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President Lincoln commutes the death sentence of an Indiana private soldier caught sleeping on guard

Abraham Lincoln, Brady image, 1863, detail
05/15/1863
Private Milton Armstrong of Company C, 68th Indiana Volunteers had been found sleeping on picket duty in the lines around Nashville, Tennessee on February 8, 1863.  He was court martialed and by a two thirds verdict was convicted and sentenced to be shot by firing squad.  The sentence was sent forward and when it reached President Lincoln for approval, he spared the condemned soldier, as he did quite often, instructing in this case that Armstrong instead serve three months in prison.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
War Department, Thomas M. O'Brien, Oliver Diefendorf (eds), General Orders of the War Department, Embracing the years 1861, 1862, 1863  ...  (New York: Derby and Miller, 1864), 137. 

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