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Philip H. Sheridan to Andrew Johnson, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 6, 1866.

Philip Henry Sheridan, detail

In the aftermath of the deadly New Orleans Riot, the Union Army's departmental commander, Major General Philip H. Sheridan, had reported his early descriptions of the events and his immediate recommendations to Army headquarters and General Grant.  He had placed full responsibility for the scores of casualties and deaths on the actions of the New Orleans police who he said acted "in a manner so unnecessary and atrocious as to compel me to say that it was murder." President Andrew Johnson had urgently requested more details from Sheridan but in terms that indicated the White House had heard a different account of events. Clearly worried at the resulting Republican backlash, Johnson especially asked Sheridan the extent of the innocence or guilt of the victims of the police during the violence. Sheridan immediately submitted via telegraph as requested this factual and detailed chronology of the events of July 30, 1866 that largely confirmed his earlier judgments, especially on the extent of the cruelty and viciousness of the New Orleans police. He then gave his opinion as to the ultimate responsibility for the incident, naming prominently the mayor and judge of the Criminal Court on one side and the organizers of the convention on the other, calling them "bad men."  He then complained that no police or other rioters had been called to answer for their actions and warned of the precarious position of all Northerners and their supporters in the city and "whether they can live here without being in constant dread."  President Johnson did not respond directly to Sheridan but ordered him, through Secretary of War Stanton, to continue to keep the peace in New Orleans until further notice.  (By John Osborne) 


How to Cite This Page: "Philip H. Sheridan to Andrew Johnson, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 6, 1866.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,