Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.)
James L. Swanson
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The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.
James L. Swanson's Manhunt is a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.
headquarters. Within half an hour the lieutenant and his detail reported to Colonel Baker, who handed him freshly printed, paper carte-de-visite photographs of three men. Doherty failed to recognize two of them—they were standing poses and the faces were tiny—but the clearer image of the third man electrified him. It was John Wilkes Booth. He was going after Lincoln’s assassin! But not by himself, Lafayette Baker admonished him. He was to take two detectives with him, Lafayette’s cousin, Luther
detectives shouted for everyone to retreat to the Garrett house. Several men seized Booth by the arms, shoulders, and legs, raised his limp body from the ground, and marched in quick time to the farmhouse. They climbed up the stairs and laid Booth flat on the wood-planked piazza, near the bench where, over the past two days, he had sat, smoked, napped, conversed, and planned the next leg of his escape. Blood, seeping from the entry and exit wounds in his neck, pooled under his head and stained
1940. ———. Mr. Lincoln’s Washington. New York: Bramhall House, 1957. Kunhardt, Dorothy Meserve, and Philip B. Kunhardt Jr. Twenty Days. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. Lamon, Dorothy, ed. Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847–1865, by Ward Hill Lamon. Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1895. Lamon, Ward Hill. Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 1847–1865, edited by Dorothy Lamon Teillard. Washington, D.C.: published by the editor, 1911. Lattimer, Dr. John K. Kennedy and Lincoln: Medical and
sergeant and his sentinels would have shot him out of his saddle, and the manhunt would have ended that night, less than an hour after John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Once over the bridge, Booth turned to see if his cat’s-paws—David Herold, Lewis Powell, or George Atzerodt—followed in the distance. This was their route, too. Booth saw no one, neither conspirators nor pursuers, behind him, but as he gazed across the river he saw a beautiful scene. The moon, two days past full,
never revealed, Booth changed his mind. Forget Burtles, the assassin said, and take us straight to Captain Cox. Booth offered him an extra $5. Swann agreed. The swamp angel Oswell Swann earned his pay this night. Booth and Herold, free of the muck, snakes, and wild, overgrown vegetation of the infernal Zekiah morass, returned to the civilization of cultivated Maryland fields and familiar farmhouses. Swann had guided them safely to the very doorstep of Captain Samuel Cox, master of Rich Hill. It