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Friday, February 26, 1864.+-

Washington, DC.

Lincoln issues an order concerning deserters. "The President directs that the sentences of all deserters, who have been condemned by Court Martial to death, and that have not been otherwise acted upon by him, be mitigated to imprisonment during the war, at the Dry Tortugas, Florida . . . The Commanding Generals, who have power to act on proceedings of Courts Martial in such cases, are authorized in special cases to restore to duty deserters under sentence, when in their judgment the service will be thereby benefited." Order Commuting Sentence of Deserters, 26 February 1864, CW, 7:208.

Interviews Col. John W. Shaffer, Gen. Butler's chief of staff, relative to public slander of Butler. Memorandum Concerning Benjamin F. Butler, 26 February 1864, CW, 7:207.

Cabinet meets, with three members present. Political affairs discussed. Welles, Diary.

President Lincoln occupies regular private box at Grover's Theatre to see Edwin Booth play two roles, Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and the title role in Dumanois and Dennery's comedy Don Caesar de Bazan. Washington Chronicle, 27 February 1864; Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), 26 February 1864, 1:4; Daily National Republican (Washington, DC), 26 February 1864, 3:2.