Posts Tagged With: Spangler

Graves of the Conspirators

Over the last week, I had the opportunity to visit and photograph many of the graves of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. Here are some black and white stills of their final resting places.


Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, George Atzerodt

Location: Old Arsenal Penitentiary, Washington, D.C.
Period of interment: 1865 – 1867
Pine Boxes B&W

Site of the burial of the executed conspirators

Immediately following their execution, the four conspirators were buried in pine boxes next to the gallows.  In 1867, their bodies, along with the body of John Wilkes Booth, were reburied in a warehouse on the grounds of the Arsenal.  In 1869, President Johnson released the remains to their respective families.  Today, the site of the conspirators’ execution and initial burial location are part of the tennis courts at Fort Lesley McNair in D.C.


John Wilkes Booth

Location: Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.
Period of interment: 1869 – Present
Booth B&W Grave

After Booth’s body was returned to Washington and an autopsy was preformed, he was initially buried in a gun box beneath the floor of a storage room at the Arsenal. In 1867, he was moved and his remains were placed with those of the other conspirators in a warehouse on the Arsenal grounds. President Johnson released Booth’s body in 1869. Edwin Booth purchased a family lot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore and had his grandfather, father, three infant siblings, and brother John Wilkes buried together in the plot. John Wilkes Booth is unmarked in the plot.


David Herold

Location: Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Period of interment: 1869 – Present
Herold B&W Grave

The Herold family had owned a burial plot at Congressional Cemetery since 1834. Davy was the seventh person to be buried there when his body was released in 1869. While Davy is unmarked, his sister Elizabeth Jane was later buried right on top of him. Her stone is the farthest right in the plot.


Mary Surratt

Location: Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Period of interment: 1869 – Present
Mary B&W Grave

This basic stone bearing only “Mrs. Surratt”, is a replacement for an earlier stone that bore the same text. It is all that marks the plot of Mary Surratt, her children Isaac and Anna, her son-in-law, and some of her grandchildren.


Lewis Powell (body)

Location: Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Period of interment: 1884 – Present
Grave of Lewis Powell's body Rock Creek Section K, Lot 23

While Lewis Powell’s skull is buried with his mother in Florida, the rest of his body is likely at D.C.’s Rock Creek Cemetery in a mass unmarked grave in Section K, lot 23. A portion of that section is pictured above. Eerily, one of the headstones in that section is marked “Lewis”. For more about the travels of Lewis Powell’s remains, read the middle section of this post.


George Atzerodt

Last confirmed location: Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Period of interment: 1869 – ?
Public Vault Glenwood Cemetery ExteriorPublic Vault Glenwood Cemetery Interior

The location of George Atzerodt’s remains are still a bit of a mystery. It is known that they were placed in the public vault of Glenwood Cemetery (pictured above) after being disinterred from the Arsenal. It was erroneous believed that he was then buried in a family plot at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Baltimore. Research facilitated by this website has proven this to be false. It is possible that Atzerodt is buried somewhere at Glenwood but the interment book for that period of time was stolen in the late 1800’s. More research is needed.


Dr. Samuel A. Mudd

Location: St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cemetery, Bryantown, MD
Period of interment: 1883 – Present
Mudd B&W Grave

After Dr. Mudd died in 1883, a tall monument with a stone cross on the top was placed on his grave at St. Mary’s Church. Around 1940, some of Dr. Mudd’s descendants decided to replace the weathered stone. The new stone (pictured above) contained Mrs. Mudd’s birth and death dates as well as the doctor’s.


John Surratt

Location: New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore, MD
Period of interment: 1916 – Present
Surratt B&W Grave

The longest lived of all the conspirators, John Surratt and his family are buried under this plain cross stone bearing only the family name in Baltimore’s New Cathedral Cemetery.


Samuel Arnold

Location: Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD
Period of interment: 1906 – Present
Arnold B&W Grave

Samuel Bland Arnold, one of John Wilkes Booth’s schoolboy friends, was involved in the abduction plot but was not in D.C. when the assassination occurred. Sam was the last member of his family to be buried in the plot upon his death in 1906.


Michael O’Laughlen

Location: Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD
Period of interment: 1870 – Present
O'Laughlen B&W Grave

Another childhood friend of Booth’s who was involved in the initial abduction plot, Michael O’Laughlen was sentenced to life in prison at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas. He died from yellow fever while in jail despite the attentive care he received from his fellow prisoner, Dr. Mudd. He was initially buried on an island adjacent to Fort Jefferson. After his fellow conspirators had been pardoned, O’Laughlen’s body was transported from Florida to Balitmore. He was interred in the family plot on December 14th, 1870.


Edman Spangler

Location: Old St. Peter’s Church Cemetery, Waldorf, MD
Period of interment: 1875 – Present
Spangler B&W Grave

After his release from Fort Jefferson, Edman Spangler returned to working at John Ford’s different theatres. Eventually he made he way to Charles County Maryland and reunited with Dr. Mudd. Spangler lived on Dr. Mudd’s property doing carpentry work and farming until his death there in 1875. His grave was marked in the 1980’s by the Surratt and Mudd Societies.

References:
The Lincoln Assassination: Where Are They Now?: A Guide to the Burial Places of Individuals Connected to the Lincoln Assassination in Washington, DC by Jim Garrett and Rich Smyth
Betty Ownsbey

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John Wilkes Booth’s Movements at Ford’s Theatre

It is well known that John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln in his theater box, jumped to the stage, and escaped out of the back door of Ford’s Theatre.  These hurried moments at Ford’s instigated a massive manhunt that lasted twelve days and ended with the death of the assassin.

The moments that preceded John Wilkes Booth’s firing of his derringer are not as well known.  John Wilkes Booth was intimately familiar with the layout, and people, of Ford’s Theatre.  It was like a second home to him insomuch that he even had his mail delivered to Ford’s when he was in Washington.  This familiarity allowed Booth to move about Ford’s Theatre without arousing suspicion.  What follows is an account of Booth’s movements at Ford’s Theatre in the time before he shot the president.

Ground Floor of Ford's Theatre and Baptist Alley plan

John Wilkes Booth had a busy day on April 14th.  His preparations to assassinate the President took him to the Herndon House hotel to alert his conspirators, the Kirkwood House hotel to leave a suspicious note for Vice President Johnson, and near Willard’s hotel to give a note to John Mathews which would justify his later actions.  Booth also visited Mary Surratt’s boarding house on H street three times that day.  It was after his third visit, where Mrs. Surratt confirmed she had given John Lloyd the message that parties would be calling for the hidden weapons tonight, that John Wilkes Booth walked to Ford’s Theatre.  He first went into the Star Saloon owned by Peter Taltavul. It was located right next door to Ford’s Theatre.  He briefly drank there with some of the stagehands from Ford’s, including Edman Spangler, since the play for that night, “Our American Cousin“, was at an intermission.  He found himself drinking alone when the men we called to curtain.

From the Star Saloon, Booth made his way to Baptist Alley behind Ford’s Theatre and got his horse, a bay mare, out of her stable. Spangler built the stable for Booth and took care of it for him.  Booth walked his horse to the back door of Ford’s Theatre. At the back door, Booth called for Spangler, who he hoped would hold his horse until he would need it.   Booth was told by another stagehand that Spangler was needed for an upcoming scene change and so Booth waited with his horse.  After the change, Spangler came out and agreed to hold Booth’s horse.  Booth entered the back door of Ford’s.  The current scene of the play left Booth with no room to sneak across.

The back wall of Ford's Theatre from backstage.  When Booth tried to go across here, there was not enough room.

The back wall of Ford’s Theatre from backstage. When Booth tried to go across here, there was not enough room.

Instead, he lifted a trap door and descended a staircase that led under the stage.  This was a T shaped passageway that was used by stagehands to cross the stage underground and for the musicians to reach the orchestra pit.  Booth emerged by ascending another flight of stairs and opening a trap door on the opposite side.

From there, Booth exited a stage door and into a covered alleyway between Ford’s Theatre and the Star Saloon.  He exited the passageway right out onto Tenth St.  Various witnesses put Booth in the theater lobby and at the Star Saloon at different times which makes knowing his precise course impossible.  However, a likely scenario would have Booth entering the lobby of Ford’s Theatre after exiting the alleyway.  He walked past the ticket taker, John Buckingham, who instinctively held out his hand for a ticket until he realized it was Booth.  Buckingham said that Booth entered the theater and stood behind the seats watching the production (and the President’s box) for some time.

As this was going on, Spangler had grown tired of caring for Booth’s horse.  He called for Peanut John, a young man who acted as an errand boy for the theater, to come out and take his place.  With Peanut holding the reigns, Spangler returned to work.

John-Wilkes-Booth-at-Ford's

An animated clip showing, approximately, Booth’s movements at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.

Booth exited the theater and walked next door to the Star Saloon.  Here he had a glass of whiskey and some water to chase it down.  He also acquired a cigar and began puffing away.  Cigar in mouth, Booth returned to the lobby of Ford’s.   Booth entered the main floor of the theater again and watched the production some more.  Upon exiting, he conversed with Harry Ford who was in the ticket office counting receipts.  Booth placed his half smoked cigar down on the window’s ledge and joked with Ford that no man should disturb his cigar.

As stated before, Booth’s movements are not an exact science.  It is likely that Booth, anxiously passing the time while waiting to strike, repeatedly traveled between Ford’s Theatre and the Star Saloon, attempting to gain courage with every drink.  Eventually, however, Booth realized that it was time to strike.  From the lobby of Ford’s Theatre, Booth ascended the staircase which led him to the balcony level.

Booth crept across the back of the dress circle level.  As he approached closer to the president’s box he stopped and noticed a guard sitting in front of the entryway to the boxes.  He removed his hat, and took out something, probably a calling card, from his pocket.  He then approached the man and presented the card to him.  He was allowed to pass and entered the vestibule with led to the boxes.  Booth closed the door and, using a bar he had hidden there earlier, he wedged the door shut.  The door to Box 8, which was at the end of the passageway, was open.  With his single shot derringer in hand and a large Rio Grande Camp knife at the ready, Booth entered the President’s box through door 8, turned left, and shot Abraham Lincoln in the head at close range.

The Shot 14 National Police Gazette 4-22-1865

Booth cried out “Sic Semper Tyrannis” and dropped the gun.  He raised the knife in his hand as Major Rathbone, one of the President’s guests that night, rushed at him.  Booth tried to stab Rathbone in the chest but Rathbone parried the strike and took it in his left arm instead.  Booth then ran to the front of the box, put his hands on the railing, and leaped over.  He fell almost twelve feet to the stage below.  He landed awkwardly, either due to a last minute grab by Rathbone or his spur catching one of the decorative flags adorning the box.  In a moment he raised himself up and with quick speed made his way across the stage, perhaps pausing briefly at center stage to raise his knife and shout “The South shall be Free!”  Booth ran into the wings and towards the back door he originally entered through.  William Withers, the orchestra director, unknowingly got in his way and Booth pushed him away, cutting his vest in the process.  Booth reached the back door, rushed through it, and shut the door close behind him.

In the alley, Booth shouted at Peanut John to, “Give me the horse!”  Booth knocked Peanut away using the butt of his knife and a firm kick.  He swiftly mounted the horse and put spurs to her.  She dashed down Baptist Alley.  Booth turned her northward and exited out onto F Street.  He would soon escape D.C. via the Navy Yard bridge and America’s largest manhunt would begin.

References:
Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination by Thomas A. Bogar
Restoration of Ford’s Theatre by George Olszewski
American Brutus by Michael W. Kauffman
The Art Loux Archive

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In the Dog House

There is a special connection between man and canine.  As a species, dogs provide humans a degree of loyalty that is unmatched in the animal world.  What’s even more interesting is how we, as people, develop the need to reciprocate that loyalty and devotion to our four legged friends.  Just this month, New York enacted a new regulation allowing pet cemeteries to accept cremated human remains, so that humans could be buried for eternity with their beloved pets.

Dogs provide a comforting effect.  Even in the most dire of circumstances they can provide an individual with a degree of ease and calm.  Therefore, it seems fitting that, while imprisoned as accessories in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, at least three of the conspirators’ thoughts were of their dogs.

David Herold Engraving

David Herold met his end on the scaffold on July 7th, 1865.  He demonstrated dog like devotion to John Wilkes Booth during his flight from justice.  Despite many opportunities to leave the wounded assassin behind, Herold remained loyal to him and that loyalty eventually cost him his life.  According to one newspaper account however, he was allowed the comfort of his own loyal friend before he died.  In 1888, Captain Christian Rath gave an interview to the newspapers about his legacy of being the conspirators’ executioner.  In part of the interview he stated, “I always regarded Harold as an unthinking boy – a spoiled child.  He was a great sportsman, though, fond of shooting, and the owner of a splendid pointer dog.  We kept the dog for him in the prison, and at his death he left it to Gen. Hartranft.”  If Rath’s memory is correct and true, then it is likely that Herold spent his last few days on Earth uniting with the creature he so expertly replicated in life.

Spangler Drawing Trial book

Edman Spangler survived the executions of July 7th.  Instead he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, a relative slap on the wrist compared to the sentences of the other conspirators.  Thomas Ewing, Jr., lawyer for Dr. Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Spangler, wrote a letter to his father dated the day of the execution.  In it, he described his continued efforts to gain the freedom of his clients through a writ of habeas corpus.  He also wrote the following, “They say Spangler was delighted at escaping hanging.  He sent a special request to Ford today to send him to prison his large testament, and his small dog!”  Whether Spangler was successful in acquiring his dog remains uncertain as there is no mention of it, or David Herold’s dog, in General Frederick Hartranft’s letterbook about his supervision of the Old Arsenal Prison.

I find it ironically appropriate that Spangler owned a “small” dog.  Years later, after his release from Fort Jefferson, Edman Spangler went to visit, and ultimately live with, his former cellmate, Dr. Mudd.  As Nettie Mudd wrote later in her book about her father, “A short time after Spangler’s release, he came to our home early one morning, and his greeting to my mother, after father had introduced him, was: ‘Mrs. Mudd, I came down last night, and asked some one to tell me the way here.  I followed the road, but when I arrived I was afraid of your dogs, and I roosted in a tree.'”  Clearly Spangler preferred his small dog over big ones like Dr. Mudd’s.

Arnold Drawing Trial Book

Samuel Arnold was imprisoned with Dr. Mudd, Spangler and Michael O’Laughlen at Fort Jefferson.  His later memoirs describe how painful and tortuous he found his imprisonment there.  With only rats and crabs as his animal companions, Arnold’s thoughts turned to his dog.  In a letter to his mother in 1867, Sam Arnold writes elegantly of his beloved pet:

“Keep my dog till he dies.  For my sake let him be treated well, and when dead bury him.  Erect a slab inscription, ‘A true friend,’ for he would never forsake me even should the whole world do so.  He loved me, even the ground I walked upon, and I loved him.  Poor Dash! We have forever parted.  Thou without a soul, yet did you love me, and thou art not forgotten.”

Samuel Arnold in later life, enjoying the company of another devoted dog.

Samuel Arnold in later life, enjoying the company of another devoted dog.

The connection between man and dog transcends guilt or innocence.  Whether its owner is a President or a criminal, a dog will stay by an owner who loves him.  Even the worst criminals can demonstrate their humanity by the way they treat their dogs.  In the midst of their confinement for the crime of the century, David Herold, Edman Spangler, and Samuel Arnold showed their humanity in this way.

References:
Mrs. Surratt’s Case, The Evening Repository, 2/16/1888
Thomas Ewing Family Papers, LOC
The Life of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd by Nettie Mudd
Memoirs of a Lincoln Conspirator by Michael Kauffman

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Gifts from Fort Jefferson

A few weeks ago, I posted a thank you note that Edman Spangler wrote while incarcerated at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas.  In it, he mentioned several items he was sending along to John T. Ford as tokens of his appreciation.  Spangler also included other carpentry items created by the conspirators and asked for them to be passed along to their respective families.  Though undated, I deduced that the note must have been written in mid 1867, during the John Surratt trial but before Michael O’Laughlen’s death.  Today, I stumbled across a related newspaper article that seems to agree with that conclusion:

Gifts from Fort Jefferson articleWhile it is unknown if any of the items contained in this package exist today, there are several items on display at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum made by Dr. Mudd (with assumed guidance from Edman Spangler) while he was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson:

Jewelry box 2

Cribbage board

Decorative table

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A Thank You from Spangler

Though sentenced to 6 years in prison (a relative slap on the wrist compared to the execution and life sentences conveyed on the other accused), alleged conspirator Edman Spangler was blessed with the support of a man who continued to fight for his freedom – John Thompson Ford. Ford always believed his employee was completely innocent of any wrong doing. John T. Ford fought valiantly to help Spangler secure his freedom and even put up his own money to publish his defense testimony. While imprisoned on the Dry Tortugas, Spangler wrote the following letter to Ford, which was accompanied with several boxes, to thank him for his continued help:

“Mr. John T. Ford
Baltimore City
Md.
Sir.
I have again sent a box to your care, containing articles to be distributed to my and my roomates friends, which please deliver as directed. You will find a box marked for yourself, also a Cribbage board for yourself, Harry and Dick, each bearing labeled the name to whom they are for. I also send a box for my sister which please forward as directed thereon. Please notify O Laughlins and Arnolds family of the articles for them, which are a small box, directed to each of their familys, and also Cribbage boards apiece for each. Dr. Mudd sends a Cribbage Board which please deliver to his friend Mr. Dyer. Upon the receipt of the box please notify me of it. I trust you will be pleased with the things as I have endeavored to my utmost to make them so. The gift tis true is not much, but a heart of gratitude prompts the bearing of the gift.
We are all well with the exception of Arnold who looks very badly, but receives every kindness both from the officers and soldiers of the Command, which he is grateful for, and which we appreciate. I trust something soon will turn up, for my good and the good of all of us. I see by the papers the prosecution against Surratt are looking for a woman in N.Y. as a witness in his trial – perhaps it is Mrs. Hudspeth, whom Arnold has mentioned to me to write you of, as you know something in regard to her former testimony as told him by his and O Laughlins counsel. Please forward me the National Intelligencer as we are devoid of any paper matter. I have never received the Baltimore Sun since here, and as O Laughlin has that sent, I would be thankful if you would send me the above named paper. I am making a portable ladies writing desk and wish to know the initials of the name you wish placed on it, as the desk is intended for you. Trusting you will still remember me, and this will find you well, I close awaiting your reply.
Yours, etc.
Edman Spangler”

20130717-124814.jpg

Though the exact date of this letter is not given, it is assumedly written in mid 1867, before or during John Surratt’s trial but before Michael O’Laughlen’s death from Yellow Fever in September.

This letter provides us with a good view of the boredom that must have permeated the daily lives of the imprisoned conspirators at Fort Jefferson. With nothing else to do, Spangler was a veritable factory of cribbage boards and other carpentry items, spending his days keeping himself busy and purposeful. The desire for newspapers was strong and it appears each issue of the Baltimore Sun provided by the O’Laughlens was a treasured commodity to all the men. It was this desire for news that led Michael O’Laughlen to disobey Dr. Mudd’s advice when the former was suffering from Yellow Fever. As Dr. Mudd wrote of O’Laughlen’s illness:

“He had passed the first stage of the disease and was apparently convalescent, but, contrary to my earnest advice, he got out of bed a short time after I left in the morning, and was walking about the room looking over some periodicals the greater part of the day. In the evening, about five o’clock, a sudden collapse of the vital powers took place, which in thirty-six hours after terminated his life. He seemed all at once conscious of his impending fate, and the first warning I had of his condition was his exclamation, “Doctor, Doctor, you must tell my mother all!” He called then Edward Spangler, who was present, and extending his hand he said, “Good-by, Ned.” These were his last words of consciousness.”

Due to the continued persistence of people like John T. Ford and the Mudd family, the three remaining Lincoln assassination conspirators, Dr. Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Edman Spangler, would secure their pardons in the final days of Andrew Johnson’s presidency in 1869.

20130717-124927.jpg

References:
John Thompson Ford Papers at the Library of Congress
Robert Summers’ Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Research site
The Art Loux Archive

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“Our family is in grate distress”

As I have mentioned before, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln caused both trouble and immense grief for the family members of the conspirators.  Imagine the horror of waking up one morning and reading the name of your son or daughter in connection with such an atrocious crime.  Such was the case for elderly and infirmed William Spangler, the father of 39 year-old Ford’s Theatre stagehand, Edman Spangler.

Spangler Icon

In response to the accusations William read regarding Edman’s alleged role in John Wilkes Booth’s plot, he wrote the following letter to his son asking for the truth:

“York, [Pennsylvania] April [1865]

Dear Son This is to let you no that we are all in good Heath except my selfe.  I am Getting worce in my leg and Arm.  I can scarcily do aney Work but I thank my God That my Body Heath is Good.  I have no particular to wright.  Only this that our Family is in grate distress That your name is mentioned In So Maney papers About you In this murder of the Chief President.  now if you Will gratify us to hear of you the Truth of the matter and The reason of your name in almost every paper in the Country.  You can certainly let me no the truth about The Matter.  I expected A Letter from you as you might have reconciled our Family much by Sending us the truth of all you no About it.   there is so much About it in the News that We cannot no the truth.  And as the[re] is so much suspicen I don’t want to wright here than I want to no wat you no about it.  if you Wright and think that your Letter is or may bee Suspicious Take it to the post office and Let it Bee red by some of the Members of the post office.  My hand is so lame that I can scarcely hold the pen.  Dear Son Do answer this Imediatley.  From your affectinate father.  God bee with you. Wm Spangler”

To his dying day, Edman Spangler declared his innocence regarding Booth’s plot. Therefore, it is likely that his reply to his father would contain the same message.  Spangler easily and truthfully would recount to detectives his introduction to the Booth family during the construction of Tudor Hall and his friendship with John Wilkes during his employment at Ford’s Theatre, but denied any knowledge of what Booth had planned on the night of April 14th, 1865.

References:
Maryland Historical Society
Art Loux Archives

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Foreshadowing Spangler’s Fate

Spangler by Lew Wallace

“[Edman Spangler] was the subject frequently of practical jokes by his companions behind the scenes, and in this connection an incident is mentioned that in the eyes of the superstitious might be deemed to have an ominous meaning.  During the winter of 1864-65, when some new scenery was being prepared, the scene painters were in the habit of displaying the names of different employees of the establishment upon the backs of the various slips.  Spangler remarked that his name had been neglected, when one of the painters, as a joke at his expense, hauled out a piece of scenery designed to figure in connection with a prison yard, and which bore a representation of a gallows.  Upon this scene he dashes with a few broad strokes of his brush the name of Edward Spangler.” – Boston Herald, May 17th, 1865

Luckily for Edman Spangler, the bleak future foretold by a Ford’s Theatre scene painter did not come to fruition.  Rather than the gallows, Spangler received 6 years imprisonment, the lightest sentence of all the conspirators tried by the military commission.  He would serve a little over 3 1/2 years at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas before being pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in February of 1869.

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Davy on Spangler

After his capture, David Herold gave a lengthy statement to authorities while imprisoned aboard the monitor Montauk.  He impressively mixed fact with fiction in his attempt to dig himself out of his own grave.  Reading his statement provides a valuable look into the reaction Booth had towards the reports of his actions.  For example, Herold twice recalled that Booth was, “sorry from the bottom of his heart about the sons” of Secretary Seward, which he had heard were killed in the attack upon their father.  Though this proved not to be true both Frederick and Augustus Seward survived their encounter with Powell, Booth seemed to feel remorse over the spilling of innocent blood.

During the interrogation, Davy was shown several photographs and asked to identify the individuals pictured.  After one such photo Davy responded with the following:

“I don’t know him. (After a pause) Yes, I have seen him at Ford’s Theatre.  He was the stage carpenter there, I think.  Mr. Booth had a horse up at the back of Ford’s Theatre, and he loaned it to me.  This carpenter & a boy up there attended to the horse.”

David Herold and Edman Spangler

Later, the questioning returns to this carpenter:

Q. Did you see the carpenter the Friday before you left town?

A. I have not seen that carpenter for I believe six weeks.  I will tell you what Booth did say.  He said there was a man at the theatre that held his horse that he was quite sorry for.

Q.  Did he say what man it was?

A.  He did not say his name, and if I were to hear it, I would know it.  Booth said it might get him into difficulty.

After that, there is no more mention of the Ford’s Theatre carpenter, Edman Spangler.  If Davy is to be believed and Booth actually did express these sentiments about the “difficultly” Spangler might get into for the holding his horse, it certainly places Spangler in a softer light.  Could this statement be another instance of Booth lamenting the plight of the innocent? Or is it one conspirator trying to protect another?  Where do you come down on Edman Spangler’s guilt or innocence?

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