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almost anything else that would have given stable government there.
Q. In reference to the amnesty proclamation, I wish to know whether you ever gave your opinion to the President as to whether it was too liberal or not liberal enough in its clauses? A. I think I have answered that question pretty fully. When the proclamation was published, I told the President that there were two points on which I disagreed with him—that is, as to excluding volunteer generals, and as to the $20,000 clause. I do not say anything as to whether the rest of it was too liberal or too stringent. I can state what I thought about it, but not what I said about it.
By Mr. Churchill: Q.What paper was that? A. The North Carolina proclamation.
By Mr. Boutwell: Q. You understood that Mr. Lincoln's plan was temporary, to be either confirmed or a new government set up by Congress? A. Yes; and I understood Mr. Johnson's to be so too.
By Mr. Williams: Q. Was there anything said on that subject, or was that your inference? A. That was my inference.
Q. You never heard the President say the plan was to be temporary? A. No; but I was satisfied that everybody looked on it as simply temporary until Congress met.
Q. You stated that the North Carolina proclamation was a continuation of the project submitted by Mr. Lincoln. I wish to inquire of you whether you ever compared them to ascertain whether they were the same or not? A. No, sir; I never compared them. I took them to be the very same papers. The papers were substantially the same, if not the very same.
Q. I wish to know whether, at or about the time of the war being ended, you advised the President that it was, in your judgment, best to extend a liberal policy towards the people of the South, and to restore as speedily as possible the fraternal relations which existed prior to the war between the two sections? A. I know that immediately after the close of the rebellion there was a very fine feeling manifested in the South, and I thought we ought to take advantage of it as soon as possible; but since that there has been an evident change there. I may have ex-ing pressed my views to the President.
Q. What is your recollection in reference to that? A. I may have done so, and it is probable that I did; I do not recollect particularly. I know that I conversed with the President very frequently. I do not suppose that there were any persons engaged in that consultation who thought of what was being done at that time as being lasting any longer than until Congress would meet and either ratify that or establish some other form of government. I know it never crossed my mind that what was being done was anything more than temporary. By Mr. Churchill: Q You understood that to be the view of the President? A. I understood that to be the view of the President and of everybody else. I did not know of any difference of opinion on that subject.
Q. Did you understand that to be his view as other proclamations appeared from time to time? A. I cannot say as to that. It would seem that he was very anxious to have Congress ratify his own views.
By Mr. Woodbridge: Q. I understood you to say that Mr. Lincoln, prior to his assassination, had inaugurated a policy intended to restore those governments? A. Yes, sir.
Q. You were present when the subject was before the cabinet? A. I was present, I think, twice before the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, when a plan was read.
Q. I want to know whether the plan adopted by Mr. Johnson was substantially the plan which had been inaugurated by Mr. Lincoln as the basis for his future action? A. Yes, sir, substantially. I do not know but that it was verbatim the same.
Q. I suppose the very paper of Mr. Lincoln was the one acted on? A. I should think so. I think that the very paper which I heard read twice while Mr. Lincoln was President was the one which was carried right through.
RECALLED AND EXAMINED, JULY 20, 1867.
By Mr. Boutwell: Q. Do you recollect havan interview with the President in company with General Hillyer, on the return of General Hillyer from the South? A. Since my attention was called to it I do. I did not remember it, when I gave my testimony the last day here.
Q. What is your recollection of what trans. pired and was said at that interview? A. My recollection is that General Hillyer called to explain to the President what he had seen in tho South, and what he had heard of the views and opinions of the people there; and that what he had seen was an acquiescence on the part of the southern people, and favorable to peace, harmony, and good will. That was said in general terms, but the language I do not remember.
Q. Do you recollect whether, at that interview, there was any expression by the President as to any political policy? A. No, sir, I do not; I remember General Hillyer said something of having been invited to make a speech in New York, or some place, I do not remember where, and that he should do so, and send me a copy of his speech. I am very sure that he mentioned that in the presence of the President. What he said in that speech I do not remember now, but I presume the speech could be procured. I remember that General Hillyer gave the substance of what leading men said to him in the South. He particularly mentioned Judge Hale, of Alabama. He said that Judge Hale very candidly said that when they went into the rebellion they took their lives, property, &c., in their hands, and that when they were defeated, they should accept such conditions as the government chose to give; and that they claim now that what they did they did in good faith, and would not take it back again. Judge Hale claimed no right whatever after the failure of the rebellion, except such as was granted to them. That was the point he made. The conversation was made up considerably of instances of that sort. I recollect his mentioning meeting a special party in Mobile, and what occurred there.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, June 13, 1865. LEE, GENERAL R. E.-For benefits, and full restoration of all rights and privileges extended to those included in amnesty proclamation of the President of 29th May, 1865.
HEADQ'RS ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, 16th June, 1865. Respectfully forwarded through the Secretary of War to the President, with earnest recommendation that the application of General ert E. Lee for amnesty and pardon may be granted him.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 12, 1866. PICKETT, GENERAL GEORGE E.-Presents history of his case, refers to surrender and agreement of April 9, 1865, and asks for protection from prosecution for treason.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES UNITED STATES, March 16, 1866. Respectfully forwarded to his excellency the President of the United States, with the recomRob-mendation that clemency be extended in this case, or assurance given that no trial will take place for the offence charged against George E. Pickett.
The oath of allegiance, required by recent order of the President to accompany application, does not accompany this, for the reason, as I am informed by General Ord, the order requiring it had not reached Richmond when this was forwarded. U.S. GRANT, Lieutenant General.
RICHMOND, VA., June 13, 1865. LEE, GENERAL ROBERT E.-Understanding that he and other officers are to be indicted by grand jury at Norfolk, Virginia, states his readiness to be brought to trial, but had supposed the terms of his surrender protected him; therefore prays, &c.
HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, 16th June, 1865. In my opinion, the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court House, and since, upon the same terms given to Lee, cannot be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith as well as true policy dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention. But faith on the part of the government, or a construction of that convention subjecting officers to trial for treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If so disposed they might even regard such an infraction of terms by the government as an entire release from all obligations on their part.
I will state, further, that the terms granted by me met with the hearty approval of the President at the time, and of the people generally.
The action of Judge Underwood in Norfolk has had an injurious effect, and I would ask that he be ordered to quash all indictments found against paroled prisoners of war, and to desist from further prosecution of them.
U. S. GRANT, Lieut. General.
[Cipher.] HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, May 6, 1865-1 P. M.
Major General HALLECK,
Richmond, Virginia. Since receipt of your despatch of 3d, I think it will be advisable to leave Hunter alone for the present.
Although it would meet with opposition in the North to allow Lee the benefit of amnesty, I think it would have the best possible effect towards restoring good feeling and peace in the South to have him come in. All the people except a few political leaders in the South will accept whatever he docs as right, and will be guided to a great extent by his example.
U. S. GRANT, Lieut. General.
During the rebellion belligerent rights were acknowledged to the enemies of our country, and it is clear to me that the parole given by the armies, laying down their arms, protects them against punishment for acts lawful to any other belligerent. In this case, I know it is claimed that the men tried and convicted for crime of desertion were Union men from North Carolina who had found refuge within our lines and in our service. The punishment was a hard one, but it was in time of war, and upon the enemy; they no doubt felt it necessary to retain by some power the service of every man
within their reach.
General Pickett I know, personally, to be an honorable man, but in this case his judgment prompted him to do what cannot well be sustained, though I do not see how good, either to the friends of the deceased, or by fixing an example for the future, can be secured by his trial now. It would only open up the question whether or not the government did not disregard its contract entered into to secure the surrender of an armed enemy. U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant General.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, March 26, 1866. BEALL, W. H. R.-Application for pardon. HEADQUARTERS ARMIES UNITED STATES, 2d April, 1866. President, through the honorable Secretary of Respectfully submitted to his excellency the
War, and recommended.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant General.
RECALLED AND EXAMINED, JULY 18, 1867. By Mr. Thomas: Q. Did the President propose, at any time, to use the military power for the adjustment of the controversy in Baltimore between the police commissioners appointed by Governor Swann and those who claimed authority independent of Governor Swann? A. I understood that he wanted to use it, and I called his attention to the law on the subject, which changed his views and determination evidently. I called his attention to the only circumstances in which the military forces of the United States can be called out to interfere in State matters. It was his intention to send troops there to enable Governor Swann, as he termed it, to enforce his decision in the case of those police commissioners.
Q. Did the President, on account of your opinion, change that purpose? A. I made a communication to him on the subject, which led to the Attorney General giving an opinion as to the power to use the military forces of the
United States to interfere in State affairs; and that led to a change of what was intended to be done. After this whole question was settled as to sending the military there, there were six companies of new troops organized in New York harbor, which belonged to regiments south of here, and I ordered them to their regiments, and to stop at Fort McHenry on their way down, in order to keep them there until after the election, with a view to have a force there in case there was a bloody riot.
Q. Do I understand you to say that the President changed his purpose in that respect before the difficulty had been adjusted in Baltimore? A. Yes, sir.
Q. That was in accord with your opinion, endorsed by the Attorney General? A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. Williams: Q. Have you a copy of the letter addressed by you to the President? A. I have a copy of everything official except conversation.
(Witness was directed to furnish the official documents on the subject.)
By Mr. Thomas: Q. Did the President signify his wish concerning the army in writing or verbally? A. Verbally and in writing.
Q. Were you sent for formally? A. Yes, sir. I was sent for several times-twice, I think, while Governor Swann was there in consultation with the President. Finding that the President wanted to send the military to Baltimore, I objected to it.
Q. Are you distinct in your recollection as to when the President acquiesced in your views? A. It was prior to the election, two or three days. When the matter was left entirely with me, I ordered those troops down to join their regiments, and to halt at Fort McHenry until after the election.
Q. Was it before or after the arrest of the commissioners appointed by Governor Swann, that the President withdrew his request to you to use the army in that controversy? A. I cannot state precisely as to that. It was before I ordered the troops from New York. What took place was in conversation, until I found that there was rather a determination to send troops there, and then I communicated officially to the Secretary of War my objection to using troops in that way. That called out the opinion of the Attorney General, and it was then that what I proposed was acquiesced in. I thought this was in writing, but do not find the paper.
ment of it? A. Yes, sir. I sent General Canby to Baltimore, and went there twice myself, and had troops stop there on their way to the South. Q. It was entirely within your control? A. Yes, sir.
By the Chairman: Q. They were solely for the purpose of being used in the case of a riot? A. Solely for that purpose.
By Mr. Marshall: Q Merely as a police force? A. Yes, sir.
I desire to make the following explanation of my evidence: On examination of the record I find there is more matter, in writing, from the President than, from memory, I thought there was. Also, that I have either misplaced or never wrote objections which I made verbally to what was asked of the President by Governor Swann, of Maryland, in the way of services of United States troops, and which the President seemed desirous of giving. Governor Swann visited the President, to my knowledge, (how often I do not know,) before the trial of the Baltimore police commissioners, to get the promise of military aid in case he should remove them. During the trial, and before the promulgation of his findings, he also visited the President for the same purpose. At least once before the trial, and once during the progress of the trial of the police commissioners, I was sent for to meet Governor Swann at the Executive mansion. Much was said by me on those occasions, but, as before stated, I have confused, in my evidence, what was verbal with what was written.
(The documents following are on pages 37, 38.) General Grant on the Removal of General Sheridan and Secretary Stanton. 1.-PRESIDENT JOHNSON TO GENERAL GRANT. EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1867. DEAR SIR: Before you issue instructions to carry into effect the enclosed order I would be pleased to hear any suggestions you may deem necessary respecting the assignments to which the order refers. Truly, yours,
General U. S. GRANT,
Secretary of War ad interim.
2. THE PRESIDENT'S ORDER. EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1867. Major General Geo. H. Thomas is hereby as
By Mr. Marshall: Q. The President seemed to think he had a right to send the army undersigned to the command of the fifth military disthe circumstances? A. Yes, sir; he seemed to
Q. After you sent your written communication, giving your views in reference to it, the President then left the subject entirely in your hands? A. Yes, sir; he left it entirely in my hands. I think that is in writing.
(Witness was directed to furnish a copy of the communication.)
By Mr. Eldridge: Q. That was a formal withdrawal of his first opinion? A. Yes, sir. I think I was sent a copy of the Attorney General's opinion as a sort of order in the matter, virtually leaving it to me.
Q. After that time you did have the manage
trict, created by the act of Congress passed on the 2d day of March, 1867.
Major General P. A Sheridan is hereby assigned to the command of the department of
assigned to the command of the department of Major General Winfield S. Hancock is hereby the Cumberland.
The Secretary of War ad interim will give the necessary instructions to carry this order into effect. ANDREW JOHNSON. 3.-GENERAL GRANT TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON. HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1867. SIR: I am in receipt of your order of this
date, directing the assignment of General G. H. Thomas to the command of the fifth military district, General Sheridan to the department of the Missouri, and General Hancock to the department of the Cumberland; also of your note of this date, (enclosing these instructions,) saying: "Before you issue instructions to carry into effect the enclosed order, I would be pleased to hear any suggestions you may deem necessary respecting the assignments to which the order refers."
I am pleased to avail myself of this invitation to urge, earnestly urge, urge in the name of a patriotic people who have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of loyal lives, and thousands of millions of treasure to preserve the integrity and union of this country, that this order be not insisted on. It is unmistakably the expressed wish of the country that General Sheridan should not be removed from his present command.
This is a republic where the will of the people is the law of the land. I beg that their voice may be heard.
General Sheridan has performed his civil duties faithfully and intelligently. His removal will only be regarded as an effort to defeat the laws of Congress. It will be interpreted by the unreconstructed element in the South, those who did all they could to break up this government by arms, and now wish to be the only element consulted as to the method of restoring order, as a triumph. It will embolden them to renewed opposition to the will of the loyal masses, believing that they have the Executive with
The services of General Thomas in battling for the Union entitle him to some consideration. He has repeatedly entered his protest against being assigned to either oft he five military districts, and especially to being assigned to relieve
There are military reasons, pecuniary reasons, and above all patriotic reasons, why this should not be insisted upon.
I beg to refer to a letter marked "private" which I wrote to the President, when first consulted on the subject of the change in the War Department. It bears upon the subject of this removal, and I had hoped would have prevent
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant, U. S. GRANT,
desired? It certainly was the intention of the legislative branch of government to place cabinet ministers beyond the power of executive removal, and it is pretty well understood that, so far as cabinet ministers are affected by the "tenure-of-office bill," it was intended specially to protect the Secretary of War, whom the country felt great confidence in. The meaning of the law may be explained away by an astute lawyer, but common sense and the views of loyal people will give to it the effect intended by its
On the subject of the removal of the very able commander of the fifth military district, let me ask you to consider the effect it would have upon the public. He is universally and deservedly beloved by the people who sustained this government through its trials, and feared by those who would still be enemies of the government. It fell to the lot of but few men to do as much against an armed enemy as General Sheridan did during the rebellion, and it is within the scope of the ability of but few in this or other country to do what he has. His civil administration has given equal satisfaction. He has had difficulties to contend with which no other district commander has encountered. Almost if trict commander to the present time, the press not quite from the day he was appointed dishas given out that he was to be removed; that the administration was dissatisfied with him, &c. This has emboldened the opponents to the laws of Congress within his command to oppose him necessary measures which otherwise may never in every way in their power, and has rendered have been necessary. In conclusion, allow me
General U. S. A., Secretary of War ad interim.to say, as a friend desiring peace and quiet, the His Excellency A. JOHNSON,
President of the United States.
HEADO'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 1, 1867. SIR: I take the liberty of addressing you privately on the subject of the conversation we had this morning, feeling, as I do, the great danger to the welfare of the country should you carry out the designs then expressed.
First. On the subject of the displacement of the Secretary of War. His removal cannot be effected against his will without the consent of the Senate. It is but a short time since the United States Senate was in session, and why ot then have asked for his removal if it was
welfare of the whole country North and South, that it is in my opinion more than the loyal people of this country (I mean those who supported the government during the great rebellion) will quietly submit to, to see the very men of all others whom they have expressed confidence in removed.
I would not have taken the liberty of addressing the Executive of the United States thus but for the conversation on the subject alluded to in this letter, and from a sense of duty, feeling that I know I am right in this matter. With great respect, your obedient servant, U. S. GRANT, General His Excellency A. JOHNSON, President of the United States.
6.-PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S MODIFICATION OF THE
HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, August 22, 1867. In view of the precarious condition of General Thomas's health, as represented in the within despatch of Surgeon Hasson, General Thomas will, until further orders, remain in command of the department of the Cumberland. AUGUST 23, 1867. ANDREW JOHNSON.
7.-GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL SHERIDAN. [By Telegraph, in cipher.]
HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D. C, August 24, 1867. General Thomas's orders to relieve you are suspended for the present. Orders will be sent by mail. Relax nothing in consequence of bable change of commands.
apply to offences committed prior to the close
2. GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL SHERIDAN. HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 18, 1866.
Major General SHERIDAN,
New Orleans, Louisiana. Instructions to General Foster given some months ago prevent citizens of Florida appealing to other than the United States courts for pro-recovery of property sold for taxes. Those instructions will be now annulled, and purchasers will look to civil courts and the civil rights bill for protection. U. S. GRANT, General.
U. S. GRANT, General.
Maj. Gen. P. H. SHERIDAN,
New Orleans, Louisiana.
8.-PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S SECOND MODIFICATION
OF THE ORDER.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 26, 1867. SIR: In consequence of the unfavorable condition of the health of Major General George H. Thomas, as reported to you in Surgeon Has son's despatch of the 21st instant, my order dated August 17, 1867, is hereby modified so as to assign Major General Winfield S. Hancock to the command of the fifth military district, created by the act of Congress passed March 2, 1867, and of the military department comprising the States of Louisiana and Texas. On being relieved from the command of the department of the Missouri by Major General P. H. Sheridan, Major General Hancock will proceed directly to New Orleans, Louisiana, and assuming the command to which he is hereby assigned, will, when necessary to a faithful execution of the laws, exerc se any and all powersconferred by acts of Congress upon district commanders, and any and all authority pertaining to officers in command of military depart-ments.
Major General P. H. Sheridan will at once turn over his present command to the officer next in rank to himself, and proceeding without delay to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, will relieve Major General Hancock of the command of the department of the Missouri.
Major General George H. Thomas will, until further orders, remain in command of the department of the Cumberland. Very respectfully, yours, General U. S. GRANT,
Secretary of War ad interim. General Grant's Orders and Telegrams to Military Commanders in the Unreconstructed
1.-GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL FOSTER, RE
SPECTING GENERAL ORDER 44.*
HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 7, 1866. Major General J. G. FOSTER, Tullahoma, Fla. General Order No. 44* is not intended to
See page 122 of Manual of 1866.
3.-GENERAL GRANT TO SECRETARY STANTON. HEADQ'RS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, November 22, 1956. Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
Enclosed please find copy of a communication addressed to Major General Sheridan, under date of October 17, 1866, giving my construction of the President's proclamations upon certain military orders. The construction is the same that I understood you to entertain at the time. The orders referred to have not yet been revoted, nor has any construction of the effect of the President's proclamation upon these orders been officially announced to any but General Sheridan's command.
I would therefore submit whether my construction of the proclamation as above stated is correct, so that we may have a uniformity of action upon this matter throughout the different commands.
It is evident to my mind that the provisions of the civil rights bill cannot be properly enforced without the aid of Order No. 44, or a similar one. Even in the State of Kentucky,
General Jeff. C. Davis states that he cannot e
force it without the aid of this order.
U. S. GRANT, General.
To the foregoing communication no answer was ever received; but in answer to a Senate resolution, dated January 8, 1867, asking for information in relation to violations of the act United States in their civil rights and furnish entitled "An act to protect all persons in the the means of their vindication," and what step had been taken to enforce the same, the Presi dent with his message of February 19, 1867, submitted, among other papers, Order No. 44, which led me to suppose that he regarded it a still in force. At this time Congress was discussing and maturing plans of legislation for the maintenance and enforcement of law and order in the States lately in rebellion. I therefore deemed it unnecessary to take further action in the premises, but await the result of congress. ional action.
The preceding correspondence and orders show briefly and generally the condition of the fifth military district (Florida, Texas, and Louisiana)