Harper's Weekly 03/09/1867
Our last record of Congressional proceedings closed
while action on the important bill of Senator Sherman
placing the South under military rule was pending in
the House. After some delay, in which amendments
were urged by the House and declined by the Senate,
the bill came to a final vote in the House on February
20, and was adopted by a vote of 125 years to 45 nays.
The bill as passed was handed to the President on
February 21—only eight days previous to the hour for
the legal expiration of the Congress which adopted it,
thus giving him an opportunity for “pocketing it;”
but it was not thought at the time that he would do
so, but promptly veto it. The votes in both Houses in-
dicated a power and disposition to override any veto.
The bill as passed re-enacted the original or Stevens
bill so far as it declared that no legal Governments ex-
ist in the rebel States, divided them into military dis-
tricts, and prohibited State authority from interfering
with military orders, but it differed in declaring it the
duty of the President, and not General Grant, to ap-
point military commanders. It also agreed with the
Louisiana Reconstruction bill in its provisions for the
restoration of the Southern States to the Union.
The Indian Appropriation bill passed the House on
February 19, and the Senate on February 23.
The Army Appropriation bill was passed in the
House on February 20. It enacts, as its most import-
ant feature, that the General of the Army shall have
his head-quarters in Washington, and that all military
orders and instructions shall be issued through him,
or, in case of his inability, by the next in rank.
The bill of Mr. Hooper providing for the redemp-
tion of compound-interest notes by the issuance of
$100,000,000 legal-tender notes, without interest, was
passed by the House on February 22.