By YENA SEO, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Immediately following the assassination of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the introduction of General Ulysses S. Grant to the committee, the American leaders in the Reconstruction of the American South were divided in finding a strategy to approach the issue of General William Tecumseh Sherman.
Sherman, who became a widely renown military officer after his outstanding service during the American Civil War, found himself under much public scrutiny after executing several men without a proper trial. Despite accusations of war crimes, Sherman currently serves as the Governor of Mississippi, although many key American government officials questioned the legality of his position in public office.
“He is crazy, and he killed discriminately,” Postmaster General William Dennison, Jr. said. “There is clearly something wrong with him, and he should not be allowed to be the governor of Mississippi.”
Several members of the committee were in agreement with Dennison, and advocated for a military trial for Sherman.
“You can’t line up individuals and execute them without trial, you can’t ignore stated laws so you can give out arbitrary justice,” Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCullough said. “I’m glad people want to hold a military trial, it is exactly what needs to happen.”
Others disagreed, however, arguing that removing Sherman from his office or subjecting him to a military trial would create further problems for an already fragile United States of America.
“We feasibly do not have the political clout right now to remove Sherman from his office,” Secretary of State William H. Seward said. “It would destroy Mississippi, and most importantly, it would make us look bad.”