Author Archives: BoothieBarn

The Trial Today: May 30

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • Testimony about Jefferson Davis’ reaction to Lincoln’s death was presented
  • Several defense witnesses for Dr. Mudd took the stand
  • Edman Spangler’s actions behind the scenes at Ford’s Theatre were called into question by prosecution witness Jake Rittersbach
  • David Herold’s defense attempted to portray him as a “light and trifling boy”
  • Controversy broke out with a member of the commission objecting to the testimony of Confederate General Edward Johnson
  • Anna Surratt, Mrs. Surratt’s daughter, took the stand and was overwhelmed with emotion
  • An attempt was made by George Atzerodt’s defense to get his confession put onto the record

The May 30, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

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The Trial Today: May 29

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • Dr. Mudd’s cousin testified about when Dr. Mudd told him about Booth and Herold’s visit
  • Confederate plots to burn New York City and spread Yellow Fever throughout the Union were described
  • More defense witnesses for Dr. Mudd took the stand explaining his whereabouts in the months prior to the assassination
  • The newspaper reporters describe the physical toll relic hunters are having on the courtroom
  • Booth’s mistress, Ella Starr, made an appearance in the court room but did not testify

The May 29, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

Categories: History | Tags: | 1 Comment

Looking at General Grant

Tonight marks the end of the History Channel’s three part miniseries about the life of Civil War lieutenant major general turned President, Ulysses S. Grant. Being without cable, I have yet to see to the miniseries myself, but I am looking forward to viewing it in the near future. However, thanks to the power of promos and Twitter, I have already been made aware of one part of the miniseries that airs tonight and deals with Grant’s connection to Lincoln’s assassination. The miniseries describes how General and Mrs. Grant declined the Lincolns’ invitation to join them at Ford’s Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. Instead, the Grants decided to travel by train to New Jersey in order to visit with their children. The miniseries shows the following scene of the Grants riding in a carriage on their way to the train depot when a mysterious stranger stops them.

After this promo was posted on Twitter, one of my followers there, Ilka, asked me if this story of an unfriednly glance between John Wilkes Booth and Gen. Grant on April 14th was true. While I had heard of it before, I always took it to be an apocryphal account with no evidence to support it other than Mrs. Grant’s lively imagination. However, as I researched it this morning, I found that the story has more evidence going for it than I thought. What follows is a Twitter thread I wrote this morning highlighting my research into this story.

Here’s the text from Col. Porter’s reminiscences as included in the above tweet:

Here is Julia Grant’s memory of the event as included in the above tweet:

In response to my thread, fellow tweeter Darin Weeks shared his skepticism regarding the story which I fully understand.

I’m not ready to 100% declare that it happened either, but I responded to Darin that at least this story (unlike a lot of others) has evidence to back it up.

After responding to Darin, I realized that, if the story was true, it might help to explain why Booth wasn’t better armed when he assassinated the President at Ford’s later that night.

In the end, we’ll never truly be sure that John Wilkes Booth was the man who gave Gen. and Mrs. Grant such an unfriendly glance on the afternoon of April 14th, but evidence shows that it could have been!

Categories: History, News | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

The Trial Today: May 27

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • The prosecution reneged on their earlier agreement to only bring general witnesses to the stand and presented an additional witness against one of the conspirators
  • Many defense witnesses for Dr. Mudd testified regarding the allegation he housed Confederate sympathizers on his property
  • A known Confederate agent took the stand as a defense witness

The May 27, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

Categories: History | Tags: | 1 Comment

The Trial Today: May 26

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • Mary Surratt’s defense presented additional character witnesses and worked to explain why she traveled to her tavern on April 14th
  • Michael O’Laughlen’s brother-in-law showed that he surrendered himself to detectives
  • Further prosecution witnesses testified regarding the Confederacy’s prisoner of war camps and Confederate plots against the Union
  • Dr. Mudd’s defense brought witnesses to testify about his visits to Washington, D.C.
  • Passes to the trial were made out to known individuals including photographer Alexander Gardner on this date

The May 26, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

Categories: History | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Trial Today: May 25

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • Several Union solders who had been held in prisoners of war camps in the Confederacy spoke about the terrible conditions they endured
  • Men and women formerly enslaved by Dr. Mudd testified about the doctor’s Confederate sympathies and activities
  • The first defense witnesses took the stand
  • Michael O’Laughlen’s friends testified about him having been nowhere near Edwin Stanton’s home
  • Frederick Aiken, lawyer for Mrs. Surratt, discovered that one of his defense witnesses lied to him
  • The courtroom was packed to the brim with visitors making it hard for the reporters to hear testimony

The May 25, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

Categories: History | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Trial Today: May 24

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • Due to the continuation of the Grand Review of the Armies, the court did not meet
  • Henry Kyd Douglas, a former Confederate officer, was imprisoned at the Old Arsenal Penitentiary for use as a future witness

The May 24, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

Categories: History | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Trial Today: May 23

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • The Grand Review of the Armies started on this day, preventing the expected witnesses from appearing.
  • The defense attorneys signaled their agreement to start their cases during the next session so long as the future prosecution witnesses had no bearing on their individual clients’s cases.
  • David Herold spent additional time in the courtroom after the proceedings ended in order to complete some writing. Sadly, we do not know what his written statement consisted of.

The May 23, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

Categories: History | Tags: | Leave a comment

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