The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
Approval of the Decision of the Court in the Case of Dr. David M. Wright.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERALS OFFICE,
WASHINGTON, October 8, 1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL J. G. FOSTER, Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina, Fort Monroe, Va.
SIR:--The proceedings of the military commission instituted for the trial of David Wright, of Norfolk, in Special Orders Nos. 195, 196, and 197, of 1863, from headquarters Department of Virginia, have been submitted to the President of the United States. The following are his remarks on the case:
Upon the presentation of the record in this case and the examination thereof, aided by the report thereon of the Judge-Advocate-General, and on full hearing of counsel for the accused, being specified that no proper question remained open except as to the sanity of the accused, I caused a very full examination to be made on that question, upon a great amount of evidence, including all effort by the counsel for accused, by an expert of high reputation in that professional department, who thereon reports to me, as his opinion, that the accused, Dr. David M. Wright, was not insane prior to or on the 11th day of July, 1863, the date of the homicide of Lieutenant Sanborn; that he has not been insane since, and is not insane now (Oct. 7, 1863). I therefore approve the finding and sentence of the military commission, and direct that the major-general in command of the department including the place of trial, and wherein the convict is now in custody, appoint a time and place and carry such sentence into execution.