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April 21st (search for this): chapter 22
re, he (General Grant) would be glad to have me as Secretary of War during the remainder of the term; that Mr. Wade would have some difficulty in making up a cabinet for so short a portion of a term. About eight o'clock P. M. of the same day (April 21) I again called upon Mr. Evarts at the hotel, when a long conversation took place upon the subject referred to in the morning. The substance of what Mr. Evarts said was as follows: He was fully satisfied that the President could not be convictenomination, in reply to which objections many of the above statements by Mr. Evarts were made. I then said I would again talk with General Grant upon the subject, and give a definite reply the next morning. About eleven o'clock the same night (April 21) I informed General Grant at his house that the proposition above named had been (or it would be) made to me; that it originated with Republican senators; and I gave in substance the reasons above stated as what I understood to be the grounds up
April 25th (search for this): chapter 22
m it my duty to say nothing on the subject of accepting or declining the appointment until the Senate has acted upon it. Mr. Evarts intimated that the above was satisfactory, and the interview then ended. I returned to Richmond on Thursday, April 23, being then in command in Virginia, executing the reconstruction acts. On the 24th the President sent to the Senate my nomination as Secretary of War. On the morning of the 26th I received from General Grant a confidential letter, dated April 25, advising me under the circumstances to decline the secretaryship in advance. From all the circumstances it is fair to assume that General Grant's change of attitude was owing to his opinion as to the effect the nomination would have on the impeachment proceedings. To the above letter I sent the following letters in reply: (Confidential.) Richmond, Va., April 26, 1868. dear General: I regret exceedingly that your advice came too late. I have already promised not to declin
April 23rd (search for this): chapter 22
tration of the laws, including the reconstruction acts. I added: And the President knows from General Schofield's acts what he means by this,—if, after these conditions have been fully stated to the President, he sends my name to the Senate, I will deem it my duty to say nothing on the subject of accepting or declining the appointment until the Senate has acted upon it. Mr. Evarts intimated that the above was satisfactory, and the interview then ended. I returned to Richmond on Thursday, April 23, being then in command in Virginia, executing the reconstruction acts. On the 24th the President sent to the Senate my nomination as Secretary of War. On the morning of the 26th I received from General Grant a confidential letter, dated April 25, advising me under the circumstances to decline the secretaryship in advance. From all the circumstances it is fair to assume that General Grant's change of attitude was owing to his opinion as to the effect the nomination would have on th
d to the opposite views, and caused the order to be amended accordingly. That General Sherman then entertained views of his authority which were too broad, as General Grant had also done, is no doubt true; but it ought not to have been very difficult to correct such errors. It was easier to take away all administrative authority and all command over the general staff of the army, and the latter course was adopted. The ancient controversy was up to 1888 no nearer settlement than it was in 1869, though in General Sheridan's time some progress had been made in the persistent efforts to deprive the general-in-chief of the little authority which had been left to General Sherman. General Sheridan had, with his usual gallantry and confidence, renewed the contest, but had been worsted in his first encounter with the Secretary, and then gave up the struggle. Upon my assignment to the command of the army in 1888, I determined to profit so far as possible by the unsatisfactory experience
d States has been appointed ad interim, and has notified me that he has accepted the appointment, I have no alternative but to submit, under protest, to superior force. McPherson's History of Reconstruction, pp. 261, 262. In 1866, 1867, and 1868 General Grant talked to me freely several times of his differences with Secretary Stanton. His most emphatic declaration on that subject, and of his own intended action in consequence, appears from the records to have been made after Stanton's re supposed, constituted the only vital issue involved in the impeachment trial. The following memorandum, made by me at the time, and now published with the consent of Mr. Evarts, explains the circumstances under which I became Secretary of War in 1868, and the connection of that event with the termination of the impeachment trial: memorandum May, 1868. In compliance with a written request from Mr. W. M. Evarts, dated Tuesday, April 21, 1868, 2 P. M., I called upon that gentleman in
nformed Stanton that he had done so. Stanton denied the right of the President to suspend him without the consent of the Senate, but wrote to the President, and to the same effect to General Grant: But inasmuch as the general commanding the armies of the United States has been appointed ad interim, and has notified me that he has accepted the appointment, I have no alternative but to submit, under protest, to superior force. McPherson's History of Reconstruction, pp. 261, 262. In 1866, 1867, and 1868 General Grant talked to me freely several times of his differences with Secretary Stanton. His most emphatic declaration on that subject, and of his own intended action in consequence, appears from the records to have been made after Stanton's return to the War Office in January, 1868, when his conduct was even more offensive to Grant than it had been before Stanton's suspension in August, 1867, and when Grant and Sherman were trying to get Stanton out of the War Office. Sherman
February 3rd, 1868 AD (search for this): chapter 22
Mr. Stanton by the exercise of the President's prerogative alone, for the reason, with others, that such action would be in violation of the Tenure-of-Office Act. See General Grant's letter to President Andrew Johnson, August 1, 1867, in McPherson's History of Reconstruction, p. 307. He also objected at first to either removal or suspension, mainly for fear that an objectionable appointment might be made in Stanton's place. See General Grant's letter to President Andrew Johnson, February 3, 1868, in McPherson's History of Reconstruction, p. 286. But those two objections being removed by Johnson's tender of the appointment to Grant himself, vice Stanton suspended instead of removed, General Grant gave his full countenance and support to President Johnson in the suspension of Mr. Stanton, with a view on the part of the President to his ultimate removal, either with the concurrence of the Senate or through a judicial decision that the Tenure-of-Office Act was, as Johnson claimed,
In fact, the adjutantgeneral had in practice come very near being commander-in-chief. Some time and much patience were required to bring about the necessary change, but ere long the result became very apparent. Perfect harmony was established between the War Department and the headquarters of the army, and this continued, under the administrations of Secretaries Proctor, Elkins, and Lamont, up to the time of my retirement from active service. During all this period,—namely, from 1889 to 1895, under the administrations of Presidents Harrison and Cleveland,—the method I have indicated was exactly followed by the President in all cases of such importance as to demand his personal action, and some such cases occurred under both administrations. The orders issued were actually the President's orders. No matter by whom suggested or by whom formulated, they were in their final form understandingly dictated by the President, and sent to the army in his name by the commanding general, t
y truly, J. M. Schofield, Bvt. Maj.-Gen. General Grant, Washington, D. C. I have no means of knowing to what extent, if any, the Senate was influenced by this nomination, but anxiety about the ultimate result seemed to be soon allayed. About a month later a vote was taken in the Senate, and the impeachment failed; my nomination was then confirmed, as stated at the time, by a nearly unanimous vote of the Senate. I entered upon the duties of the office as Secretary of War on the first day of June, and continued to discharge them until a few days after General Grant's inauguration in March. I was greeted very cordially by the President, by all the members of his cabinet, by General Grant, and by a large number of senators who called upon me at the War Department. The duties devolved upon me were often of a very delicate character, and it required at times no little tact to avoid serious trouble. President Johnson's views were sometimes in direct conflict with those which I
chief. In fact, the adjutantgeneral had in practice come very near being commander-in-chief. Some time and much patience were required to bring about the necessary change, but ere long the result became very apparent. Perfect harmony was established between the War Department and the headquarters of the army, and this continued, under the administrations of Secretaries Proctor, Elkins, and Lamont, up to the time of my retirement from active service. During all this period,—namely, from 1889 to 1895, under the administrations of Presidents Harrison and Cleveland,—the method I have indicated was exactly followed by the President in all cases of such importance as to demand his personal action, and some such cases occurred under both administrations. The orders issued were actually the President's orders. No matter by whom suggested or by whom formulated, they were in their final form understandingly dictated by the President, and sent to the army in his name by the commanding ge
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