The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals

By George Fort Milton | Go to book overview

XXVII. LAST MONTHS IN THE WHITE HOUSE

A FEW hours after the Senate's adjournment sine die as a Court of Impeachment, Edwin M. Stanton wrote this note to the President:

Sir: The resolution of the Senate of the United
States, of the 21st of February last, declaring that the
President "has no power to remove the Secretary of
War and designate any other officer to perform the
duties of that office ad interim," having this day failed
to be supported by two-thirds of the Senators present
and voting on the articles of impeachment preferred
against you by the House of Representatives, I have
relinquished charge of the War Department and have
left the same and the books, archives, papers, and the
property heretofore in my custody as Secretary of
War in care of Brevet Major General Townsend, sub-
ject to your direction.

Then he instructed Townsend to take charge of the Department, "subject to the disposal and directions of the President," dispatched that officer to the White House with his letter, gathered his personal belongings, and withdrew from his battlements. No word of response came from the White House. Johnson was of course happy to be rid of this thorn in his side, but he was determined not to recognize the treacherous minister, even in his reluctant exit. Stanton went out, Welles believed, "without respect, except on the part of ignorant and knavish partisans."1

The next day the President had an order drawn under which the Secretary of State was "authorized and empowered to perform the duties of Secretary of War temporarily, according to law," but it was not issued. Lorenzo Thomas, who remained in title the Secretary of War ad interim, was still fluttering about the White House, but he received no fresh directions to take over Stanton's abandoned citadel.

General Schofleld's nomination had been sent to the Senate a month before. But that body was loath to act upon it, because it read that Schofield had been nominated "in place of

-633-

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The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgment ix
  • I. War-Time Washington 1
  • Ii. Plot and Counterplot 16
  • III- the National Union Convention 37
  • Iv. the Bound Boy of Raleigh 59
  • V. the Tailor-Politician 74
  • Vt. "In the Furnace of Treason" 98
  • Vii. on the Ticket with Lincoln 120
  • Ix. President Andrew Johnson 160
  • X. the Trial of Mrs. Surratt 190
  • Xi. the Lull Before the Storm 213
  • Xii. Charles Sumner Declares War 236
  • Xiii. the Triumph of Caliban 262
  • Xiv. Victory at Any Price 293
  • Xv. a Marplot in the Cabinet 320
  • Xvi. the Swing Around the Circle 344
  • Xvii. Bayonet Rule by Act Of Congress 370
  • Xix. Johnson Crosses the Rubicon 426
  • Xx. General Grant Breaks His Word 457
  • Xxi. the Impeachment of The President 486
  • Xxii. Preparing for the Trial 515
  • Xxiii. Impartial Court Or Political Inquest? 541
  • Xxiv. Sound and Fury 566
  • Xxvii. Last Months in the White House 633
  • Xviii. the Tennessee Epilogue 654
  • Appendix - Authorities Consulted and Cited In This Volume 677
  • Notes 685
  • Index 755
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