JOHNSON, Andrew (1808-1875). Partly printed document signed ("Andrew Johnson"), as President, PARDONING CONFEDERATE GENERAL ALEXANDER P. STEWART (1821-1908), Washington, 19 February 1868. 1 page, 4to, accomplished in a clerical hand, with contemporary pencil notes in margin, light age-toning.
ON THE EVE OF HIS IMPEACHMENT JOHNSON PARDONS A FORMER CONFEDERATE. "I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of State to affix the Seal of the United States to a Warrant for the Pardon of...A. P. Stewart..." F. U. Still, the pardon clerk, writes some background information on Stewart at the top of the document: "Graduate of West Point & rebel Lieut. General. Recom'd by Hon. Edd Cooper, Asst. Sec of Treasury."
Johnson's generous attitudes towards former Confederates was one of the many sore points between him and the Radical Republicans in the Congress. Later this same month, February 1868, Johnson would try and fire one his Cabinet enemies, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who barricaded himself into his office and refused to leave. Meanwhile the Republicans drew up Articles of Impeachment against the President and tried him in the Senate.
The former rebel, A.P. Alexander, pardoned here, was West Point class of 1842, and served with distinction in the Confedrate Army thoughout the war. After fighting at Shiloh, Perryville, Stone's River, Chattanooga, Chickamauga and the defense of Atlanta he took over command of General Leonidas Polk's corps through the Carolinas campaigns. He was later Chancellor of the University of Mississippi.