Dana was assistant secretary of war during the last half of the Civil War. Edwin Stanton, made him a special commissioner of the War Department during the American Civil War. In this capacity, Dana discovered frauds committed by quartermasters and contractors. As the eyes of the administration, as Abraham Lincoln called him, Dana spent much time at the front and sent to War Secretary Edwin Stanton frequent reports concerning the capacity and methods of various generals in the field.
In particular, the War Department was concerned about rumors of Ulysses S. Dana spent considerable time with Grant, becoming a close friend and assuaging administration concerns. Dana reported to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that he found Grant, as historian John D.
Winters writes, to be 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. Dana also observed the growing problem of cotton speculators, who were often going beyond established limits into rebel territory with the purpose of trading and often collaborating with the rebels. Dana warned President Lincoln and Stanton that the cotton trading and all related activity needed to be stopped, maintaining that General Grant was in full agreement with his assessment and recommendations. Dana went through the Vicksburg Campaign and was present at the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign. He urged placing General Grant in supreme command of all the armies in the field, which Lincoln did on March 2, 1864. After returning to Washington, Dana received a telegram from assistant Secretary of War H. Watson, instructing him to go to Washington to pursue another investigation, and was received by Stanton, who offered him the position of Assistant Secretary of War, which he accepted.
It was reported in the New York papers the next morning. Dana held this position from 1863 to 1865. With the likely exception of John Rawlins, Dana had a greater influence over Grant's military career than any other political or military man. We offer rare and important books from Literary Classics and Children's Books to Americana and Civil War.
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