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The Lincoln Assassination

The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence

Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 1488
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  • Book Info
    The Lincoln Assassination
    Book Description:

    On April 22, 1865, Brevet Colonel H. L. Burnett was assigned to head the investigation into the murder of President Abraham Lincoln and the attempted murder of Secretary of State William H. Seward. Burnett orchestrated the collection of thousands of documents for the Military Commission's trial of the conspirators. This deep archive of documentary evidence--consisting of letters, depositions, eyewitness accounts, investigative reports, and other documents--provides invaluable insight into the historical, cultural, and judicial context of the investigation. Only a fraction of the information presented in these documents ever made its way into the trial, and most of it has never been readily accessible. By presenting an annotated and indexed transcription of these documents, this volume offers significant new access to information on the events surrounding the assassination and a vast new store of social and political history of the Civil War era._x000B__x000B__x000B__x000B_With tears in my eyes I think it your duty to hang every rebel caught. I feel as bad as if was my own mother or father & will be one to volunteer to try & shoot every Southern man. May God have mercy on the mans soul that done such a deed._x000B_With much Respect for our Country,_x000B_I remain_x000B_Weeping?_x000B_--Anonymous letter, New York, April 15, 1865_x000B__x000B__x000B__x000B_I know Booth. He was in the habit of coming to my place to shoot. . . . He shot well, and practiced to shoot with accuracy in every possible position. . . . He was a quick shot; always silent, reticent.?_x000B_--Deposition of Benjamin Barker, Pistol Gallery proprietor

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09107-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xxviii)

    April 14, 1865, began as a day of jubilation. Five days earlier at a small village crossroads in Virginia known as Appomattox Courthouse, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered his once mighty Army of Northern Virginia to Union general Ulysses S. Grant. Throughout the Northern states, the news set off wild celebrations with illuminations in nearly every city, town, and village. In the Executive Mansion in Washington, President Abraham Lincoln was in an exuberant mood. The news from all fronts was positive, and his eldest son Robert, a member of Grant’s staff, was home after witnessing Lee’s surrender. At breakfast...

    (pp. xxix-xxxii)

    • A
      (pp. 3-90)

      Letter to Stanton from Abbott, April 20, 1865

      Buffalo, A[p]ril 20th 1865

      To Edwin M. Stanton,

      Dear Sir,

      I hope this letter will not surprise you, for I believe that every man, woman and child in the United States ought to do all in their power to find the assassin of our late President, and I have thought for the last week of going to an old lady who sometimes tells fortunes and today I went.

      She does not advertise to tell, but she has told some wonderful things to persons in this city and in Canada, which have come...

    • B
      (pp. 91-318)

      Letter to Mr. H. from B. June 13, 1864

      Montreal, June 13/64

      My dear Mr. H.

      I can write now more hopefully of your matters but not so [illegible] as I could wish. The enclosed correspondence will lay the business before you to the present time & if I learn anything before the steamer from Halifax for Bermuda leaves on the 27th I will advise you by telegraph from this place to Halifax. The due course of mail taking quite a week between these two points.

      You may well imagine my surprise to find C. C. had accompanied J. T....

    • C
      (pp. 319-412)

      Cadwalader, Maj. Gen.

      Letterhead: Head Quarters, Department of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

      April 26, 1865

      Special Orders No 99 Extract 3.

      The Comdg officer District of Phila. will without delay, forward to Washington, DC in charge of a proper guard, the following named men (now confined at Provost Barracks, Phila.) arrested on suspicion of being implicated in the assassination of the late President of the United States, to be delivered to the Military Commander at that place, and held subject to the orders of the War Department.

      Benjamin Booth Cook

      Clement H. Pearson

      The Qr. Mrs. Dept. will furnish the necessary...

    • D
      (pp. 413-457)

      John A. Dix

      Letterhead: Office of the Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police, 300

      Mulberry St., New York, June 3rd, 1865

      Maj. Gen. John A. Dix

      Department of the East

      New York,


      Major Jolnie yesterday handed me the enclosed note, signed James Daly, dated May 29th and addressed to you; suggesting that probably the man now on trial at Washington under the name of Lewis Payne, is a certain Wm. A. Johnson of New Bern NC.¹

      Having on 31st ult., received through the favor of Mr. McPhail, Pro. Marshal Gen. Maryland, a card vignette of the man Lewis Payne which...

    • E
      (pp. 458-480)

      Early’s trial testimony has Michael O’Laughlen meeting with Booth in his room at the National Hotel around 9:00 on Friday morning, April 14.

      “F” R.B. (JAO) P15 1865

      Statement of B. J. Early

      Balt. April 28, 1865

      Statement of B. J. Early Balt. April 29th 1865

      Henderson, Murphy,¹ and O’Laughlin, came to my store about half past two o’clock p.m. on Thursday the 13th day of April, Henderson had come to see if his pantaloons were done, and I had not finished them, he then proposed to me to go with him to Washington that afternoon, and having nothing particular...

    • F
      (pp. 481-579)

      Fort Ethan Allen

      April 24, 1865

      Farr, J. B.


      Provost Marshals Office

      Fort Ethan Allen, Va.

      April 24th 1865

      On Friday, April 14th, one Jno B. Farr came to this office and desired a pass to go to Washington. He being refused a pass by Gen. Augur some time ago, and not countermanded, consequently could not be granted. He stated he had received an order from Gen. Augur since allowing Capt. Robert Clarke, who was then Pro Marshal, to give him a pass to Washington. The order could not be found in the office. He having given the order...

    • G
      (pp. 580-628)

      Washington D. C.

      19th April’ 65

      William Gabriel

      William Gabriel deposes and says that he resides in Washington County, five miles beyond Hagerstown, Maryland; that he is a farmer by occupation and that sometime in February last he met John D. Reamer in his store in Hagerstown, where witness went to get a suit of clothes for his son. That Reamer told him that it was rumored that an army had come from some foreign country to Canada to invade the North and that more men were expected to follow. That the North would then be worse off than ever...

    • H
      (pp. 629-730)

      I lived at Mr. Darnell’s in the fall before the President was murdered and stayed there 9 or 10 months. I saw two men come there about a week before my husband enlisted which was a good two months before the President was killed. They came there about dusk Sunday evening from the direction of Bladensburg.¹ Never saw them till they came into the yard. They staid all night and had an early breakfast and as soon as they ate left. Mr. Darnell told me to get the breakfast early as he had to go somewhere. He didn’t go anywhere...

    • I
      (pp. 731-736)

      Ingraham, Col. T.

      Letterhead: Headquarters Department of Washington, Office Provost Marshal General, Defenses North of Potomac, Washington DC, May 4th 1865

      Col. Burnett,

      I have the honor to forward under guard to you the persons of Samuel Cox & Lewis J. Wiechmann,² in accordance with your order of this date. Guard to remain with them to take them back to the Old Capitol, unless discharged by your order.

      By order of

      Col. T. Ingraham

      Pro. Mar Gen. Def N. of P.

      (2: 1046– 47)

      “A” 318 (JAO) 1865

      Letterhead: Head Quarters Department of Washington, Office of Provost Marshal General, Defenses...

    • J
      (pp. 737-762)

      Jack, John H.

      Capt. 186th Pa. Vols.

      Capt. John H. Jack, 186 Pa. Vols., on duty in Philadelphia as Assistant Provost

      Marshal states:

      Matthew W. Canning² was arrested by order of the Acting Provost Marshal General, by an officer of the 186 P. Vols. on Saturday night, April 15, 1865, in Camden, New Jersey. Canning is a man about 5 feet 9 inches in height, pale countenance, hair brown, very thin, with mustache and goatee. He is an agent for Vestvale, the actress; was formerly manager and at one time agent for John Wilkes Booth. He was placed in custody...

    • K
      (pp. 763-785)

      Andrew Kaldenbach

      Andrew Kaldenbach; near Surrattsville, Prince Georges Co. Md. Knows Booth. John C. Jenkins,¹ about 1-½ miles this side of Surrattsville is a brother of Mrs. Surratt. Yesterday he came from Washington with officer Cottingham. He had pretty near found out I had been telling lies about him & if he found out it was so he would whip me certain. If any person would give any evidence against him or any of his family in regard to assassination of Prest. Lincoln he would whip or kill them certain. About three weeks previous to this He also abused me...

    • L
      (pp. 786-829)

      Labrie, E. N. D.

      Chicago, May 26th 1865

      Hon E. M. Stanton,

      From the beginning of the war, I have been a constant reader of its events, cutting and gleaning from various papers (as I have done for 25 years) for future references. Going back over my scraps I find the enclosed; which if well sifted might lead justice to the very root of the evil doers that all may be eradicated from among them who are of good will that we may be at peace. Respectfully, E. N. D. Labrie

      Hon. E. M. Stanton

      I think I know something...

    • M
      (pp. 830-964)

      Machesney, R. C.

      Provost Marshal’s Office

      Fort Ethan Allen, Va.

      April 25th 1865

      Capt. W. W. Windship

      Act. Prov. Mar. Gen.


      Capt. The prisoner, Washington Trammell was arrested by order of Col. Gansevoort, of the 13th New York Cavalry and charged with disloyalty and treasonable language. He has been disloyal from the first and has had few privileges. The evidence of the four men who visited his house and reported him is conclusive. I send it with the prisoner. Can send men if necessary.

      I am Captain,

      Your obedient Servant

      R. C. Machesney

      Lt. & Asst. Pro. Mar.


    • N
      (pp. 965-989)

      Henry C. Naill, Capt.

      Letterhead: Office U.S. Military Telegraph, War Department, The following telegram received at Washington 8 AM April 28, 1865, From Frederick Md.

      April 27, 1865

      H. S. Olcott

      Special Com

      War Dept.

      A man was arrested April fifteenth (15) 1865, between Hoods Mills & Westminster but he did not answer either description of the President’s murderers.

      Henry C. Naill,

      Capt. & P.M.

      (3: 811)

      “N” 614 (JAO) 1865

      Neale, Chas.

      Treasury Department

      April 18th 1865


      The bearer, Danl. Laughran is employed in this department and is a thorough loyal man.

      Any statement he may have to...

    • O
      (pp. 990-1016)

      O’Beirne, Jas. R.

      Maj. W: Regt V.R.R.

      & Actg. P.M. Dist. of Col.

      June 12th 1865

      Brig. Gen. James B. Fry

      Provost Marshal General US


      I have the honor to transmit herewith papers in case of B. F. Ficklin,² also to state that I am informed at the first breaking out of the rebellion he was one of the loudest talking secessionists at the Kirkwood House in this city.

      He was obliged to leave Montgomery Ala. on account of killing a man there. I respectfully ask for instructions as to what disposition shall be made of him.

      I am,...

    • P
      (pp. 1017-1071)

      Packer, Abijah affidavit

      Endorsement: Burlington Iowa, May 8th 1865, Respectfully referred to the Provost Marshal General through Brevet Col. Thomas Duncan, AAPM Gen. Iowa for instructions with the information that Harvey Ray is a respectable wealthy and influential citizen of this city but he has decided copperhead proclivities. R. B. Rutledge, Capt. & Provost Marshal 1st Dist. Iowa.

      Flushing Belmont Co. O.

      April 28th 1865

      Personally appeared before me Mayor of the town of Flushing Ohio, the undersigned Abijah Packer of the same place and made affidavit as follows: On or about the first of November last, about four miles...

    • Q
      (pp. 1072-1075)

      Washington April 27th 1865

      Andrew Forrest Queen

      Andrew Forrest Queen, resident on 8th St. East No. 604, being duly sworn states:

      I know Herold; have known him a long time. Saw him last on the Thursday before the President was murdered, or on the Friday itself. I rather think it was the Friday. He and another man were running after a streetcar into which they got at the junction of 8th and K St. and Va. Ave. It was from four to five o’clock in the evening. The other man had on a black pants and a light coat nearly...

    • R
      (pp. 1076-1127)

      List of Raffle contributors


      There is a very fine Quilt to be raffled in a week or so. Chances are only $1.00. Persons taking chances will do a favor by asking no questions, as it is for a charitable purpose.

      1 Bennett F. Gwynn Paid $1.00

      2 Wm. H. Marshall

      3 J. Z. Jenkins

      4 James Taylor

      5 Andrew Kaldenback

      6 Fendall Marbury

      7 J. H. Magruder

      8 E. H. Wyvill

      9 Chas. W. Catlett

      10 J. Harrison Surratt

      11 Thomas Ward

      12 John L. Thompson

      13 John Roberts

      14 Thos. S. Tolson

      15 Archibald Jenkins

      16 W. W....

    • S
      (pp. 1128-1255)

      Letter to Smart from H. E. S. April 9, 1865

      New York Hotel,

      April 9th 1865

      Dear Smart,

      Your wife asked me to write you a line, saying she was in excellent health, and that she was waiting orders from you most anxiously. Ben is also well & all the family ditto. I saw them last on Sunday evening. Mrs. S. is very anxious to join you and she is ready at any moment to do so. I do not think that she is over flush of funds, perhaps you had better send her some. Give my kindest regards to...

    • T
      (pp. 1256-1290)

      Envelope that contained Bullet removed from Lincoln

      Flap side two signatures of Edwin M. Stanton across seal of envelope plus wax seal

      Other side:

      Probe & Envelope containing bullet and bones taken from the brain of Abraham Lincoln¹ by Dr. Stone April 15, 1865 in presence of Dr. Taft, Acting Asst Surgeon Hospital Signal Camp

      Edwin M. Stanton

      S. Taft²

      Actg. asst Surg. USA

      371 F. St. bet. 8th & 9th

      C. F. TAGGERT

      (2: 243– 44)

      “T” 87 (JAO) 1865

      C. F. Taggert

      Parkersburg, W.Va. April 22nd

      Hon. E. M. Stanton

      Secretary of War

      Dr. Sir,

      I have been...

    • U
      (pp. 1291-1291)

      23rd April 1865

      Upton, John T.


      John T. Upton,

      132 C Street, Bet 12 & 13,

      Fish peddler, being duly sworn states as follows:

      That he formerly lived in Virginia, Richmond County, and removed from there at the commencement of the war, when Virginia seceded, and has since resided in Prince Georges Co., Md. at Skaggs’s Switch, about 19 miles from Washington, four miles beyond Bladensburg and two miles & a half from Beltsville.

      He has heard it said by a man named Miller, (who works for J. T. Walker) that while hunting came across a cave in the...

    • V
      (pp. 1292-1304)

      Van Camp

      Young Van Camp states that his father, Dr. Van Camp, left here (Washington) to look after some oil lands in Western Virginia;¹ that he does not now know his whereabouts but that he had a letter from him some two weeks since which he thinks he can produce that his father is connected with Senator Carlisle of Va.² and also with a stone mining Co. in Western Va.; that he (deponent) was in Loudon Co. Va. when the war broke out and was pressed into the Rebel service from which he deserted in order to get home; that...

    • W
      (pp. 1305-1394)

      Wade, Hon. B. F.

      Washington May 26th 1865

      Judge Advocate

      H. L. Burnett


      In answer to your letter of the 23rd inst. I would mention the names of the following persons as those who can give the desired testimony, viz.

      Jacob Covode, Lockport Station, Pa.

      Lt. Joseph Kerin, 6th US Cav., Ebbitt House, Washington DC

      A. D. Richardson, Cor of N.Y. Tribune

      J. Henri Browne, Cor, NY Times escaped from Salisbury prison

      Dr Vanderkieft and surgeons of the Naval hospital Annapolis Md.

      Col. Vincent Colyer NY State Soldiers Depot, corner of Howard & Mercer St. NY City

      From these...

    • Y
      (pp. 1395-1402)

      Yansen, Augustus, MD.

      To: Hon. E. M. Stanton

      Secretary of War


      I do not know that it is worthwhile of informing you of it, but the idea strikes me & I cannot get rid of the thought that the villain Herold is the same man who escaped from Erie County jail some 20 months since. He styled himself Dr. Herold, & was living here with a certain Mrs. Lauel, a notorious abortionist.

      As I was at that time physician to said jail, I could easily recognize him. I think Booth was playing here in the same time. As these...

    • Z
      (pp. 1403-1404)

      President of the United States

      Endorsement: Executive Office, Washington DC May 5, Respectfully referred

      to Judge Advocate Burnett, R. D. Mussey

      Reading, May 3rd 1865

      Dear Sir

      A man by the name of Muthhart, a notorious copperhead, one of those who was arrested and tried at Philadelphia; J. Glancy Jones defended him, nothing definite could be proved on him, but he belonged to the Knights of the “Golden Circle.” On a Democratic parade through the streets of this city previous to the late general election, this same Muthhart, and a man Chidal of this place, rode at the head of...

  9. INDEX
    (pp. 1405-1454)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 1455-1456)