Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 1862 (Friday): Stanton Sees The War's End

Stanton's Wartime Home-K Street, Washington, D.C.

Congratulatory letter from Honorable E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

WASHINGTON CITY, April 27, 1862
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Yorktown:
    I am rejoiced to learn that your operations are progressing so rapidly and with so much spirit and success, and congratulate you and the officers and soldiers engaged upon the brilliant affair mentioned in your telegrams.
Repeating the assurance the everything in the power of this Department is at your service, I hope soon to congratulate you upon a splendid victory, that shall be the finishing stroke of the war. In every quarter the work seems to go bravely on.
Yours, truly,


Series I., Vol. 11, Part 1, Page 383.

It is easy to see Stanton's message to McClellan in light of what would happen during the remainder of the the Peninsula Campaign.  But, given the size of McClellan's force and the string of Union successes during the spring of 62' it was understandable the end of the war, if not in sight, was at least imaginable to the administration.  Stanton was a controversial figure, and his attempted firing by Andrew Johnson lead to Johnson's impeachment trail.  After Johnson was impeached, Stanton returned to the practice of law, but was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Grant and confirmed by Congress in 1869.  He died four days later, before taking office, and thus is not considered to have served as a justice.

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