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this capacity till the end of the war; went through the Wilderness campaign and the siege of Richmond by his side, and was present at the fall of Petersburg and the surrender of Lee. During the next four years, those of the administration of Andrew Johnson, I was his confidential secretary and aide-de-camp. I opened all his letters, answered many that were seen by no other man, and necessarily knew his opinions on most subjects closely and intimately. Wherever he went at this time I accompanihe entire North, which was one long triumphal procession; his stay at his little Galena home; during the stormy days of Reconstruction and the struggle between Congress and the President; at the time of the removal of Stanton; the impeachment of Johnson; the attempt to send General Grant out of the country; in the Presidential campaign of 1868; down to the preparations for his first administration, I was constantly in his society and confidence. Enjoying these opportunities for knowing the m
, the second with a distinct declaration that the officers and men paroled at Appomattox could not be tried for treason so long as they observed the terms of their paroles. He went in person to discuss these papers with the President. But Andrew Johnson was not satisfied; he wanted, he said, to make treason odious. When can these men be tried? he asked. Never, said Grant, unless they violate their paroles. The President still insisted, and his Attorney-General wrote an official letror, acknowledgments of his clemency, and touching appeals for further mercy. All know you ever, she said, as good as well as great, merciful as well as brave. Make me, she concluded, your respectful friend. The vindictive feeling of President Johnson continued for months, and only Grant's interposition preserved the good faith of the Government, or rescued many, civilians as well as soldiers, from imprisonment and pecuniary ruin; for he urged the restoration of their property as well as
eneral was far more inclined to leniency than Johnson. But by degrees the President's feeling beca Northerners, and was far more in accord with Johnson than with Stanton. The Democrats claimed hi to that time had not been opposed by Grant. Johnson, without any authority of law, had appointed led. To this Congress would not agree; but Mr. Johnson insisted that the States which had revolteeserved. They show the intimate footing that Johnson desired to maintain. From the Presidensident. Late on the morning of their arrival Johnson sent the following note to Grant: Execrudeness he could not refuse. So he stood by Johnson's side during the entire demonstration, greatived the object, offered repeated excuses. Mr. Johnson, however, continued to urge the matter, andnto a political pilgrimage. At every point Mr. Johnson made speeches and received demonstrations ing dislike to the plans and proceedings of Andrew Johnson. Grant indeed had at this time a peculiar[9 more...]
t step in politics. Grant's first political step was taken when Johnson's plan of reconstruction was rejected by the North. The rejectionad been complete. Not only was the constitutional amendment which Johnson opposed accepted by every Northern State, but a Congress antagonistely known, he declared that their decision should be accepted. Johnson, however, had no idea of submitting. At the beginning he may haveits peril. Grant had, therefore, a double reason for disapproving Johnson's course; not only the deliberate decision of the people was againice of the vast majority of Union men had reached their leader. Johnson, nevertheless, remained as determined as ever. He had appealed tosters the full effect of which is even yet not past. This view of Johnson's conduct was thenceforth steadily maintained by Grant. Without ke was in reality doing more than all the country besides to thwart Johnson's designs. But he thought it prudent not to alarm or provoke the
Chapter 6: Johnson's manoeuvres immediately before the elections which were to give the verdict of the country upon Mr. Johnson's policy a violent political discussion arose in Maryland, wheed to the President for armed assistance, and Johnson made several attempts to induce Grant to orde. In the excited state of feeling aroused by Johnson's course the use of troops was certain to prore the elections which were to pronounce upon Johnson's policy, it had peculiar significance. For ho had fought against it. Grant believed that Johnson would be glad to put those who opposed his poed they were. He was as anxious to frustrate Johnson's manoeuvres as he had ever been to thwart thmained convinced that had opportunity offered Johnson would have attempted some disloyal artifice. with the President. A day or two afterward Johnson returned to the subject and announced that heGrant would not go, and said very flatly that Johnson could not afford to quarrel with Grant at tha[6 more...]
had been brought about not only by his deference to the decision of the North, and his indignation at the chicanery of Johnson, but in a great degree by the action of the Southerners themselves. The President's course had aroused a temper at the them. Sheridan, who was in command at New Orleans, found it necessary to remove certain civil officers, and immediately Johnson claimed that district commanders had no power under the law to make such removals. In this he was supported by his Attohy of an experienced politician. The fact is that Grant was a close observer and an apt scholar; his experience with Andrew Johnson taught him that frankness with such an opponent was giving away the game, and he never liked to be beaten. He was aled, he concealed, or withheld, a great deal from friends as well as foes. He did not furnish a copy of this letter to Mr. Johnson. At the same time that he wrote to Sheridan he sent the following letter to Washburne: Everything is getting
t Commanders to remove civil officers who opposed or obstructed the new law. Mr. Johnson at once took the ground, as I have shown, that no such power existed in thoscould maintain a sufficient check upon any hostile action of the President. Johnson, however, at once made it certain that his claws had not been so closely paredon law; and every quibble was at once resorted to at the South and indorsed by Johnson, to secure the registration of those whom Congress had intended to disfranchists height. Doubtless it was the knowledge of this popularity which restrained Johnson from manifesting open resentment at the course of his subordinate. Wherever South because he had been magnanimous. It is impossible to understand either Johnson's forbearance or Grant's authority all through this epoch without bearing consrties with all the rest of the world. At one of Grant's receptions at which Mr. Johnson was present, I recollect also Alexander H. Stephens, the Vicedent of the do
Chapter 9: Continued conflict between Grant and Johnson. during the summer of 1867 the conflict of opinion and effort between Johnson and Grant became positive, though it was still in a greatJohnson and Grant became positive, though it was still in a great degree concealed from the country. The President's opposition to the Congressional policy continued. He held that the Reconstruction acts were unconstitutional, and that consequently he was not bony rate those who yet distrusted him thought Reconstruction safer in his hands than in those of Johnson. A supplementary law was at once passed, increasing and defining the powers of the District Coould not be committed to him, and he consented to receive it only when he became convinced that Johnson was determined not to carry out the law. For Grant had been continually consulted during the pris crisis that betrayed any political aspiration or indicated the faintest ambition to succeed Johnson in the Presidency. I never saw him more angry than when unauthorized persons spoke to him as i
Chapter 10: Grant and Stanton when Johnson discovered that in spite of all his opposition Reconstruction under Grant was becoming a reality, he remembered that he had still another weapon in his armory. It was in his power to remove the District Commanders and the Secretary of War—who were now all diligently engaged in the execution of the law. A wide difference of opinion had early become apparent in Johnson's Cabinet, the members of which were originally appointed by Lincoln, but had been retained by his successor. As soon as the new President betrayed his antagonism to those who had elected him, four out of his seven Ministers refused to secoSeptember they were followed by the Attorney-General, who was a Southern man, but unable to approve the President's policy. Three of those who remained supported Johnson and became abettors of all his devices and designs. Seward, the original Republican leader, fell away completely from his old associates; Welles, a bitter Democr
emand. More than this, the hopes held out by Johnson of easier terms had revived the ambition and thing elements of disorder were stirred up by Johnson's obstinacy. The Southerners would have submas devised in order to make it impossible for Johnson to remove subordinates who were not in harmonthe 20th of July. Eleven days afterward, Mr. Johnson sent for Grant and informed him that he inthe law, to hinder the Reconstruction policy. Johnson could hardly have hoped to accomplish much byilled in the arts of political chicanery, and Johnson may have thought it possible still to inveiglhere was also doubtless a personal reason why Johnson wished to foster this idea. It was plain by people could easily be led to suppose he was Johnson's adherent. This would naturally antagonize , the President himself of course was chief. Johnson probably feared no rival but Grant. He flattgton, D. C., August 1, 1867. His Excellency, A. Johnson, President of the United States: Sir,—I t[5 more...]
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