Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
John McClelland Executive Mansion
Nashville, Tenn. Washington, Dec. 24. 1864

A letter of yours is laid before me, in which you seek to have John S. Young, James Mallory & R. T. Bridges released, adding ``My word for it they are innocent.'' It is fair to presume that you would not say this without knowing what you say to be true. But a telegraphic despatch of Gov. Johnson, now before me, says of this very man Mallory ``has been guilty of the most outrageous and atrocious murders known to civilization'' and that ``the punishment of death is not half atonement for the crimes he has committed on the defenceless & unoffending Union-men of the country'' As I know Gov. Johnson would not purposely misle[a]d me, I think it be well for you to communicate the particulars of your information to him. A. LINCOLN