plans of reconstruction favored by Congress. They passed on from city to city and from place to place, visiting military and Bureau headquarters in each Southern State, and sent their reports, as critical and adverse as possible, broadcast through the newspapers to the entire country. Before this operation began, General Grant, who had to some extent found out what was to be done, kindly sent for me and said substantially: “Howard, you must not take too much to heart or as against yourself what may be said or reported before long against your Bureau.” I did not at first very well understand what he meant, till the noisy and pretentious inspection of Steedman and Fullerton was well on foot. The following statements of mine to President Johnson, given August 23, 1866, in reference to this inspection, portrays the Bureau troubles and triumphs of that year.
The last report of Generals Steedman and Fullerton of, an inspection of the Bureau under my charge contains so many statements differing from those I have received from other officers and assistant commissioners, and furnishes deductions so widely varying from those I have formed and offered, that I deem it my duty to review the main points of this report; and more especially is this course necessary for me that I have been assigned to duty by yourself, and have administered the Bureau in accordance with your instructions, verbal and written, keeping constantly in view a thorough and practical execution of