In Alfred Waud's letter to W.C. Prime, we saw the elements of what could conceivably become conditions for command of the Army of the Potomac. These elements were voiced by a group of Congressmen including Wade, Washburne, and Wilson; also present was the Radical General Cochrane. We might summarize them this way:
* The war must not end before slavery is abolished.
* The war must not end until the Southern leadership or upper class is shattered.
* The general who wins the war must share the principles of the Republican Party because he will be elected president.
Sculptor James E. Kelly (1855-1933) interviewed Fitz John Porter and part of one conversation is recorded this way in Generals in Bronze:
Kelly: I told Gen. Porter that Gen. Pleasanton told me he had been offered command of the Army of the Potomac, but had refused to pay the price, and that when I asked him what the price was ... he said that if he took command, that the war was to continue until the president was elected and some other terms which I forget, and that Grant accepted those terms.The significance of the "terms" originally mentioned by Pleasanton is that they appear to have come from a conversation with Ben Wade. But I'm getting ahead of myself - that is for the next post in this series.
Porter: I have heard that those terms were offered, but I do not believe that they were offered to Pleasanton.
Kelly: What were the terms? Do you recall them?
Porter: The terms were that the war should be continued till the South was crushed; slavery abolished, and the President reelected.
The interesting thing here is that Porter is able to recite Pleasanton's catechism (he disparaged P, by the way) independently of Pleasanton long after Kelly spoke to the old cavalry general.
Correction: In the first post in this series I mentioned that Waud's letter has languished in obscurity. Actually, Russel Beatie discusses it in Vol. 1 of his Army of the Potomac - that post has been updated with the correction.