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HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI,
Dear Brother :
I am in possession of all the news up to date, the passage of the impeachment, resolution, etc., but I yet don't know if the nomination of T. Ewing, Senior, was a real thing or meant to compromise a difficulty.
The publication of my short note of January 18th, is nothing to me. I have the original draft which I sent through Grant's hands, with his endorsement back to me. At the time this note must have been given to the reporter, the President had an elaborate letter from me, in which I discussed the whole case, and advised against the very course he has pursued, but I don't want that letter or any other to be drawn out to complicate a case already bad enough.
You may always safely represent me by saying that I will not make up a final opinion till called on to act, and I want nothing to do with these controversies
The trouble which President Johnson had been having with Mr. Stanton ended in the appointment of General Lorenzo Thomas as Secretary of War ad interim. This resulted in the articles of impeachment and trial of the President before the Senate. The final vote showed less than two-thirds for conviction, and so the President was acquitted. Mr. Stanton resigned, and General Schofield was made Secretary of War.
until the time comes for the actual fight, which I hope to God may be avoided. If the Democratic party intend to fight on this impeachment, which I believe they do not, you may count 200,000 men against you in the South. The negroes are no match for them. On this question, the whites there will be more united than on the old issue of Union and Secession. I do not think the President should be suspended during trial, and if possible, the Republican party should not vote on all side questions as a unit. They should act as judges, and not as partisans. The vote in the House, being a strictly party vote, looks bad, for it augurs a prejudiced jury. Those who adhere closest to the law in this crisis are the best patriots. Whilst the floating politicians here share the excitement at Washington, the people generally manifest little interest in the game going on at Washington. . . .
- William Sherman