800,000 hits – What’s Wrong with you People! lol

February 26, 2012

by Barry Cauchon

800,000

It is almost 5 months to the day since my last posting here…and another 100,000 people have viewed this site since then. What’s wrong with you people! LOL.

First of all, thank you for supporting A Little Touch of History. When I began writing this in May of 2008, I had not idea that people would be so interested in the topics I posted. But you have been and I am grateful.

Let me bring you up to date on what has been going on with me and try to explain my absence. First of all, real life work got very busy. I am a Senior Project Manager in the corporate, museum and touring exhibit industry. This can be a very demanding and time consuming job and when it gets busy, I need to focus on the work. So this has been the case recently.

Another reason why you have not seen a lot of new material here is because I was given a part in a play (my first real acting gig) and I dedicated myself to the challenge. The play was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which is the story of the Salem Witch hunts of the 1690s. I was given the role of Judge Hathorne and also understudied the role of Thomas Putnam. Last week, we completed our 8-show run that played before about 2200 people in all. It was a great experience and I am grateful for having been given such an opportunity to join this talented cast and crew.

That's me (lower left) playing Judge Hathorne in The Crucible. Photo by Alex Ragozzino.

Although I am quite comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd, performing as a character is far different. The process of taking the written words from a script and turning them into a final performance is long and laborious. But it is also so much fun. Our cast of 26 actors ranged in age from 11 to 71. For anyone who thinks acting is an easy thing to do, I can tell you now from experience that it is extremely hard work and takes a tremendous amount of dedication, training and practice to become good at it. Nonetheless, if you ever get the chance to do a play or other acting project, I encourage you strongly to try. The acting community is a tight knit group and the support is tremendous. You can only benefit from an experience like this. I know I did. So here’s to all the actors, the crews and the management that work so hard to entertain us. Be proud of your profession and thank you for sharing it with me.

Moving on to the subject of our book “Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators”, John Elliott and I had to put the writing portion of it on hold all last summer because of work commitments. We have started writing again as we prepare to speak at next month’s Surratt Society Lincoln Assassination Conference on March 17. Like last year, when we spoke at the conference, we are preparing a printed conference supplement, which is based on a chapter from our book. This year the supplement is called “Thirteen Days Aboard the Monitors: The Early Incarceration of the Conspirators, the Mug Shot Photo Sessions and the Truth about the Hoods”.

The content will cover the ironclad monitors U.S.S. Saugus and U.S.S Montauk and their involvement in the Lincoln conspirators’ early incarceration. We will then reveal new information on the Alexander Gardner photo sessions in which 26 well known ‘mug shots’ of the prisoners were taken. Many people believe that all 26 images were taken on one day only (as the official record indicates) while others believe a second photo session was performed. Our research has discovered that there were likely three photo sessions in all and we will spell out the dates, the evidence and the information that lead us to this plausible conclusion. Finally, we will describe in very simple terms the truth about the hoods that the prisoners were forced to wear during their time on the monitors and at the Washington Arsenal Penitentiary. Much misinformation has been published over the years about the hoods and this was our chance to clear up the matter. We also include information on the final hoods (or execution caps) that four of the conspirators wore when they were executed by hanging on July 7, 1865.

Leap-frogging from the conference, John and I should be back on track and pushing to complete our manuscript this year.

We look forward to sharing much more with you in the coming months. And I will endeavor to add more fresh content here on A Little Touch of History.

Thank you again for all your kind words and support.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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Published in: on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at '3:00 pm'  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m glad to learn that you’ll be presenting a new chunk of the book at the Surratt Society Conference! What I’m not glad about is that I’ll have to miss it for the second year in a row. It might have been particularly lively for me this year because of a quickie novella that’s prowling around the Kindlesphere that seems to intrigue and outrage readers in equal proportions: David E Herold His True Confession. After scoffing for years at the folks who think JWB got away, I’ve done my own research and had a change of heart. But good luck on your project! How can I buy a copy of the new supplement?

  2. I am wondering if my 3rd great grandfather commanded the old US Naval Arsenal in D.C. where the conspirators were hanged. My 3rd great grandfather, Captain Phineas White Crawford’s obituary state’s that he was there at the hanging and commanded the guard there. I am curious to find out what was his role at the hanging. Did he give the order to the executioner to hang the Lincoln conspirator’s? Any help with this would truly be greatly appreciated, it’s a genealogy thing. Sincerely Robert Engebretsen

    • Hi Robert: thanks for writing. I believe you’ve contacted me before with this question. I have no record of Captain Phineas White Crawford being actively involved in the official military execution of the conspirators. I have no doubt that he was there, but I’ve found no evidence of his name being mentioned in an official capacity. Perhaps he was in command of one of General Hancock’s regiments, brought in to secure the prison on the day of the hangings. There were hundreds of soldiers ordered to guard the penitentiary (both inside and outside) of the walls. It is likely that Capt. Crawford commanded one of these regiments. But as for actively being involved in the hangings, I have never come across his name in any of the official documents or newspaper accounts. I have read Ed Isaacs diary and although I can’t recall for sure, I do not remember seeing Capt. Crawford’s name in it. I know you have asked him to check, and I’m sure he will. I’ll call Ed to alert him to your request.
      I am hopeful that we do find some information on your GGG grandfather. It is always wonderful to discover another verifiable eyewitness to the executions on July 7, 1865.
      Best
      Barry

      • I cant thank you enough Barry, you were right. My 3rd great grandfathers (Captain Phineas White Crawford) obituary in the Dubuque, Iowa newspaper reported his death in his home at 154 Walnut Street Dubuque, Iowa on December 9, 1910 and it states that he was there and commanded the guard or a Regiment and he witnessed the hanging. My grandfather was a very colorful character to say the least with being a civil war veteran and refusing to leave battle after being wounded to being a Deputy U.S. Marshall, State Senator, first settler’s of the Iowa Territory, a “Mason” and a lawyer and the list goes on and on. It might be worth your while to “google” his name if your bored out of your mind with nothing to do, lol. Thanks again Barry


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