General Sherman a few weeks before the end of the war asked Lincoln explicitly whether he wanted the President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis captured or allowed to escape. Lincoln replied: 'I'll tell you, General, what I think of taking Jeff Davis. Out in Illinois there was an old temperance lecturer who was very strict in the doctrine and practice of total abstinence. One day after a long ride in the hot sun he stopped at the house of a friend who proposed making him lemonade. When the friend asked if he wouldn't like a drop of something stronger in the drink he replied, “I'm opposed to it on principle.” “But,” he added with a longing glance at the bottle that stood conveniently at hand, “if you could manage to put in a drop unbeknownst to me I guess it wouldn't hurt me much.” Now, General, I am bound to oppose the escape of Jeff Davis; but if you could manage to let him slip out unbeknownst-like, I guess it wouldn't hurt me much.'