Kindnesses Are Revealed From Day Lincoln Died





An amateur historian accused of forging the date on Abraham Lincoln’s pardon of a Union Army deserter has been permanently barred from the National Archives. His scheduled award next month from the New York Civil War Round Table has been rescinded. And the disclosure of the forgery has touched off a kerfuffle among Lincoln aficionados over whether the president was pardon-happy or a ruthless wartime commander.

Now it turns out that the forgery, which made the document appear to have been signed on Lincoln’s last day of life, was superfluous. The president, it appears, showed compassion in other official business that day....

The announcement by the National Archives regarding the forgery prompted Dr. Edward Jay Pershey, vice president of Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, to offer up a document from its collection signed by Lincoln on April 14, 1865, approving a widow’s hardship request that her 17-year-old son be discharged from the Army. Moreover, the National Archives says its holdings include other pardons Lincoln signed that day, including one of a man who killed a neighbor....


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