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UNITED STATES SENATE CHAMBER,
Dear Brother : It is now wise for you to avoid all expressions of political opinion. Congress and the President are drifting from each other into open warfare. Congress is not weak in what it has done, but in what it has failed to do. It has adopted no unwise or extreme measures. The Civil Rights Bill and constitutional amendments can be defended as reasonable, moderate, and in harmony with Johnson's old position and yours. As Congress has thus far failed to provide measures to allow legal senators and representatives to take their seats, it has failed in a plain duty. This is its weakness ; but even in this it will have the sympathy of the most of the soldiers, and the people who are not too eager to secure rebel political power. As to the President, he is becoming Tylerized. He was elected by the Union party for his openly expressed radical sentiments, and now he seeks to rend to pieces this party. There is a sentiment among the people that this is dishonor. It looks so to me. What Johnson is, is from and by the Union party. He now deserts it and betrays it. He may varnish it up, but, after all, he must admit that he disappoints the reasonable expectations of those who entrusted him with power. He may, by a coalition with Copperheads and rebels, succeed, but the simple fact that nine tenths of them who voted for him do not agree with him, and that he only controls the other tenth by power entrusted to him by the Union party will damn him forever. Besides, he is insincere; he has deceived and misled his best friends. I know he led many to believe he would agree to the Civil Rights Bill, and nearly all who conversed with him until within a few days believed he would acquiesce in the amendments, and even aid in securing their adoption. I almost fear he contemplates civil war. Under these circumstances you, Grant, and Thomas ought to be clear of political complications. As for myself, I intend to stick to finance, but wherever I can will moderate the actions of the Union party, and favor conciliation and restoration. Affectionately yours,
- John Sherman