"Initially, Lincoln was persuaded by the advice from Davis and Treat regarding the Coles County prisoners. He wrote a release order for the prisoners on July 19, 1864. However, he suspended it later on the same day in part because of the voluminous evidence, and he requested the Judge Advocate General to prepare a report on the case. The prisoners' supporters and attorney Ficklin in Charleston gathered and forwarded to the president numerous additional testimonies, letters, and petitions for the prisoners' release from Fort Delaware. Finally, after a mercy visit from Dennis Hanks—Lincoln's cousin and a Charleston resident—the president wrote the final release order on November 4, 1864, leading to the prisoners' actual release ten days later."
Lincoln had Davis' unofficial opinion and wanted to review the case more due to the large amount of evidence he had to go through. Additionally, he wanted the JAG's report. Davis' unofficial opinion wasn't law. It was merely his advice to Lincoln.
Should not Lincoln, wishing not to offend the Constitution, ordered release of the unindicted individuals immediately, instead of waiting for a JAG to review the volumes of evidence? The statute said citizens had to be released in twenty days of arrest if not indicted.
Davis was warning Lincoln all along that something needed to be done with the unindicted prisoners.
Or was Lincoln timing the releases to benefit his re-election at the expense of innocent and or unindicted civilians.