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Old 08-04-2009, 05:09 PM   #1
lakota OP
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The trail of an assassin

On the way home from my trip to Alaska in June I stopped at three National Historic Sites related to the life of Abraham Lincoln. This sort of whetted my appetite for things Lincoln so I decided to follow up on him. My idea was to follow the events that grew out of his assassination on April 14, 1865. This ride is the “Trail of the Assassin”.

The original plot was one to kidnap the president. It was hatched at the Surratt Boarding House(photo of a photo).



Now the site of a Chinese restaurant.






Lincoln was attending the Ford’s Theater performance or “ Our American Cousin” when, at 1030 PM, John Wilkes Booth shot him in the back of the head.






He jumped down on the stage, ran out the back, and rode down this alley


(probably didn’t look like this then) and headed out of town. [History says that Booth broke his leg in the jump to the stage. Some modern historians think the break occurred later when his horse rolled on him {modern equivalent of dropping your bike}. My friend Jack says that the pain of riding a horse a long distance would have been virtually unbearable, having had to ride six miles in Chile with his leg broken]. Lincoln was taken across the street to the Peterson House, where he died on April 15th.



Booth rode across the Navy Yard Bridge, now replaced by the 11th Street Bridge, a part of I-295.



The first stop on the escape route was the Surattsville Tavern, today in Clinton MD. Here he picked up guns, ammunition, and field glasses.












The next stop was at the farm of Doctor Samuel Mudd to have his leg treated. (house was closed when we were there)



Mudd would later claim that he did not know Booth, but it is known that they had met in November, 1864, at St Mary’s Church near Bryantown MD.










Booth stayed at Mudd’s for about 13 hours and then went south. He wanted to go to Bryantown but the Union troops in pursuit have set up headquarters in the Bryantown Tavern.




Booth (and companion David Herold) decide to go to the home of Samuel Cox.










Cox has his plantation overseer hide them in a pine thicket near Bel Alton MD, where they remain for five days. Cox provides them with food and newspapers. Booth learns that he is reviled both in the North and South.








On the night of April 20 Thomas Jones leads Booth to his home on the Potomac.









He puts them in a boat near Dent’s Meadow, where they start the long row across the river.








They are almost discovered by a Union patrol boat and end up spending going ashore near Indiantown MD, where they spend another day and night. On the night of the 22nd they cross the river, landing south of Dahlgren VA early on the 23rd. They go to the home of Mrs Quesenberry,






who arranges for them to go to Richard Stuart.







Stuart refuses to help them and sends them to a neighbor. On the 24th they continue south and cross the Rappahannock River in the company of three Confederate soldiers. One of the soldiers goes to Peyton House in Port Royal VA




looking for shelter for Booth but is turned away. Later that afternoon they arrive at Garrett’s Farm. Union troops catch up with Booth and Herold early on April 26th Herold surrenders and Booth is shot and killed.





His body is taken to the Washington Navy Yard.
The other conspirators are tried at the Washington Arsenal, now Fort McNair. Mary Surratt and three other co-conspirators are hanged there.





A nice ride that took all day. It was a lot of fun and very interesting.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:13 PM   #2
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this was very intresting,thanks for posting it.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Very good RR, I just love reading the history rides. I also like the way you get current photos of old historic sites.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:50 PM   #4
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Very interesting, and very nicely done.

Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:58 PM   #5
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Thank you for the historic narrative and tour! Most interesting indeed ..
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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Super interesting. Did you have to plot your course to follow the trail in the proper sequence? Or is there a guide book that leads you to each site?
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the ride!
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Thank you for the historic narrative and tour! Most interesting indeed ..
Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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Most interesting...and pretty neat that while some of those places are not in the best of shape, they are still standing to remind us of those times. Thanks for taking the time to take us along.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #10
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Very interesting. Thanks for taking us there. Enjoyed the Alaska trip too.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:54 PM   #11
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Dr Mudd got to spend some quality time at a prison fort on an island off the end of the Florida Keys for his involvement.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:33 AM   #12
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Very interesting report. Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:50 AM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for the nice comments


Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDrive
Super interesting. Did you have to plot your course to follow the trail in the proper sequence? Or is there a guide book that leads you to each site?
Google is a marvelous tool. Just kept looking for stuff till i got it all together. Too cheap to buy a book where the heavy lifting would have been done for me.

Did buy a map at Surratt's Tavern that showed the route and helped when the directions I had put together proved to be a little sketchy.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughlysses
Very interesting report. Thanks for taking us along.
+1
Thanks Lakota!

If you haven't already....Read his Alaska report... Truly a Geezer on a mission.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:40 AM   #15
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Great history lesson, enjoyed it!
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