ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 371. Lincoln endorsed the court-martial record of Henry A. Meck ``Sentence approved Jan. 25. 1865 A. LINCOLN.'' (DNA WR RG 153, Judge Advocate General, NN 2357). Meck's sentence of death was for conviction on charges of murder and breach of arrest. An undated letter from I. N. Baylor, Norfolk, Virginia, is as follows:
``May I be allowed the liberty of addressing your Honor a few lines, in favor of Henry A Meck from Pennsylvania . . . at this time under Sentence of death in this city by hanging, about the middle of next week or 14th of March next.
``H. A. Meck was formerly a lieutenant in a Regiment of negro Soldiers---Stationed here. About June 1864 . . . Meck was under the influence of Spirituous liquors---and while in that Situation with some of his black soldiers unfortunately attacked a Sutlers Store here. The Sutler defended his property, drew a pistol and Shot Meck, wounding him severely: Meck ordered one of his black Soldiers to return the fire, which was done, Shooting the Sutler, who soon deceased. Meck has been in prison ever Since---I think---and Shows a very contrite heart. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).
General Ord replied to Lincoln's telegram on the same day: ``Orders have been issued suspending execution of Lieut Henry A. Mecker 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry until further orders. . . .'' (Ibid.).
[ return to text ]