American Civil War Anecdotes, Incidents, Articles, and Books




Originally published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine; June 1868

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The veil of mystery has never yet been lifted from the evidence disclosing the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, on his contemplated passage through Baltimore, on the 23d of February, 1861. Considerations affecting the personal safety of those by whom the conspiracy was detected prevented a disclosure at the time. The subsequent assassination of Mr. Lincoln, and the disclosures connected with the trial and conviction of Booth’s associates, removed any doubt in regard to the real existence of the plot.

The truth may now be disclosed, and the public desire to know the exact facts upon which Mr. Lincoln acted may now be gratified. The circumstances detailed in this article are taken from the records of Allan Pinkerton, the Chief Detective, and are selected from the reports written out daily at the time, by those engaged in the investigation, and they are believed by the writer of this article to be true.

The election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency was immediately seized upon by the reckless conspirators, who had long been plotting the overthrow of the Union, as a pretext upon which to consummate their designs. They at once employed all the machinery of popular agitation to create a public opinion, and “fire the Southern heart,” so that it would sanction the deeds of violence and outrage which they contemplated. Through the press, by popular meetings, public speeches, and in social intercourse, and in every possible may they painted the alleged wrongs of the South, the outrages past and anticipated of the North, to inflame and excite the inflammable Southern temperament, until the slaveholding States became a great seething volcano. Especial efforts were made to render Me. Lincoln personally odious and contemptible. No falsehood was too gross, no lie too infamous, no statement too exaggerated to be used for this purpose. These means were resorted to with systematic concert, until the mass of the people in the slave States were made to believe that this pure, patient, humane, Christian statesman was a monster, whose vices and passions made him odious, and whose habits made him an object of just abhorrence.

Maryland, a border State, occupied a position of peculiar importance, and great efforts were made to bring her within the control of secession. Emissaries were sent to her from South Carolina and elsewhere, and nothing left undone to secure her cooperation in their revolutionary movements. These efforts were too successful; still there were many bold spirits who gathered around that intrepid leader, Henry Winter Davis, resolved to stand by the Union at all hazards. But a majority of the wealthier classes, and those in office, with few exceptions, were in sympathy with the rebellion, and the spirit of treason for a time swept like a tornado over the State.

On the 11th of February Mr. Lincoln, with a few of his personal friends, left his quiet, modest home to enter upon that tempestuous political career which carried him to a martyr’s grave. With a dim, mysterious foreshadowing of the future, he uttered to his friends and neighbors his sad farewell. He seemed to be conscious that he might see the place, which had been his home for a quarter of a century, “where his children were born,” and where one of them lies buried, no more. Conscious of the great duties which devolved upon him, greater than those devolving upon any President since Washington, he humbly expressed his reliance upon “Divine Providence, and asked his friends to pray that he might receive the assistance of Almighty God.”

As he journeyed toward the Capital, received everywhere with the earnest sympathies of the people, his spirits rose, and when he pronounced “goodby” to the Prairie State, at the State line, he said, “Behind the cloud the sun is shining still.” And on he sped, through the great free States of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, to fulfill his great mission.

There was living at this time in Chicago a man by the name of Allan Pinkerton, one of the boldest, most shrewd, and skillful detectives of any country. He had always been a thorough anti-slavery man, a superintendent of the “underground railroad,” a friend and companion of Lovejoy and the “old guard” of early abolitionists in Illinois. With his anti-slavery character well known, such was his reputation as a detective that Mr. Guthrie, when Secretary of the Treasury, had, notwithstanding, employed him as a Government detective. In 1860—61 he was in the employ of the railroad companies of the Northwest.

In the winter of 1861 General Scott, seeing the gathering storm, called to Washington a few national troops. The passage of these over the Northern Central and Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore railroads greatly exasperated the conspirators in Baltimore and elsewhere, and threats were openly made, and organizations effected, to destroy the railroad tracks, burn their bridges, and the great steam ferryboat by which the Susquehanna was crossed at Havre de Grace.

In February Pinkerton was employed by the officers of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore road to investigate and ascertain the facts in regard to these matters, with a view of protecting their road. For this purpose he removed to Baltimore, taking with him such of his detective force as he thought best suited to his purpose.

While thus engaged an officer of the road learned that a young gentleman of high social position in Baltimore, the son of a very prominent citizen who had held high official position under the State and National Governments, had declared that he was one of a band who had sworn to take the life of Lincoln on his way to Washington. The officer communicated this fact to Pinkerton, and he immediately asked and obtained permission to investigate this conspiracy. It was now to be plot and counter-plot.

A warm admirer of the President elect, whom he had known in Illinois, Pinkerton determined that, if coolness, courage, and skill could save the life of Mr. Lincoln and prevent the revolution which would follow his violent death, he would accomplish it. His plan was with his detectives to enter Baltimore as residents of Charleston and New Orleans, and by assuming to be secessionists of the most extreme violence, to secure entrance into their secret societies and military organizations, and thus possess themselves of their secret plans. In looking over his corps he found two men admirably adapted to the object he had in view, both young, and both able to assume and successfully carry out the character of a hot-blooded, fiery secessionist. One of these, whom I shall call Howard, was of French descent. He had been carefully educated for a Jesuit priest, and added to his collegiate studies were the advantages of extensive foreign travel and the ability to speak, with great facility, several modern languages; and a knowledge of the South, its localities, prejudices, customs, and leading men, derived from several years’ residence in New Orleans and other Southern cities. With these qualifications he possessed a fine personal appearance, insinuating manners, and that power of adaptation to the persons whom they wish to influence, popularly attributed to the Jesuits. Howard was instructed to assume the character of an extreme secessionist, go to a first-class hotel, register his name, and his residence as New Orleans, visit places of amusement, seek the acquaintance and secure the confidence of the young aristocracy of that city; enter their clubs, penetrate their secrets, and learn the wild projects it was known they were then forming. He was also instructed to make daily reports to his chief, then under an assumed name, occupying an office and nominally carrying on a regular business in Baltimore. Those reports, now lying before me, are curious and interesting. They show that Howard was eminently successful, that he soon became a welcome guest among many of the first families in that old and refined city; that he was a favorite with both sexes, among the ardent and mercurial young aristocracy, which furnished to the rebellion Harry Gilmer, the “French Lady,” Stuart, and many other partisans, and in whose circles “Dixie” and “My Maryland” are still mournfully sung over “the lost cause.” Many Baltimore belles are living who might innocently blush at the disclosures of the daily reports of one whom, in February, 1861, they called “the fascinating Howard of New Orleans.”

Another of Pinkerton’s agents was of graver character, one whose devotion to his country in the most perilous and thankless character of a spy, led to his ignominious death at Richmond. I may, therefore, call him by his real name, Timothy Webster. He was adapted to operate on the middle and lower classes of society; of great physical strength and endurance, skilled in all athletic sports, a good shot, and with a strong will and a courage bordering on rashness; yet always justifying his boldness by an ingenuity and fertility of invention which saved him from a thousand perils, and at last falling a victim only because sickness rendered him incapable of executing his otherwise successful plan of escape; a man whose exploits as the Union spy would in daring and romance equal, if not surpass, those of the Harvey Birch of Cooper.[1]

There were other agents, and among them a Mrs. Warn, a lady whom the chivalry of the Monumental City would then have pronounced as “fascinating” as some of their fair friends did Howard.

By the 15th of February Pinkerton’s machinery was fairly in running order; his agents in full communion with the clubs and secret societies of Baltimore, so that an interview was planned and brought about between Howard’s chief and a Captain Fernandina, one of the most active of the conspirators. Fernandina was an Italian, or of Italian descent. He had lived the South for many years, and was thoroughly possessed of the idea of Southern wrongs, and that the South had been outraged by the election of Lincoln; and, educated with Italian ideas, he justified the use of the stiletto and assassination as a means of preventing the President elect from taking his seat in the Executive chair. He was an enthusiast and a fanatic. In the interview with Fernandina, which took place at —— saloon, in the presence of some of the military company which he commanded—his lieutenant and others in their confidence—in the course of the conversation Fernandina, believing he was addressing a thorough secessionist, said; “Lincoln shall never, never be President. My life,” said he, “is of no consequence. I am willing to give it for his. I will sell my life for that of that abolitionist. As Orsini gave his life for Italy, I am ready to die for the rights of the South.”

Some one present remarked, “Are there no means of saving the South except by assassination?” “No,” said he; “you might as well try to blow down the Washington monument with your breath as to change our purpose—die he must and shall; and,” he added, turning to Captain T——, a co-conspirator, “we will, if necessary, all die together. Every captain will in that day prove himself a hero. The first shot fired, the head traitor Lincoln dead, and all Maryland will be with us and the South freed. Mr. H——,” said he, turning to Pinkerton, “if I alone must do it I shall not hesitate! Lincoln shall die in this city!”

The next day Pinkerton met the same Captain T——, one of Fernandina’s associates, who called Pinkerton aside and whispered; “It is determined that that G—d d—d Lincoln shall never pass through here alive! The d—d abolitionist shall never set foot on Southern soil but to find a grave.” He added; “I have seen Colonel Kane, Chief of Police, and he is all right, and in one week from today the North shall want a new President, for Lincoln will be dead.”

Among the associates of Howard he meets with a fast young gentleman by the name of Hill, who proudly exhibits a gold Palmetto badge, and represents himself as a lieutenant in the Palmetto Guards, a secret military organization in Baltimore. Howard, the ardent secessionist from New Orleans, chiding the slower and more cautious action of the friends in Maryland, and Hill, of the Palmetto Guards, become bosom friends. They drink, go to concerts, theatres, and other places of amusement together. Hill, who has social position in Baltimore, introduces his accomplished friend from Louisiana, and finally opens to him, in part, the secrets of the plot to assassinate Lincoln. He himself goes into it with reluctance. “What a pity,” says he to Howard, “that this glorious union must be destroyed all on account of that monster Lincoln!”

The plan was to excite and exasperate the popular feeling against Mr. Lincoln to the utmost. On the published programme he was to enter Baltimore from Harrisburg on the 23d of February by the Northern Central Railroad, and would reach Baltimore about the middle of the day. A vast crowd would meet him at the Calvert Street dépôt, at which it was expected he would take an open carriage, and ride, nearly a mile and a half, to the Washington dépôt. It would be very easy for a determined man to shoot him on his passage. Agents of the conspirators had been in the principal Northern cities, watching the movements of the Presidential party, ready to telegraph to Baltimore any change of route. A cipher was agreed upon, so that the conspirators could communicate with each other without the facts leaking out through the telegraph offices. Meanwhile the idea of assassination preyed upon the mind of Hill; he grew sad and melancholy, and plunged still deeper into dissipation. Howard is his constant companion and confidential friend, his “shadow,” in the language of the profession; at times he is thoughtful, and then he breaks out into rhapsodies. He talks to Howard of dreams and death. “I am destined to die,” said Hill, “shrouded with glory. If a man had the nerve he could immortalize himself by plunging a knife into Lincoln’s heart. Let us,” said he, “have another Brutus. I swear,” said he, “I will kill Lincoln before he reaches the Washington dépôt, not that I love Lincoln less, but my country more. I am ready to do the deed, and then I will proudly announce my name, and say: `Gentlemen, arrest me, I am the man;’ and then I will be called one ‘that gave his country liberty.’ When our company draws lots, if the red ballot falls to me, I will do it willingly. Perhaps,” said he, “Lincoln may conclude to come by way of Havre de Grace; if so, the ferryboat across the Susquehanna will be the best place to do the deed. I will go out there and kill him if it is so ordered.” Notwithstanding his contemplated crime he had some good traits; he was warmly attached to his mother, spoke tenderly of her, and talked to Howard of pecuniary provision being made for her, if he should sacrifice his life in the enterprise.

Webster had gone to Perrymansville, and, securing the confidence of the secessionists there, had joined a military company which was drilling with a view of destroying the railroads, burning the bridges, and the ferryboat on the Susquehanna.

The time for Mr. Lincoln’s passage through Baltimore was rapidly approaching, but the exact plan of operation by the conspirators had not been agreed upon. The popular feeling against him had, through the press, and by harangues, and all the means by which the public mind is operated upon, been inflamed and exasperated to the highest pitch. Thousands of the more ignorant had been wrought upon by the intelligent until they were ready for any act of violence and atrocity. The leaders finally fully determined that the assassination should take place at the Calvert Street dépôt. A vast crowd of secessionists was to assemble at that place and await the arrival of the train with Mr. Lincoln. They were to go early and fill the narrow streets and passages immediately surrounding it. It was known among the leaders that George P. Kane, the Marshal of Police, subsequently arrested by General Banks, and afterward an officer in the rebel army, would detail but a small police force to attend the arrival and nominally clear and protect a passage for Mr. Lincoln and his suite, and that that small force would be sympathizers with the secessionists. When the train should enter the dépôt, and Mr. Lincoln should attempt to pass through the narrow passage leading to the street, some roughs were to raise a row on the outside, and all the police were to rush away to quell the disturbance. At this moment, the police being withdrawn, Mr. Lincoln would find himself in a dense, excited, and hostile crowd, hustled and jammed, and then the fatal blow was to be struck. A swift steamer was to be stationed in Chesapeake Bay, with a boat concealed, ready to take the assassin on board as soon as the deed was done, and convey him to a Southern port, where he would have been received with acclamations and honored as a hero. But who should do the bloody deed? It was feared by some that Hill lacked the nerve and coolness. To determine this question, a meeting of the conspirators was held on the night of the 18th of February. Some twenty persons were collected, each of whom had taken an oath of secrecy, and also sworn, if designated, that he would take the life of the President elect. It was arranged that ballots should be prepared and placed in a hat, and that the person who drew a red ballot should be the assassin. The drawing was made in a darkened room, so that none could know who drew the fatal ballot except he who had it, and no one was to disclose to the others the color of the ballot he drew. And now the leaders, to make success more certain, placed eight red ballots in the hat, and eight red ballots were drawn, each man drawing one believing that upon his courage, strength, and skill alone depended what he regarded as the cause of the South, each supposing that he alone was charged with the execution of the deed.

The weapons and the mode of death were to be left to the person who drew the red ballot.

A knowledge of all these facts having been obtained by Pinkerton, he on the night of February 20 hastened to meet the Presidential party at Philadelphia.

While these plots had been going on, Mr. Lincoln and his friends, unconscious of danger, were pursuing their journey toward the Capital. Vast crowds had everywhere assembled to welcome and congratulate him, and pledge to him their support in the maintenance of the integrity of the Republic, its Constitution and laws. At Philadelphia Mr. Pinkerton met the Presidential party, and laid before Mr. Judd, of Chicago, a confidential personal friend of Mr. Lincoln, in detail the facts in regard to the conspiracy. Assassination was then a crime scarcely known in the United States, and assassination for political reasons was almost incredible. It is a sad commentary on the wickedness of the rebellion that a plot to assassinate a prominent public man would today be credited upon far less evidence than before the war. Conscious of the existence of the plot; knowing the trustworthiness of those from whom he derived his information; knowing that the train was laid, that the mine would be sprung as surely as Mr. Lincoln should reach the city of Baltimore; that the assassins of the red ballot were even now on his track and waiting the fatal moment; that the police of Baltimore, under control of Marshal Kane, would act in concert with the conspirators; that a vast mob, wild, savage, and bloodthirsty, was organized and ready to act their part, the character of which was not long after fully disclosed by the attack upon and murder of the Massachusetts soldiers on their march to Washington;[2] yet, knowing all this, Pinkerton feared he should have difficulty in inducing Mr. Lincoln to adopt measures to se-cure his safety. The President elect was an unsuspecting man.

After laying the matter in all its details before Judd, and satisfying him of the existence of the plot, and of the extreme peril Mr. Lincoln would incur by attempting to pass through Baltimore according to the programme, Pinkerton and Judd had an interview with the President elect, and laid the matter before him. On the night of the 21st February, after the interview, Mr. Pinkerton made this entry in his journal:

“While Mr. Judd detailed the circumstances of the conspiracy, Mr. Lincoln listened very attentively, but did not say a word, nor did his countenance, which I closely watched, show any emotion. He was thoughtful, serious, but decidedly firm.”

Pinkerton then, himself, went over the ground, detailing to Mr. Lincoln all the facts connected with Fernandina, Hill, and others, the condition of popular feeling, and the plans of the assassins; also the fact that Kane, Chief of Police, had declared that he would give him no “police escort.” He told him there were perhaps ten or fifteen desperadoes—wild, enthusiastic young men—who had been wrought up to a pitch of fanaticism, in which they really believed they would be patriots and martyrs in taking his life, even at the cost of their own; that they had bound themselves by oaths to assassinate him; that a vast, excited crowd would meet him at the dépôt of the Northern Central Railroad, a fight would be got up in the crowd, and this would be the signal for the attack on his person, and in the mêlée a dozen desperate men, armed with revolvers and dirks, each sworn to take his life, would be upon his path, and that he, Mr. Pinkerton, felt a moral conviction that he could not pass from the Calvert Street dépôt to the Washington dépôt, a mile and a half, in an open carriage, alive. Both Judd and Pinkerton pressed these and other corroborating facts upon him with all the power which they possessed. He remained silent a few moments, and it was suggested that he should change the programme, and take the night train for Washington that very night. Mr. Judd said to him; “These proofs can not be now made public, as the publication of the facts would involve the lives of several of Mr. Pinkerton’s force, and, among others, the life of Webster, serving in a rebel company under drill, at Perryman’s, in Maryland.” Some other conversation was held between him and Mr. Judd, in regard to the construction which would be placed upon his conduct if he changed the programme and went directly to Washington. Mr. Judd then asked, “Will you, upon any statement which can be made, consent to leave for Washington on tonight’s train?” Mr. Lincoln promptly replied, “No, I cannot consent to do this. I shall hoist the flag on Independence Hall tomorrow morning (Washington’s birthday), and go to Harrisburg tomorrow, and meet the Legislature of Pennsylvania; then I shall have fulfilled all my engagements. After this, if you (Judd), and you, Allan (Pinkerton), think there is positive danger in my attempting to go through Baltimore openly, according to the published programme—if you can arrange any way to carry out your purposes, I will place myself in your hands.” “Mr. Lincoln,” says Pinkerton, “said this with a tone and manner so decisive, we saw that no more was to be said.”

It was finally arranged between Judd, Pinkerton, and the officers of the Pennsylvania Railroad that a special train should leave Harrisburg at 6 p.m. the next evening, and bring Mr. Lincoln to Philadelphia in time to take the 11 o’clock train going through Baltimore to Washington, on the night of the 22d. This train was to be detained until Mr. Lincoln arrived; every contingency, in regard to the connection of the trains and possible delays, was most skillfully planned, so as to secure connections and the certainty of going through on time.

Meanwhile, to prevent this change being telegraphed to Baltimore by a confederate, or information of this change of route being known, and leaking out in any way, the Superintendent of the Telegraph Company, at the instance of Mr. Pinkerton, sent a practical telegraph climber to isolate Harrisburg from telegraphic communication with all the world until Mr. Lincoln should reach Washington.

On the morning of the 22d February Mr. Lincoln visited old “Independence Hall,” and with his own hand raised over it the flag. His speech on this occasion was the most impressive and characteristic of any which he made on his journey to the Capital. He gave most eloquent expression to the emotions and associations suggested by the day and place. He declared that all his political sentiments were drawn from those which had been expressed in that Hall. He alluded most feelingly to the dangers, and toils, and sufferings of those who had adopted and made good the Declaration of Independence; that declaration which gave promise that “in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men.” Conscious of the dangers which threaten his country, and that those dangers originated in opposition to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and knowing that his own life was even now threatened for his devotion to liberty, and that his way to the National Capital was beset by assassins, yet he did not hesitate to declare “that he would rather be assassinated on the spot than surrender those principles.”

During the same night on which Pinkerton’s disclosures were made to Mr. Lincoln, F. W. Seward, Esq., arrived at Philadelphia, having been sent by his father to warn him of the danger which was awaiting him at Baltimore. Facts had come to the knowledge of Secretary Seward and General Scott, corroborating the evidence which had been accumulated by Mr. Pinkerton of the existence of the conspiracy. This circumstance rendered Mr. Lincoln less reluctant than he had been to consent to the arrangements for his passage through Baltimore on the night of the 22d.

Mr. Lincoln on the same day, the 22d of February, went to Harrisburg, was cordially received by Governor Curtin and the Legislature, and a vast crowd of citizens. At six o’clock an engine and one passenger-car were standing on the track leading to Philadelphia. Soon after, excusing himself on the ground of fatigue, he left the dinner-table, went to his room, changed his dress for a traveling-suit, and, with a broad-brimmed felt-hat (which had been presented to him in New York); he went quietly to a side-door, got into a carriage in waiting, and was driven, with one companion, Ward H. Lamon, rapidly to the car which awaited him, and was soon speeding on toward Philadelphia. The secret of his departure was known to but very few, and by them disclosed to no one. On his arrival at Philadelphia Mr. Lincoln was met by Mr. Pinkerton, taken into a carriage and driven to the dépôt of the Phiadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad, Mr. Pinkerton timing their arrival so as to reach the train just at the moment of departure.

The officers of the road, to prevent the possibility of the departure of the train before Mr. Lincoln was aboard, had instructed the conductor not to leave until he received a package of important Government dispatches, “which must go through to Washington that night.” Mr. Pinkerton had caused the three sections of the sleeping-car, which was on the end of the train, to be taken, and his agent stood at the door, which was locked, awaiting the arrival of the party. When the party appeared the door was opened, Mr. Lincoln stepped in, went to his berth; an officer of the road handed the package of Government dispatches—consisting of some numbers of the New York Herald, carefully sealed up and addressed to the Secretary of State—and instantly the whistle sounded and the train was whirling on toward Washington, bearing in security not “Cæsar and his fortunes,” but Lincoln and the destinies of the republic.

So skillfully had the matter been arranged that no one in Philadelphia had seen Mr. Lincoln, no one saw him enter the car, no one on the train except the party of the President, not even the conductor, knew of his presence in the car. When the conductor came along to examine the tickets Mr. Pinkerton showed him Mr. Lincoln’s ticket, and he did not look into his berth. At Havre de Grace Pinkerton was signaled by Webster that “All’s well;” and from there to Baltimore, at every bridge-crossing, standing on the rear platform of the last car, he could see a man spring up as the train passed on, and show a white light from the dark lantern hanging in his belt, which meant, “All’s well.” Reaching Baltimore at about half past three in the morning, Mr. Stearns, the Superintendent of the road, entered the car, and whispered in the ear of Pinkerton the welcome words, “All’s well.” That city, which the conspirators had planned to make that day the scene of a tragedy as infamous as that of Wilkes Booth, was now in profound repose; and the assassins of the red ballot little dreaming that their intended victim was passing on to the protecting bayonets of General Scott. Nothing occurred to interrupt or delay the passage, and at six in the morning of the 23d they reached Washington, where at the dépôt they were met by some of the President’s Illinois friends.

Pinkerton had told Mr. Lincoln at Philadelphia he would answer with his life for his safe arrival in Washington, and he had redeemed his pledge.

[1] Webster went into the secret service of the Government under the administration of Mr. Lincoln, and, as an illustration of the condition of public feeling after the attack on Fort Sumter, I insert the following incident:

In April he was traveling by railroad from Winchester west, and observed in the car six commissioners or emissaries from South Carolina and Georgia, each of them wearing conspicuously a black and white cockade. They received marked attention from the passengers, and from the people at the stations. Soon the attention of Webster was attracted to a man rather beyond middle age, a planter or farmer, with a most resolute and determined expression of face. He became excited by the cockade gentlemen, known to be rebel agents. He seemed restless and uneasy, and as they passed him would scowl upon them with undisguised hostility. Finally Webster, who sat watching, saw him draw a revolver from his pocket and place it on the seat beside him, and, as the six rebel emissaries approached him, he rose in his seat, took off his hat, and looking sternly at them, exclaimed, “Gentlemen, I am from Tennessee, and I say hurrah for Andrew Jackson and damn all those who would destroy the Union!” and then resumed his seat. The car, filled with men, was silent, every one expecting a fight. Several gentlemen approached the man, but after looking in his face passed on in silence. Soon after three other rebel agents, wearing cockades came in. Rising again, and stepping on the seal, he raised his hat and again exclaimed, still more pointedly, “Hurrah for Andrew Jackson, and damn all men who wear cockades!” Several persons sitting near him rose and left the car, not caring to be present at the expected fight. Directly four rather rough-looking men came and took the vacant seats near him. They were his neighbors from East Tennessee. A crowd of men, with those wearing cockades, gathered at each end of the car. He rose the third time, and stepping into the passage, looking first at one end and then the other, he took off his hat and said, “I say hurrah for Andrew Jackson and damn all traitors who wear cockades!” Such was the determination expressed in his eye and bearing that none assailed him. The cockade men all left and were no more seen in the car or on the train.

[2] If there are any who have hitherto entertained doubts of Mr. Lincoln’s peril, the facts set forth in this article will doubtless remove them. The circumstances set forth in Mr. Pinkerton’s records should be read with a recollection of the disclosures on the trial of Booth’s associates. And it should be also remembered that a few days after Mr. Lincoln’s passage through Baltimore, this same mob, under the instigation of the same leaders, attacked and killed not less than four, and wounded many others, of the Massachusetts Sixth on their passage through Baltimore. What had these soldiers done to excite that mob, as compared with their exasperated feelings toward Mr. Lincoln? Would a mob that attacked a regiment of armed men have been deterred from attacking one man, whom they regarded as a tyrant and the chief object of their hatred?


Published on-line by Michael Goad, February 25, 2005

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