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[344] Virginia. The Hon. J. P. Benjamin, then Secretary of War, was transferred to be Secretary of State, Mr. William M. Browne, the Assistant Secretary of State, became one of the President's aids, and, as chief clerk, I performed the usual duties of the former position until the close of the struggle in April, 1865. In this way I became conversant with all that was being done or that had been done by the State Department, and I also learned confidently much of what was being done by the other departments. With the heads of these departments, as well as the President, I had cordial relations, and most of them I had known before for years. The important military news came to us, of course, and also many of the plans of military operations. I had so many friends in Congress that I was easily kept advised of what it was doing. On the other hand, no one on the outside knew the business of the State Department except the President, and he was not the kind of a man to gossip or to be questioned.

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