|Charles Anderson Dana in 1864|
at Grant's Headquarters in Spotsylvania, Virginia
|Charles Anderson Dana|
|The American Cyclopaedia|
|New York Tribune Editorial Staff|
Dana is standing in the center of the back row
The "Forward to Richmond" campaign help push Union troops into the Battle of Bull Run, and the resulting defeat pushed Greeley to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Conflict between Greeley and Dana the two men ebbed and flowed over the next eight months — until Dana was ousted on March 27, 1862. After 15 years at the Tribune, the board of managers asked for Dana's resignation.
"There never could have been real sympathy between these two, even though they were in agreement on many of the great problems of the day. Dana was no less anti-slavery than his chief, but he was equally firm against secession. But it was in the more personal matters that there was a subtle antagonism. The exquisite young man could not but be offended at the manners and dress of the slovenly elder. Then the one was to a degree, at least, the product of college education, and convinced that the old-fashioned classical education, with Greek and Latin as its foundation, was indispensable to the making of the cultivated man; while the other had acquired what knowledge he possessed entirely through his own efforts and, as is often the [case with] self-educated, was inclined to belittle the value of college training."
|Lincoln in the Telegraph Office|
By David Homer Bates
|Ulysses S. Grant|
"modest, honest, and judicial. . . . not an original or brilliant man, but sincere, thoughtful, deep, and gifted with a courage that never faltered. Although quiet and hard to know, he loved a humorous story and the company of his friends."
“One day early in April, 1863, I was up at Grant's headquarters [at Vicksburg], and we talked over all these things with absolute freedom. Charles A. Dana, assistant secretary of war, was there, and Wilson, Rawlins, Frank Blair, McPherson, etc. We all knew, what was notorious, that Gen. McClernand was intriguing against Gen. Grant, in hopes to regain command of the whole expedition, and that others were raising clamor against Grant in the newspapers of the north. Even Mr. Lincoln and Gen. Halleck seemed to be shaken; but at no instant did we (his personal friends) slacken in our loyalty to him.”
|James Harrison Wilson|
"Having met Charles A. Dana first in the spring of 1863, during the Vicksburg campaign it was my good-fortune to serve with him in the field during three of the most memorable campaigns of the Civil War, and for a short period under him as a bureau officer of the War Department. Our duties threw us much together, and of all the men I ever met he was the most delightful companion. Overflowing with the knowledge of art, science, and literature, and widely acquainted as he was with the leading men and movements of the times, his conversation was a constant delight and a constant instruction. Blessed with a vigorous constitution and an insatiable desire for information, he never once, by day or night, or in the presence of danger, however great, declined to accompany me on an expedition or an adventure."
Late one afternoon, the president came into my office, in the third story of the War Department. He used to come there sometimes rather than send for me, because he was fond of walking and liked to get away from the crowds in the White House. He came in and shut the door.
'Dana,' he said, 'I am very anxious about this vote. It has got to be taken next week. The time is very short. It is going to be a great deal closer than I wish it was.'
"There are plenty of Democrats who will vote it,' I replied. There is James E. English, of Connecticut; I think he is sure, isn't he?'
'Oh, yes; he is sure on the merits of the question.'
'Then,' said I, 'there's 'Sunset' Cox, of Ohio. How is he?'
'He is sure and fearless. But there are some others that I am not clear about. There are three that you can deal with better than anybody else, perhaps, as you know them all. I wish you would send for them.'
He told me who they were; it isn't necessary to repeat the names here. One man was from New Jersey and two from New York. 'What will they be likely to want?' I asked.
'I don't know,' said the President; 'I don't know. It makes no difference, though, what they want. Here is the alternative: that we carry this vote, or be compelled to raise another million, and I don't know how many more, men, and fight no one knows how long. It is a question of three votes or new armies. I don't know,' said he; 'but whatever promise you make to them I will perform."
I sent for the men and saw them one by one. I found that they were afraid of their party. They said that some fellows in the party would be down on them. Two of them wanted internal revenue collector's appointments. 'You shall have it,' I said. Another one wanted a very important appointment about the custom house of New York. I knew the man well whom he wanted to have appointed. He was a Republican, though the congressman was a Democrat. I had served with him in the Republican county committee of New York. The office was worth perhaps twenty thousand dollars a year. When the congressman stated the case, I asked him, 'Do you want that?'
'Yes,' said he. 'Well, I answered, 'you shall have it.'
'I understand, of course,' said he, 'that you are not saying this on your own authority?"
'Oh, no,' said I; "I am saying it on the authority of the President."
"Well, these men voted that Nevada be allowed to form a State government, and thus they helped secure the vote which was required. The next October the President signed the proclamation admitting the State. In the February following Nevada was one of the States which ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, by which slavery was abolished by constitutional prohibition in all of the United States.
I have always felt that this little piece of side politics was one of the most judicious, humane, and wise uses of executive authority that I have ever assisted in or witnessed.Dana was an unabashed admirer of the President, later writing that Mr. Lincoln was a great military strategist and
"a born leader of men. He knew human nature; he knew what chord to strike, and was never afraid to strike when he believed that the time had arrived."
“I made it a rule to lay nothing over, but to take action upon every case as it arose. This I learned from Dana, who had by all odds the greatest capacity for work and was the best administrator I ever met in public office. With intense powers of concentration he disposed of one case after another exactly as a competent mason lays bricks. He hardly got one settled in place before he took another in hand. And thus is was all day long, week in and week out.”
In 1866, his services were sought by the proprietors of the Chicago Republican, a new daily, which failed. Returning to New York, in 1867 he raised money from prominent Republicans to purchase the stock company that that owned The Sun, and became its editor. The first number of The Sun appeared on January 27, 1868. Dana remained in control of the paper until his death.
|Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Charles Anderson Dana with a copy of The Sun|
|Dosoris, the Dana Estate|
Glen Cove, Long Island, New York
|Charles Anderson Dana|