Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Edwin M. Stanton [1]

Executive Mansion, Washington,
Hon. Secretary of War. Dec. 31, 1864.

You may remember that some time in June last (I think) an Assistant Inspector General on Col. Speer's [2] staff, in Gen. Butler's army, by name Andrew J. Smith, was convicted of a rape upon a colored girl. Gen. Butler, Mr. Holt, and yourself, each in turn, on examination of the evidence, thought there was no doubt of his guilt, while I thought there was some slight room for doubt on the question of personal identification [sic]. I concluded however, to let him suffer a while, and then discharge him. Twice within two or three weeks I made a short order for his pardon for the unexecuted part of the sentence, which, however it seems has not yet been done. Let it be done now. Yours truly A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 94, Adjutant General, Letters Received, P 1567 (with V-31-VS-1865). On November 28 Lincoln had endorsed the record in the case of Lieutenant Andrew J. Smith, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, sentenced to prison for ten years for rape: ``Pardon for unexecuted part of sentence Nov. 28. 1864, A. LINCOLN.'' Again on December 12, he endorsed the record ``Pardon Dec. 12, 1864 A. LINCOLN'' (DNA WR RG 153, Judge Advocate General, NN 2099). No record of the promulgation of Lincoln's order has been found.

[2]   Colonel Samuel P. Spear.