March 11, Friday. A pleasant meeting of the Cabinet, and about the time we had concluded General Grant was announced. He had just returned from a visit to the Army of the Potomac, and appeared to better advantage than when I first saw him, but he is without presence. After a very brief interview, he remarked to the President that he should leave this P.M. for Nashville, to return in about two weeks, and should be glad to see the Secretary of War and General Halleck before he left. There was in his deportment little of the dignity and bearing of the soldier but more of an air of business than his first appearance indicated, but he showed latent power.
I called this evening on Governor Morgan to consult in regard to a suitable lawyer in New York to take charge of our proceedings with contractors and others. He recommends Bliss (George Bliss, Esq., was retained by Scofield, and Mr. Nathaniel Wilson was engaged by the Navy Department) as on the whole the best and most fitting person we could have. Says he is intimate with Olcott, and really his prompter. I am not satisfied with intrusting this matter entirely to Olcott, who is expected here tomorrow.