bat existing ideas with force. I say honestly that the assertain openly of your ideas as a fixed policy of our Government, to be backed by physical power, will produce new war, and one which from its desultory character will be more bloody and destructive then a the last.
Our own armed soldiers have prejudices that, right or wrong, should be consulted and I am rejoiced that you, upon whom devolves so much are aiming to see facts and persons with your own eye. I believe you will do me the credit of believing that I am as honest, sincere, true, and brave as the average of our kind, and I say that to give all loayl negroes the same political status as white "voters" will revive the war and spread its field of operations. Why not, therefore, trust to the slower and not less sure means of statesmanships? Why not imitate the exampe of England in allowing causes to work out their gradual solution instead of imitating the French, whose political revolutions have been bloody and have actually retarded the development of political freedom? I think the changes necessary in the future can be made faster and more certain by means of our Constitution than by any plan outside of it. If, now we go outside of the Constitution for a means of change we rather justify the rebels in their late attempt, whereas now, as Geenral Schofield tells us, the people of the South are ready and willing to make the necessary changes without shock or violence. I, who have felt the past war as bitterly and keenly as any man could, confess myself "afraid" of a new war, and a new war is bound result from the action you suggest of giving to the enfranchised negroes so large a share in the delicate task of putting the Southern States in practical working relations with the General Government.
With great respect,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
On Board the Steamer Russia, Beaufort Harbor, N. C., May 6, 1865.
Honorable S. P. CHASE,
On Board Wayanda:
DEAR SIR: Your note with the letter of instructions of the Secretary of War to Governor Shepley, of Louisiana, is received and I thank you for the perusal. I aprrove in my mind every word of those instructions for it is a well-established principle and practice that during war the conqueror of a country may use the local government and authorities already in existence, or create new ones subordinate to his use. That is not the question now, for war has ceased, and the question is, to adapt legal governments to constitutional communities which fully admit their subordination to the national authority. I have had abundant opportunities to know these people both before the war, during its existence, and since their public acknowledgment of submission. I have no fear of them armed or disarmed, and believe that by one single stroke of the pen nine-tenths of them can be restored to full relations to our Government so as to pay Texas, live in peace, and in war I would not hesitate to mingle with them and lead them to battle against a national foe. But we must deal with them with frankness and candor, and not with doubt, hesitancy, and prevarication. The nine-tenths would, from motives of self interest, restrain the other mischievous tenth, or compel them to emigrate to Mexico or some other country cursed with anarcy and civil war. I return you