James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
West owed their defeat in the recent elections to the President having placed the direction of our military affairs in the hands of bitter and malignant Democrats (meaning McClellan, Buell and Halleck). Fessenden said that the Senate had entire confidence in the patriotism and integrity of the President, but that Republican senators were inclined to believe that the Secretary of State was not in accord with the majority of the Cabinet and exerted an injurious influence upon the conduct of the war. The officers of the regular army, largely pro-slavery men and strongly imbued with the Southern feeling, he continued, had little sympathy with the Republican party. It was singularly unfortunate that almost every officer known as an anti-slavery man had been disgraced; he instanced Frémont, Hunter, Mitchell and others. Sumner, Grimes and other senators expressed their lack of confidence in Seward.1
Next day the President told his Cabinet, who were all present except the Secretary of State, that the point and pith of the senators complaint was of Seward; they charged him if not with infidelity, with indifference, with want of earnestness in the war, with want of sympathy with the country and especially with a too great ascendancy and control of the President and measures of administration.2 In more homely phrase he described the senators attitude: While they seemed to believe in my honesty, they also appeared to think that when I had in me any good purpose or intention Seward contrived to suck it out of me unperceived.3 Finally the President requested the members of his Cabinet to meet the senatorial committee that evening (December 19) at the White House. The senators came in response to his summons to continue the