“But the rebellion continues; and, now that the election is over, may not all having a common interest reunite in a common effort to save our common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall strive to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have been here, I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man’s bosom. While I am deeply sensible to the high compliment of a reelection, and duly grateful, as I trust, to Almighty God for having directed my countrymen to a right conclusion, as I think, for their own good, it adds nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed or pained by the result.
“May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in this same spirit towards those who have? And now let me close by asking three hearty cheers for our brave soldiers and seamen, and their gallant and skillful commanders.”
* * * * *
The unfortunate disputes about reconstruction threatened to cause trouble at the counting of the votes in Congress. Of the States which had seceded, two, Arkansas and Tennessee, had endeavored to reconstruct themselves as members of the Union; and their renewed statehood had received some recognition from the President. He, however, firmly refused to listen to demands, which were urgently pushed, to obtain his interference in the arrangements made for choosing presidential electors. To certain Tennesseeans, who sent him a protest against the action of Governor Johnson, he replied that, “by the Constitution and the laws, the President is charged with no duty in the conduct of a presidential election in any State; nor do I in this case perceive any military reason for his interference in the matter.... It is scarcely necessary to add that if any election shall be held, and any votes shall be cast, in the State of Tennessee, ... it will belong not to the military agents, nor yet to the executive department, but exclusively to another department of the government, to determine whether they are entitled to be counted, in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” His prudent abstention from stretching his official authority afterward saved him from much embarrassment in the turn which this troublesome business soon took. In both Arkansas and Tennessee Republican presidential electors were chosen, who voted, and sent on to Washington the certificates of their votes to be counted in due course with the rest. But Congress jealously guarded its position on reconstruction against this possible flank movement, and in January, 1865, passed a joint resolution declaring that Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee were in such a condition on November 8 that no valid election of presidential electors was held in any of them, and that therefore no electoral votes should be received or counted from any of them. When this resolution