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Hunt, Henry Jackson (1819-1889) to Henry Knox Craig

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02382.038 Author/Creator: Hunt, Henry Jackson (1819-1889) Place Written: Eastport, Maine Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 March 1868 Pagination: 4 p. ; 20.2 x 25.3 cm.

He comments on Andrew Johnson's pending impeachment trial Says, "It seems to me that it is a predetermination to get rid of Mr. Johnson…and the prospect that the Reconstruction Acts may be declared unconstitutional in the decision on the McCardle case only makes the necessity of his removal greater: I therefore think that the P. [President] will be convicted and removed anyhow: then it will be utterly useless to attempt to get justice as against G. [Grant?] and G. [Grant?] will take precious good care that justice shall not be obtained as against Thomas." Also discusses results of the New Hampshire election, other reconstruction issues, and the "Johnnie Clark[e?] affair." Ex parte McCardle was a Reconstruction-related habeas corpus case that was being heard in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Craig served as Chief of Ordnance 1851-1861. An orphaned native of Detroit, Hunt graduated from West Point in 1839. He took a prominent part in the first campaign of Bull Run, then became chief of artillery of the Washington defenses in charge of training the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac. He remained chief of artillery until June 1864, when Grant put him in charge of all siege operations on the Petersburg front. Hunt was brevetted major general of volunteers for his services at Gettysburg. During Reconstruction he was stationed for much of the time in the South, where he earned a reputation for fairness and moderation.

Eastport: March 12. 1868.
My dear General:
Mary put a P.S. for me in her last letter written just as I received yours requesting that you would do as you thought best about those charges against Thomas.
As things are going I must confess that I see but little chance of obtaining justice from those now in power & position & likely to remain there for a good long time= I was surprised that the House of Reps. should in their sober moments have pushed the impeachment matter but I think I begin to see their game. and none of them would do anything to near it. It seems to me that it is a predetermination to get rid of Mr. Johnson. - Anyhow - And the prospect that the Reconstruction Act maybe de[2]clared unconstitutional in the decision on the McArdle Case only makes the necessity of his removal the greater = I therefore think that the P. will be convicted and removed any-how. Then it will be utterly useless to attempt to get justice as against G and G will take precious good care that justice shall not be obtained as against Thomas.
I see that Schenck's bill on the subject of pay has been presented to the House and ordered to be printed - I will try and have a fair copy made for you of the bill as I prepared it. and my reasons for its adoption. I have made out the best case I can - that members would understand. - but I suppose the amounts I propose will be docked. I should be sorry, but I must confess I am willing to undergo almost any reduction - if it will secure the principle. I counted for and put the whole army staff & live in the same boat where they will work together in future -
[3] I supposed that the charges and expense in Thomas case would perhaps give Genl Schenck a handle in aid of his bill by showing the means those gentlemen in Washington victory would resort to but had resorted to to kill his former bill - Still look at the matter in all its bearings and do as you think best.
We have been much disturbed by "Johnnie" Clarks" affair, It is strange that a man could go on for years involving himself by spending more than his pay when he had no reserve but I dare say that "any thing" for peace in a household has ruined many a man. I hope I do no injustice to innocent parties.
The cold weather is broken, and I hope we may have an earlier spring than usual in this country. Yesterday we got the news of the N. Hampshire Election. And I must confess that while I am not much disappointed I am very [4] sorry that the democrat did not carry the state. It would have received the next presidency - And the republican fully understood that and acted accordingly -
We are all well now [been] her - had a very bad cold raging towards cough, but is now all right. He writes you today.
Dolly is getting on well and Julia is really [illegible] wonderful in her growth and great qualities. =
I wonder if Schenck expects to call me [struck: on] [inserted: before] that Advance Committee, as a Witness? I have been thinking it possible he would do so.
I also suspect that if he remains at Philadelphia Sherman will try and get me ahead to Newport in the Spring - I hope not = Love to all.

As Ever H. J. H.

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