November 5, 1864

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Telegram Sent on: November 2, 1864.
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Next telegram November 5, 1864


Executive Mansion

Washington, Nov. 5, 1864

Officer in Command at

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Suspend execution of Robert W. Reed until further order & send records. Answer.

A. Lincoln

13 [---]

No. 1W(?)

Recd. 9:40 a(?)

Sent 11:50 am

By D

Historical analysis

This analysis makes use of a heuristic for historical thinking know as SCIM-C developed by David Hicks, Peter Doolittle and Tom Ewing. For more about this historical thinking heuristic please see

Summary of the telegram

Lincoln is asking for the execution of Robert W. Reed to be suspended until further orders and Lincoln also wants the case records to be sent to him.

The Context for this telegram

Lincoln received a telegram two days earlier from John Boyle saying: ``Robert W Reed Company A fourth Ky Cavalry at Chattanooga is sentenced to die November twentieth for killing John Arterburris his messmate & friend Arterburris brother witnessed the killing & represents it as committed in momentary passion wantonly provoked by deceased & repented as soon as done... Officers & others think it a proper case for executive clemency & beseech you to commute the sentence to imprisonment for term of years or life. grant reprieve until the case can be laid before you...[1]

Inferences about the telegram

No reply from the officer in command at Chattanooga, Colonel Caleb H Carlton, has been found. It can be assumed that Reed was executed since there is no account of a reply from Col. Carlton.


  1. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.;singlegenre=All;sort=occur;subview=detail;type=simple;view=fulltext;q1=Reed