Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 5.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To George B. McClellan [1]

Major General McClellan, Executive Mansion,
My Dear Sir: Washington, Aug. 12, 1862.

It seems that several young Lieutenants, of whom Charles L. Noggle and George A. Rowley are two, have been cashiered by Court Martial for misconduct at the battle of June 27th. The records in the cases of the two named are now before me. I suppose that the law and the nature of the service required it, but these cases seem hard. I enclose the copy of an informal letter by the Judge Advocate in regard to them generally. I shall be obliged if you and the Regimental officers can, consistently with your sense of duty to the service, act upon the suggestions of the Judge Advocate's letter. I am very unwilling for these young men to be ruined for so slight causes. Yours Truly, A LINCOLN

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[1]   Copies, DLC-RTL. One copy is endorsed by John Hay ``A true Copy.'' The other is endorsed ``Respectfully referred to Maj. Genl. F. J. Porter . . . as to the case of Lieut. Rowley. The case of Lieutenant Noggle has been recently passed upon. . . .'' Further endorsement by General Porter referred the copy to Brigadier General George Sykes. See Lincoln to Lee, August 8, supra. On returning the record of Lieutenant Rowley, Lee wrote John Hay, August 12, 1862, ``There are several others like it . . . . all very mortifying. . . . I could not but feel desirous to relieve and serve them if I could see any way. But I did not see it. . . . It is only in sentences of death that the law provides an appeal to the President. . . . I suggest . . . the applicants . . . bring to the President recommendations to his clemency from their military commanders through the general of the army in the field. . . .'' (DLC-RTL). The cases of Second Lieutenants Charles L. Noggle and First Lieutenant Frank C. Goodrich of the Second Infantry and Second Lieutenant Thomas S. Wright of the Fourteenth Infantry were similarly treated. Lincoln reappointed Rowley and Noggle on January 31, 1863, and Goodrich on December 23, 1862, but no further record of Wright's service has been found. See further Lincoln's memorandum concerning Rowley, October 11, infra.