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The trail of an assassin

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lakota, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,893
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    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).
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    Now the site of a Chinese restaurant.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    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.

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    He jumped down on the stage, ran out the back, and rode down this alley
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    (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.

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    Booth rode across the Navy Yard Bridge, now replaced by the 11<sup>th</sup> Street Bridge, a part of I-295.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The first stop on the escape route was the Surattsville Tavern, today in Clinton MD. Here he picked up guns, ammunition, and field glasses.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The next stop was at the farm of Doctor Samuel Mudd to have his leg treated. (house was closed when we were there)
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    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.



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    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.

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Booth (and companion David Herold) decide to go to the home of Samuel Cox.

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    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.


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    On the night of April 20 Thomas Jones leads Booth to his home on the Potomac.


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

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    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 22<sup>nd</sup> they cross the river, landing south of Dahlgren VA early on the 23<sup>rd</sup>. They go to the home of Mrs Quesenberry,



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    <o:p> </o:p>
    who arranges for them to go to Richard Stuart.

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    Stuart refuses to help them and sends them to a neighbor. On the 24<sup>th</sup> 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

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    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 26<sup>th</sup> Herold surrenders and Booth is shot and killed.

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    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.


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    A nice ride that took all day. It was a lot of fun and very interesting.
    #1
  2. badcherrys

    badcherrys Adventurer

    Joined:
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    this was very intresting,thanks for posting it.
    #2
  3. captodport

    captodport Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
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    Looosyana, USA
    Very good RR, I just love reading the history rides. I also like the way you get current photos of old historic sites.
    #3
  4. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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    Very interesting, and very nicely done.

    Thanks.
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Thank you for the historic narrative and tour! Most interesting indeed :thumb..
    #5
  6. AirDrive

    AirDrive Terminal No0b

    Joined:
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    Central California
    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?
    #6
  7. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

    Joined:
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    Grand Junction, CO., USA
    :thumb Thanks for the ride!
    #7
  8. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    Couldn't have said it better.
    :clap
    #8
  9. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Somewhere East of Omaha....
    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.
    #9
  10. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    Very interesting. Thanks for taking us there. Enjoyed the Alaska trip too.
    #10
  11. DRZFZ1

    DRZFZ1 Adventurer

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    Reno, NV
    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.
    #11
  12. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    Very interesting report. Thanks for taking us along.
    #12
  13. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Thanks to everyone for the nice comments


    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. :lol3

    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.
    #13
  14. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed American Anti-FAscist born and raised. Supporter

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    +1
    Thanks Lakota!

    If you haven't already....Read his Alaska report... Truly a Geezer on a mission.:D
    #14
  15. jkspecht

    jkspecht JKSpecht

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    Bedford, VA
    Great history lesson, enjoyed it!
    #15
  16. Tim

    Tim Long timer

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    Most interesting and well presented, thanks. :thumb
    #16
  17. neighbor's goat

    neighbor's goat Just call me "Goatie"

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the well documented history lesson. In fact, I knew the trail of events after Lincoln's shooting from a book called "Murders Ment To Change The World" written by some Russian author of a name I cannot recall right now; and it was an interesting opportunity to actually see all these places.

    Even if I will ever make it to the United States, the chances to visit these particular historical spots are rather poor, therefore thank you very much for virtually taking us there!
    #17
  18. Goran69

    Goran69 MNE

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    History ride .....the best ever. Great idea to do this. I always wondered what happened afterwards...Thank you..
    #18
  19. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Excellent!
    #19
  20. chopped58

    chopped58 Long timer

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    Enjoyed reading your RR, thanks!
    #20