The Turning Out and Putting in
April 6, 1868
Governor Peirpoint is vacating his office. The Dispatch is surprised by this as it is very fond of Governor Peirpoint who was able to pass the iron-clad oath and made a sincere effort to appease the Republicans.
The Turning Out and Putting In. The work goes bravely on. It is no matter how or why-the thing is done in conformity to the original purpose and intent. The General in command announces from "these headquarters" the changes; and that's enough. This ought to have been foreseen by all. They are in conformity with the "logic of events." We confess to some surprise that Governor Peirpoint has gone off, like St. Denis, with his head under his arm. We considered that probably his was the only office which would not be brought under the demand for revolution. He was an "iron-clad," and had done enough, everybody supposed, to keep in the good graces of the dominant party. He adopted its policy and its faith out and out. He had even carried his zeal to the extent of deploring the disloyalty of the churches, and setting on foot measures to purify southern piety by making it more in accordance with the reconstruction laws! The Rev. Mr. Mitchell, chaplain of the Convention, and the guest of the Government House, was deputed to carry out this labor of love-this work of purifying the worship of a people who at their altars had forgotten the flag and the "life of the nation" in a wayward abstraction about their eternal salvation. In this Governor Peirpoint had signalized his devotion to the politico-religious faith of the Republican party, and especially merited the approbation of the Simon-pures of the Wilson-Boutwell-Farnham wing of the ruling power. If Governor Peirpoint had in this way entitled himself to the reward of Radical approbation he had, on the other hand, done some acts of kindness towards the State and the prostrate Confederates, just after the war, that deserved their grateful remembrance. We are clear for awarding him this meed of praise. He did much that entitles him to gratitude. Unfortunately, he allowed his course to be checquered subsequently by a divided and equivocal manifestation both of policy and sentiment that impaired his standing on both sides. His last year's stump campaign was damaging to himself and beneficial to none. His incertitude and wavering has probably ended in his removal ; for something is evidently at fault behind the scenes. He is a man of good, kind disposition and much practical good sense, and not a great deal of decision of character. This is a sort of obituary of the distinguished Governor, as it well may be; for he dies by the sword, and will not soon be resurrected. "We rather like the Governor, and desire that he may be well in the world; but we cannot say that we arc much moved by the events which send him to the delightful precincts of Fairmont, with its green fields and lovely prospects. We should think it rather a blessing than an affliction to be turned out of office and retired to such a paradise. When Governor Peirpoint compares his fate with that of his unhappy comrades in banishment from office, he may well return thanks in hymns of joy for the kind dispensation which relieves him from the office of Governor of Virginia at a time like this, and permits him to enjoy the bright scenes, green meads, and sweet waters of Marion. Farewell, Governor! In the filling the places which he vacates General Schofield seems to exercise his best judgment. The appointments are the best, we suppose, that can well be made under the iron-clad oath. That they will afford entire satisfaction to the Republican party in this city we have no idea; but that will not be at all to the discredit of General Schofield. We apprehend a howl from Hunnicutt Hall. The prophet of that conclave of sable spirits will probably put forth a new jeremiad on the subject of "copperhead " promotions. But Hunnicutt is doomed. The sword is at his throat. It is not all disagreeable to us, nor, indeed, should it be to anyone, that there is now a forward movement in the line of policy established by the dominant party. It augurs a more expeditious march through the wilderness in which we now wander, and a more speedy arrival in the country of rest, order, and peace. The offices must be in Radical hands, and the presidential election must be over, before we can hail this happy day.
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“The Turning Out and Putting in,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 19, 2019, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/963.