With Lincoln's assassination, his "team of rivals" was left adrift. President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee, was challenged by radical Republicans in Congress, who wanted to punish the defeated South. When Johnson's policies placated the rebels at the expense of the black freed men, radicals in the House impeached him for trying to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Even William Seward, Lincoln's closest ally in his cabinet, seemed to waver. By the 1868 election, united Republicans nominated Ulysses Grant, Lincoln's winning Union general. The night of his victory, Grant lamented to his wife, "I'm afraid I'm elected." His attempts to reconcile Southerners with the Union and to quash the rising Ku Klux Klan were undercut by implacable Southern resistance and by corruption during his two terms.