To George F. Shepley 
To Commanding Officer By Telegraph from Washington D.C
Norfolk dated January 28th. 1865
Suspend execution of death sentence of Wm. H. Jeffs Co. ``B'' 56th. Mass Vols, until further orders, and forward record of the trial for examination. A. LINCOLN
 Official copy, OFH. See the same telegram sent to General Grant, January 26, supra. General George F. Shepley replied on January 29: ``Your order in reference to Wm. H. Jeffs . . . has been received. There is no such man at Norfolk and as far as I am informed no such man within this District I have communicated your order to the Major General Commanding the Department'' (DLC-RTL).
On January 30, Shepley telegraphed again: ``Wm B Jeffs . . . is not to be found in this District or Department. The 56th Mass Vols is not in this Department & never has been.''(Ibid.).
No further correspondence has been found. The roster of the Fifty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers lists William H. Jeffs as mustered out of service on July 12, 1865.