Civil War Document Deemed A Fake

01.25.11 | Sarah Harnisch

Over a decade ago, amateur historians announced they had found a pardon signed by Abraham Lincoln, dating back to the same day he was shot at Ford's Theater. The pardon was for a mentally incompetent soldier who had deserted the Union Army during the Civil War. The discovery was hailed as one of the largest in Civil War history, But as it turns out, that was never the case. Now, the National Archives says Dr. Thomas Lowry altered the date on the document from April 14, 1864 to 1865, in an effort to gain notoriety and promote his book about Lincoln. Archives officials say Lowry admitted to using a fountain pen to change the four to a five. However, the 78-year-old Lowry denies he's done anything wrong and says he was pressured by federal agents for two hours to confess.