STANTON had few friends, and even fewer employees in whom he could absolutely trust. In the emergency following Lincoln's death he carefully placed his most loyal assistants where they could aid him best.
One of these men was Major Thomas T. Eckert, whom he had promoted from captain to brigadier general and on whose devotion he could depend. Eckert was the man who had refused to accompany Lincoln to the theater. Now there was plenty of confidential work for him at the Capital. It was in his custody, for instance, that Lewis Paine was placed until the day of his execution. With this conspirator, who probably knew more than any other, Eckert kept vigil for days, remaining with him almost constantly.1 One would think that an ordinary detective should have been able to fill this post of observation. Why an assistant secretary of war was assigned to it remains unexplained.
Another man on whose blind allegiance Stanton could count was Charles A. Dana. On April 1, 1862, Dana had resigned his position as an editor of the New York Tribune.2 Stanton, who was then laying the foundation for his censorship of the press, perceived the value of having a trained journalist on his secretarial staff, and immediately engaged his services. That Dana was on bad terms with Stanton's untiring critic Greeley, and that he belonged to a faction opposed to Seward, may have had some in-____________________