An Awesometalk With STEVEN G. MILLER, expert on the hunt for John Wilkes Booth

August 01, 2010: Barry Cauchon

Steven G. Miller, expert on the hunt for John Wilkes Booth

An Awesometalk With Steven G. Miller

Duration: 42:28

Steven G. Miller knows more about the hunt for John Wilkes Booth and the men who participated in it than most people in the world. He has been researching the subject for thirty years. However, if you try to call him an expert in the subject he frowns upon the title. There is just too much more to learn so an expert, he says, he is not!

Despite Steven’s objections, many of us believe that he is an expert and the best person to talk to regarding the hunt for John Wilkes Booth and what really happened in his final hours.

Steven is a gifted researcher, writer and historian. He has written numerous articles for magazines and periodicals and has one unpublished book about the eyewitness accounts taken from the Garrett farm the night John Wilkes Booth was captured and killed..

I’ve known Steve for about two years and he always has something amazing to share. He’s also a pretty humorous guy with a really dry wit.

Steve will be speaking for the sixth time at the Surratt Society Assassination Conference in Clinton, MD next March 19, 2011. For more details, go to the Surratt Society website at: www.surratt.org.

Enjoy.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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A Little Touch of History hits 400,000

July 19, 2010: Barry Cauchon

Barry celebrates the 400,000th hit to his blog "A Little Touch of History".

Hi all: On February 16, 2010, I posted a big  thank you to all my supporters for A Little Touch of History as it had just reached 300,000 visitors. Well, here we are 5 months later and now this little blog has topped the 400,000 mark. Awesome! I can’t thank you all enough. I am truly proud to have been able to bring you this blog over the past 2 years and 2 months. And the tremendous encouragement from my friends, colleagues, readers and supporters has been nothing short of outstanding. I will always be grateful.

As A Little Touch of History moves towards its next big milestone (the 500,000 mark) I am thinking about what features you would like to see here. So please drop me a note and tell me what you like, what you don’t like and suggestions on what you’d like to see. Maybe something local, or someone who has a connection to history. You never know who has an interesting story to tell.

Traditionally, I reduce the number of features and articles I post during the summer as schools are out and my readership is lower. This gives me a chance to catch up on my own research so that I can present it to you during the rest of the year. 

But as a bonus for my dedicated summertime followers, I have a SUPER DELUXE SUMMER SPECIAL to help celebrate A Little Touch of History‘s 400,000 hits, I am announcing that I will be posting a couple of brand new interviews in the few weeks.

The first was recorded on July 17 with Steven G. Miller. Steven is considered to be one of the most knowledgable experts on Boston Corbett & the men of 16th NY Cavalry (the men who tracked down and captured/killed John Wilkes Booth). The piece is just going into editing but I suspect that the final version will be published in less than two weeks from now.

The other interview is currently being scheduled for recording with Cynthia StormCaller, the curator of the Drummer Boy Civil War Museum in Andersonville, Georgia. Cynthia will walk us through the museum’s collection. If you plan on being in the Andersonville, Georgia area later this summer or fall, this will be a good primer for visiting the museum. I am hopeful that this interview will be completed and published by early August at latest.

And just a reminder for those of you who are going to be in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area this weekend. On Saturday, July 24, 2010 “The Angel of Marye’s Heights” documentary will premiere at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library from 6-9 pm. It’s open to the public with only a small donation requested. For more info, go to their blog and website at:

http://theangelmovie.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=14&Itemid=74

Not long ago I interviewed the director, Clint Ross. He and historian Michael Aubrecht, have created this documentary to tell the uplifting story of Confederate soldier Richard Kirkland, who at personal risk to his own life, stepped into the open battlefield at Fredericksburg to give aid to fallen wounded Union soldiers. It’s a great story of humanity. To hear the interview, go to the following link:

https://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/an-awesometalk-with-clint-ross-director-of-the-documentary-the-angel-of-maryes-heights/

Again, thank you all for your continued support and let me know what you’d like to see in the upcoming months.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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July 20, 2010: I just received this great email from Ed Isaacs and his wife Mary Beth. Two weeks ago, they sent me an identical bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch to celebrate the 400,000th hit. It took a little longer than we expected to reach this plateau, but it was well worth it. Cheers to both of you my good friends! Barry

CONGRATULATIONS, BARRY 

400,022 + HITS TODAY (July 19, 2010)

                             

CHEERS………….

I’ll Drink to That!!!

Lincoln Conspirators “Order of Execution” Death Warrant

July 09, 2010: Barry Cauchon 

General John F. Hartranft reads the Order of Execution (Death Warrant) to the four condemned Lincoln conspirators prior to their executions.

The condemned Lincoln conspirators were executed by hanging on July 07, 1865. The procedures used by the military in carrying out the sentences were quick and efficient, completing the initial task in just over twenty minutes. One fascinating aspect of this event is the document that was read publicly by General John F. Hartranft from the scaffold. It was the Order of Execution (sometimes referred to as the Death Warrant); a five-page hand-written document stating the charges against each of the four prisoners and the sentences of death that they received.  

After the conspirators and execution party had mounted the scaffold and settled in, General Hartranft read the Order. Below is an accurate transcript, in its entirety, of the Order of Execution. Read it out loud in a steady, methodical manner (much like General Hartranft did) and you will get a sense of the timing that it took for him to do so. You may experience an eery feeling when you repeat the exact words that the four conspirators heard just minutes before they were to die. 

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ORDER OF EXECUTION  

Page 1 of the Lincoln conspirators Order of Execution read by General Hartranft from the scaffold on July 7, 1865.

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War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, July 5, 1865.

To Major General W. S. Hancock, U.S. Volunteers, Commanding Middle Military Division, Washington D.C.

“Whereas, by the military commission appointed in paragraph A, Special Orders, No. 211, dated War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, May 6, 1865, and in paragraph 91, Special Order No 216, dated War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington May 9, 1865, and of which Major General David Hunter, U.S. Volunteers is President, the following named persons were tried, and after mature consideration of the evidence adduced in their cases were found and sentenced as hereafter stated, as follows:

1st. David E. Herold

Finding“Of the specification. Guilty except combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler, as to which part, thereof, Not Guilty.” 

“Of the charge – Guilty, except the words of the charge that he combined, confederated and conspired with Edward Spangler; as to which part of said charge; Not Guilty.

Sentence.“And the commission does therefore sentence him the said David E. Herold, to be hanged by the neck until he be dead, at such time and place as the President of the United States shall direct, two thirds of the members of the commission concurring therein.”

2d. George Atzerodt.
 
Finding.

“Of the specification Guilty, except combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler: of this Not Guilty.”

Finding. “Of the charge, Guilty, except combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this not Guilty.”

Sentence.“And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said George A. Atzerodt, to be hung by the neck until he be dead at such time and place as the President of the United States shall direct, two thirds of the members of the commission concurring therein.”

3d. Lewis Payne.

Finding.“Of the specification, Guilty, except combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler: of this Not Guilty.”“Of the charge Guilty, except combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this Not Guilty.”

Sentence.“And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said Lewis Payne, to be hung by the neck until he be dead at such time and place as the President of the United States shall direct, two thirds of the members of the commission concurring therein.” 

4th. Mary E. Surratt.

Finding. “Of the specification, Guilty, except as to receiving, entertaining, harboring, and concealing Samuel Arnold, and Michael O’Laughlin, and except as to combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler: of this Not Guilty.”“Of the charge Guilty, except combining, confederating and conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this Not Guilty.”

Sentence.“And the commission does therefore sentence her the said Mary E. Surratt, to be hung by the neck until she be dead, at such time and place as the President of the United States shall direct, two thirds of the members of the commission concurring therein.”

And whereas, the President of the United States has approved the foregoing sentences in the following order, to wit:

Executive Mansion, “July 5th, 1865. “

The foregoing sentences in the cases of David E. Herold, G.A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, xx, xx, xx, Mary E. Surratt, xxx, are hereby approved, and it is ordered that the sentences in the cases of David E. Herold, G.A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, and Mary E. Surratt, be carried into execution by the proper military authority under the direction of the Secretary of War, on the seventh day of July 1865, between the hours of ten o’clock a.m. and two o’clock p.m. of that day. x x x x x x x ”

Andrew Johnson, “Presd.”

Therefore, you are hereby commanded to cause the foregoing sentences in the cases of David E. Herold, G.A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, and Mary E. Surratt, to be duly executed in accordance with the President’s order.

By command of the President of the United States.

(signed) E.D. Townsend, Asst. Adjt. Genl.

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Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

July 07, 1865 – Lincoln Conspirators Executed

July 07, 2010: Barry Cauchon

It was 145 years ago today that four of the eight conspirators tried for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln were marched to the gallows to carry out their sentences of execution.

This account is a simplified version of what occurred that day.

This image is from the front page of the March 21, 1896 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer (sent to me by Boston Corbett expert Steven G. Miller)

George Atzerodt, David Herold, Lewis Powell and Mary Surratt (the first woman to be executed by the United States Federal Government) had received the news of their sentences only 24 hours earlier and now, their time had come.

Just after 1:00pm, the four condemned were escorted from their cell block into the south yard of the Arsenal Penitentiary where they had been held since early May. Their trial had been conducted in a makeshift courtroom on the third floor of the east wing of the facility.

As they emerged from the penitentiary’s heavily fortified door, they were accompanied by twenty-two other people (military officers, soldiers, detectives and clergy). One by one the conspirators were assisted up the thirteen steps of the scaffold and seated. The executioner, Captain Christian Rath, placed Mary Surratt in the chair farthest to the left. He later stated that this was the traditional “place of honor” for a hanging. Next to Mrs. Surratt was Lewis Powell, the man who attempted to assassinate the Secretary of State, William H. Seward on the same night that the President was cut down. Next came David Herold, who accompanied John Wilkes Booth during his 12-day flight after the assassination. Herold gave himself up when he and Booth were cornered in the tobacco barn at the Garrett Farm. Finally, George Atzerodt was seated at the far right side of the scaffold. Atzerodt’s assignment had been to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson, which he never even attempted, but was still convicted for his part in the conspiracy.

All four sat quietly while General John F. Hartranft read the Orders of Execution (the death warrant). Upon completing the reading, Lewis Powell’s minister stepped forward and  spoke on behalf of Powell, thanking the staff and soldiers who had guarded him for all their kindnesses and then said a prayer for Powell’s soul. Next came David Herold’s minister who did the same. George Atzerodt’s minister spoke last and repeated the process, thanking the staff and then praying for Atzerodt’s soul.

The two Catholic priests who accompanied Mary Surratt did not speak publicly and prayed with her quietly during this time.

After the last prayer had been said, there was nothing left to do but prepare the four for hanging. They were told to stand and were positioned on the traps that would be knocked out from under them in a few short minutes. Designated officers, detectives and the executioner bound their legs and arms with cloth strips, fitted the nooses around their necks and placed canvas hoods over their heads.

As soon as all were prepared, the assistants stepped back off of the traps, leaving only the four condemned standing and waiting. Quickly a signal was given and the traps were sprung. The four dropped. Two seemed to lose consciousness immediately and suffered little if any, while the other two remained conscious and ‘died hard’.

Thus brought to a close, the harshest punishments doled out by the military commission assigned to try the conspirators accused in the assassination of President Lincoln.

As many of you know, John Elliott (my writing and research partner) and I are preparing an in-depth study on the executions and the events that happened within the walls of the Arsenal Penitentiary. Our book is called “Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators”. It will be filled with photographs, illustrations, forensic and detailed analysis, architectural drawings, fascinating stories and a full review of the Alexander Gardner execution photographs.

We anticipate the book will be ready by the end of 2010.

If you wish to receive updated information on the book, please sign up on my update list by writing me at outreach@awesometalks.com and put the word BOOK in the subject line. As well, visit our Facebook page at Inside the Walls (click on the icon at the upper right hand side of this page).

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

“The Angel of Marye’s Heights” Update

July 6, 2010: Barry Cauchon

Hi all: I received an email from Clint Ross, the director of “The Angel of Marye’s Heights” and wanted to pass it along. I really believe in the film and tip my hat to Clint and Michael Aubrecht for bringing the story to life. I hope you can support them in whatever way you can. The film will premiere later this month and Clint also indicates that other venues are being looked into for showings (including several film festivals).

Best

Barry

MESSAGE FROM CLINT ROSS:

Hello Friends, It’s official… “The Angel of Marye’s Heights” will premier in Fredericksburg, VA on Saturday, July 24, 2010. 6-9pm at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. There is also talk of potential screenings in Savannah, GA, Athens, GA, Camden, SC, Pittsburgh, PA, and Liberty University. Hopefully, one of these places will be suitable to your location for you to come out and see the film. Screening dates to come.

Check out our latest blog for further updates and to listen to an audio interview I did with Barry Cauchon, writer of the popular blog called “A Little Touch of History.” In the interview I discuss the story behind our film, as well as our plans for the future.

https://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/an-awesometalk-with-clint-ross-director-of-the-documentary-the-angel-of-maryes-heights/

Latest Blog: http://theangelmovie.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=14&Itemid=74

Just a side note, I have submitted the film to the following film festivals: San Antonio Independent Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, and Savannah Film Festival.

Take care and please feel free to contact me with any questions! We’re also still accepting donation to cover cost of DVD distribution if anyone feels compelled to give… any amount welcome. Just go under the sponsorship page on the website to donate.

Regards, — Clint Ross, Independent Film Producer & Director.

ceastwood73@gmail.com

www.theangelmovie.com

JULY (2012) BIRTHDAYS FOR LINCOLN’S FRIENDS AND FOES

AS OF JULY, 2012

The following friends and foes of Abraham Lincoln celebrate birthdays in July.

Happy Birthday!!!

Gideon Welles - Secretary of War Union 1861 -1869 Gideon Welles – Union Secretary of the Navy. Born July 1, 1802. Age 210.

Robert Augustus Toombs. CS Secretary of State 1861 Robert Augustus Toombs. 1st Confederate Secretary of State. Born July 2, 1810. Age 202.

James Johnston Pettigrew 1863 James Johnston Pettigrew. Confederate States Brigadier General who led his brigade on the ill-fated final charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 known as Pickett’s Charge. Born July 4, 1828. Age 184.

Stephen Foster Stephen Foster. Composer of “Oh! Susanna”, “My Own Kentucky Home” & “Swanee River”. Born July 4, 1826. Age 186.

David Glasgow Farragut Union Vice Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. Admiral, Vice Admiral and Rear Admiral of the Union Navy. On August 5, 1864, while rallying his troops to victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay, Farragut is credited with shouting (paraphased) “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” Born July 5, 1801. Age 211.

James Seddon James Alexander Seddon, Confederate States Secretary of War. Born July 13, 1815. Age 197.

Samuel Colt. U.S. inventor of Colt 6-shooter revolver. Born July 19, 1814. Age 198.

John Ericsson (inventor of USS Monitor) John Ericsson. U.S. inventor of the screw propeller and the Union ironclad USS Monitor, which battled the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (Merrimack) in Hampton Roads, Virginia on March 9, 1862. Born July 31, 1803. Age 209.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com