Civil War Commemorations »

Some special events to consider, for those in the area or willing to travel to partake! In Dearborn, MI, the Henry Ford Museum is having an assassination commemoration, with Doris Kearns Goodwin speaking.  I got a laugh out of the pricing tiers, which include balcony seats and general floor admission, but no options for participants […]

Commemorative Events »

Readers in or near Caroline County, Virginia (or buffs who might want to make a trip out of it) should note this nifty little program, which features receptions, talks, bus tours, and even a dinner with an author, all on the subject of John Wilkes Booth’s flight, capture and death in Virginia. Caroline County is getting […]

Lincolniana Auction »

There was an important auction this week of Lincoln and assassination memorabilia. I was surprised by this discrepancy: The lock of hair, taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, sold for $25,000. An 1861 letter written by Booth to a friend boasting about his career and […]

Replica of Lincoln’s Coffin on Tour »

I’m posting this too late for it to be of use to Indiana buffs, but there are enough interesting facts to merit mentioning it anyway.  If you ever wanted to know the difference between a coffin and a casket, for instance – I’d never given it much thought before.  I’d also not given much thought to the size […]

On Stage at Ford’s »

Someone has posted this amazing letter written by Harry Hawk, one of the actors performing at the play when Booth shot Lincoln. In fact, he was the only actor onstage when Booth jumped out of the box. My Dear Parents, This is the first time I have had to write to you since the assassination […]

Tennis Swings »

Some literal gallows humor in the title, there:  If you zoom in on the embedded map, you’ll be able to see the tennis courts at Fort Lesley J. McNair, in Washington.  At the time of the Civil War, these courts were the site of the Washington Arsenal, and it was on this exact ground in […]

Lincoln Kennedy Coincidence »

No, not the spurious set of “coincidences” (some of which are blatant lies) that was promulgated in the ’60s, but some interesting history on the Kennedy funeral.  Turns out JFK laid in state on the same catafalque that held Lincoln’s body, and the caisson that transported his coffin was also used in the Lincoln ceremonies. […]

The Nooses »

A Florida columnist has been writing articles drawn from an ancestor’s Civil War diaries.  The pieces are too overdramatic for my tastes – shuddering to learn his horse had taken part in Sherman’s March, for instance – but if the details below are to be believed, Charlie Tinker was charged with the disposal of some […]

The Death of John Wilkes Booth, 1865 »

Happy deathday, John Wilkes Booth!  I can’t think of anyone who deserved a bullet in the neck more than you. After riding and searching continuously for over 24 hours, the men of the 16th New York Cavalry arrive at the Garrett farm at 2 oclock on the morning of April 26 and quickly discover Herold […]

Our American Cousin Revisited »

A Slate writer reads through Our American Cousin so we don’t have to. (For that we should be grateful – it sounds pretty dire.) It’s the hoariest sick joke in America: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” By now it isn’t even a joke; it’s become a familiar way to […]