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

Annotation

[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.