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[383]

Grant, however, thought it wise not to interfere in the organization of the Eastern army, for he had determined to leave matters of administration to Meade. He was always careful to commit as much executive power as possible to his immediate subordinates; and to overrule both Halleck and Meade in this matter would have provoked ill-feeling at the moment of assuming his own new functions, besides being contrary to all his usual course. Sickles appreciated the situation, and though he would have been glad to procure a re-institution of his historic corps, he bore no malice to Grant because he was unsuccessful.

In September, 1865, Sickles was placed in command in South Carolina. He had been a Democratic Congressman before the Rebellion, and intimate with many Southern politicians, as well as conversant with important civil affairs. His appointment to supervise this portion of the conquered territory was therefore appropriate. When Grant visited the South by Johnson's orders in the first winter after the war, he found Sickles with his headquarters at Charleston, busily engaged in the endeavor to build up the prosperity of the State. Grant at this time hoped that pacification would proceed with rapid steps, and was in favor of manifesting the most lenient spirit toward the fallen enemy. He had long discussions with Sickles, that lasted late into the night, receiving the opinions of his lieutenant, and basing his own directions upon them, for the two were in complete accord. I accompanied Grant on this tour and remember well with what warm approval he spoke of Sickles's course.

Sickles gave General Grant a dinner during his stay and asked many important Southerners to his table to meet the Commander of the Union armies; among them ex-Governor Aiken; Orr, who had been Speaker of the House of Representatives, and an intimate friend of Sickles in other times; Trenholm, the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury; Magraw, the last of the rebel Governors of South Carolina,

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