D, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 327. This telegram is entirely in John Hay's handwriting. On January 24, Governor Johnson wrote Lincoln, enclosing a copy of his decision dated January 23, 1865, in the case of the McKendree Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee:
``The Methodist Episcopal Church, denominated the `McKindree Church,' in the City of Nashville, was taken possession of under an order of the Secretary of War, issued November 30th 1863, and is now held by Bishop Simpson in pursuance thereof
``Application has been made to the President of the United States, for the restoration of said Church, Parsonage, and other property pertaining to said Church therewith.The President thereupon referred the questions of restoration to me for consideration and decision It appears from a statement of facts, which have been filed in this Office in reference to the Loyalty of the parties who make the application for the restoration, that Bishop [Joshua] Soule is and has been Loyal . . . and the Officiating Ministers and Trustees have long since taken the Amnesty Oath, and . . . there is . . . proof that . . . they have complied with the Constitution and Laws of the United States. . . .
``It is therefore my decision, that the Bishop and the Officiating Minister, and the Trustees . . . in whom the title and control is vested, are entitled to the possession of the `McKindree Church,' and other property pertaining to the Same . . . and that they . . . be restored to the possession and occupation of the Same, until such time, as it shall be disposed of by regular proceedings in Court under the Confiscation Acts of Congress. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).