"The New Proclamation of War"

August 26, 1867


The Dispatch comments on The New York Tribune's newest article that states that President Johnson created a disruption by removing General Sheridan.They state that the Republican party will be angry and make "war" in Congress because Sheridan's Reconstruction plan was Radical and favored by them.This is why Johnson was concerned, as Johnson's plan for presidential reconstruction was vastly different.


"The New Proclamation of War!" Under this head the New York Tribune has a defiant article, in which it declares that President Johnson has made war upon Congress by the removal of Sheridan, and it calls the Radical party "to arms." It says "it is not by compromise that this war of principles can be ended. No Johnson convention, no cringing of weak Republicans can avail." It says that President Johnson discovered in Sheridan "the Republican idea made tangible " (i. e., through that General's reconstruction measures), "and he struck that idea down." In this it proclaims that Andrew Johnson has "successfully defied the Republican party," has "deliberately struck it in the face," and asks if that party will "rest satisfied with his triumph." These defiant speeches foretoken bloody doings! But the Tribune does not fail to discover in the movements of President Johnson very much more of "courage and ability than people had supposed him to possess "; and adds: "It was a masterstroke to bring Grant into his Cabinet. The appointment of Thomas was an excellent plan to enable such papers as the Times to divert the attention of the country from the infamy of the removal of Sheridan. It was equally shrewd to send him to fight the Indians, that all journals of the kind might fall into raptures to see the hero of Five Forks once more at the head of an army." With all its boldness and defiance the Tribune evidently sees that thus far there is not much to be made out of Mr. Johnson's reforms, and, like Mark Meddle, is anxious that the provocation shall become more fundamentally aggravating. It is anxious to see the peerless Sickles and others sent adrift. It is smart enough to see that Sheridan, considered President-wise, is a "small potato," and that nothing can be made "out of him," and precious little "over him" or about him, in the scurvy political war now proclaimed to be begun afresh. The extent of our interest as rebels in the conflicts of party at the North cannot now be defined; and we can only go on quietly conforming to the reconstruction programme. Nevertheless, in these days a lively conflict is more or less exciting to all people.
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“"The New Proclamation of War",” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 26, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/697.