August 9, 1867
Radicals and Democrats both fear that General Sheridan may be removed from his position, but for very different reasons.The Radicals wish to use the act against the President and in favor of Sheridan, for his future endeavors.The Democrats fear that if he is removed, he will be in a position to become president.Both dislike Stanton and wish that he be removed, however, that is impossible.
General Sheridan. The gentle commander of the District of Louisiana and Texas occupies the very enviable position of seeing friend and foe harmoniously exerting their influence to ward off the blow which threatens to fall upon his head. Radical and Democrat, southerner and northerner, all either bitterly inveigh or earnestly remonstrate against his removal from his present position. The motives which actuate the different parties are widely different; but they are in harmonious opposition to the act. The Radicals are obliged, for consistency, to oppose it, that they may use the act, if accomplished, against the President and in behalf of Sheridan. The Democrats are alarmed lest it should make Sheridan President. And the poor southerners are afraid that his removal may be made the pretext for Radical measures inflicting upon them still further oppressions and disabilities. So that "little Phil." has his fill of satisfaction, and may be utterly indifferent as to what the President does. His attitude is far more enviable than that of Mr. Stanton, who resembles more a cross dog who has gotten the mastery of the premises, and who obeys no one. All desire him away, and none have the power to remove him; while there are no sympathies anywhere for him, however affected some may be towards the household; because all know he can't be hurt much, any way, and if he were, it's no great matter. It is a bad business when a man has no sympathies and nobody has any sympathies with him. Now, nobody is afraid that Mr. Stanton will be President, and nobody hopes that he will. His prospect can't be mended by leaving his post, and can't be worsted by holding on to it. In short, it might be truly said that it were better to be Sheridan than Stanton; and we do not know that anything can be added. The truth is, the attitude of the President towards these distinguised persons is a painful illustration of the utter helplessness to which the presidential office has been brought by the Congress. The long hesitation of the President to act in each case, while somewhat unaccountable, has but diminished his power to act and the propriety of acting even if he had the power.
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“General Sheridan,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 1, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/686.