To John P. Gray

Dr. John P. Gray                    Executive Mansion,
Sir,                                             Washington, September 10th. 1863.

Dr. David M. Wright is in military custody at Norfolk, Virginia, having been, by a military commission, tried for murder, and sentenced to death, his execution awaiting the order of the Major General in command of that Military Department, or of the President of the United States. The record is before me; and a question is made as to the sanity of the accused. You will please proceed to the Military Department whose head-quarters are at Fort-Monroe, and take in writing all evidence which may be offered on behalf of Dr. Wright and against him, and any, in addition, which you may find within your reach, and deem pertinent; all said evidence to be directed to the question of Dr. Wright’s sanity or insanity, and not to any other questions; you to preside, with power to exclude evidence which shall appear to you clearly not pertinent to the question.

When the taking of the evidence shall be closed, you will report the same to me, together with your own conclusions, as to Dr. Wright’s sanity, both at the time of the homocide, and the time of your examination. On reaching Fort-Monroe, you will present this letter to the officer then commanding that Department, and deliver to him a copy of the same; upon which he is hereby directed to notify Hon. L. J. Bowden, and Hon. L. H. Chandler, of the same; to designate some suitable person in his command to appear for the government, as Judge Advocate or Prossecuting Attorney; to provide for the attendance of all such witnesses before you as may be desired by either party, or by yourself, and who may be within convenient reach of you; to furnish you a suitable place, or places for conducting the examination; and to render you such other reasonable assistance in the premises as you may require. If you deem it proper, you will examine Dr. Wright personally, and you may, in your discretion, require him to be present during the whole, or any part, of the taking of the evidence. The Military are hereby charged to see that an escape does not occur. Yours truly.



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