Ulysses S. Grant: Politician

By William B. Hesseltine | Go to book overview

Chapter IV An Ear to the Ground

"OH, General, horrors upon horrors accumulate," wrote a Louisiana carpetbagger to Ben Butler as he related the gory details of how "the Rebel Mayor John G. Monro armed his Rebel Police with Revolvers and Bowie knives and privately ordered them to go and massacre" the loyal men of New Orleans. "We are determined," he wrote bitterly, "to be avenged as soon as we can procure arms there friend Andrew Johnson can not save them the time has arrived that we must fight it out and God help Andrew Johnson and Seward if we succeed, they must and shall be made responsible for this Whole sale massacre. Oh, for a Butler here now. . . . You must rouse the Northern mind against this massacre, confer with Thadd Stevens, Sumner, Boutwell, Wade, Colfax, Wendall Phillips. . . . Genl Grant must be told not to listen to the cowardly dog Andrew Johnson."1

In this letter was forecast much of the Radical program for the fateful summer and fall of 1866. The riot in New Orleans, just at the time Congress was adjourning, and a similar riot in Memphis, in April, served as political capital for Radical orators. Everywhere the Northern people discovered evidence that the South was seething with violence and disloyalty. Northern visitors to the South wrote back letters with harrowing details of the Southerners' bitterness. Loyalists in the South indited strange stories of new rebel plots,2 and carpetbaggers kept their old neighbors informed on Southern conditions. " Texas is in quite as unsettled and revolutionary a condition as it was in 1861," wrote a Texan who thought that "universal suffrage" presented the only hope for "security and peace."3 In New Orleans, "Union men" petitioned Congress to protect them from the scorn and villification of the "returned rebels and traitors." "We would prefer to return them their arms and fight them in the open field," said the petitioners, "than thus to permit them under protection of our govt to assume to dictate and govern us."4 In Virginia, loyalists found the State in the hands of

____________________
1
C. C. Morgan to Butler, August 9, 1866, Butler MSS.
2
Comstock MSS. Diary. Jan. 20, to February 2, 1866.
3
Wm. Alexander, ( Austin) to Geo. Gibbs, ( Boston) June 28, 1866, Butler MSS.
4
"Union Man" to Butler, August 24, 1866, Butler MSS.

-70-

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Ulysses S. Grant: Politician
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I Forty Years of Failure 1
  • Chapter II Success 19
  • Chapter III the Strategy of Peace 48
  • Chapter IV an Ear to the Ground 70
  • Chapter V Joining the Radical Church 89
  • Chapter VI Grant Acts, Seymour Talks, Blair Blows 112
  • Chapter VII Rumors of Reform 132
  • Chapter VIII the First Clash 145
  • Chapter IX "Policy Enough for the Present" 157
  • Chapter X Midsummer Fantasy 169
  • Chapter XI the End of Reconstruction 180
  • Chapter XII Tarnished Halo 190
  • Chapter XIV Smoke Screen 220
  • Chapter XV Hydra Head 238
  • Chapter XVI Political Fagots 252
  • Chapter XVII the Election of 1872 269
  • Chapter XVIII Life in the White House 291
  • Xix Public Confidence 308
  • Chapter XX Inflation or Resumption? 327
  • Chapter XXI White Supremacy 341
  • Chapter XXII Politics of Depression 359
  • Chapter XXIII a Reformer in the Cabinet 375
  • Chapter XXIV Political Free-For-All 389
  • Chapter XXV a Disturbed Exit 405
  • Chapter XXVI a Political Resurrection 424
  • Chapter XXVII Peace 444
  • Bibliography 453
  • Index 461
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