D, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 254. The telegram is in Edward D. Neill's handwriting. Lincoln's signature as well as Nicolay's is in Nicolay's handwriting. Brigadier General Henry B. Carrington wrote Lincoln from Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 30, 1864:
``Oliver B. Wheeler, who entered the service at the age of seventeen, is under sentence of death for desertion, after twelve months of service.
``His friends who are honorable persons, and of character, believe there are circumstances . . . softening his offence, and appealing to just clemency. They hope to obtain a suspension of the sentence, beyond Dec. 15 prox. day fixed for the execution, that they may do what they can in way of proof of tenuating circumstances. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).
On December 1 Oliver P. Morton wrote, introducing George Lawe of Indianapolis and George A. Wheeler of Chicago, in quest of clemency for Oliver B. Wheeler, and enclosed an undated petition signed by ``Thomas a Becket'' and fifty-one members of the theatrical profession asking clemency for Oliver B. Wheeler ``a member of the Theatrical profession . . . naturally a good natured, unreflecting, foolish boy. . . .'' (Ibid.).
On December 8 General Thomas replied to Lincoln's telegram: ``There is no record at these Hd Qrs of Oliver B Wheeler Sergt 6th Missouri Vols under sentence of death.'' (Ibid.).
The Sixth Missouri Volunteers were not in General Thomas' Department, but were in the Fifteenth Army Corps commanded by Major General Peter J. Osterhaus in the Department of the Tennessee under Major General Oliver O. Howard. No further reference to the case has been found.