I’m currently driving around Charles County after standing in line at the Maryland DMV for a hour to learn I was just one ID short if getting my license transferred over. I’m posting from my phone so this will be short.
Below is a picture of Edman Spangler’s grave stone. Spangler is buried in the Original (Old) St. Peter’s Cemetery. Of all the conspirators, Spangler is agreed upon as being the most innocent. He had known the Booth family from his time helping to create Junius Brutus Booth’s Tudor Hall in Bel Air, Maryland. He built and attended to the stables behind Ford’s Theatre where Booth kept his horses. And on the night of the assassination Booth called for Spangler to hold his horse. Due to these facts and the mistaken testimony that Spangler had told another theater worker to keep quiet after the assassination, Spangler was tried as an accomplice. Even the military commission’s sentencing of six years in prison shows their relative belief of his innocence in the assassination plot. It seems that Spangler was just made and example of due to his acquaintance with John Wilkes Booth.
Spangler’s grave is located in the back corner of this small cemetery opposite the sign.
I believe it was employee Jake Ritterspaugh who said that Spangler said “That was Booth!,” prompting Spangler to say (accord. to Jake) “Shut up! What do you know about it?!” Either Jake or someone else added that “Ned” had also slammed shut the stage door after Booth exited, to impede pursuit. The only “hard evidence” to make him complicit was a coil of rope. It was not extraordinary for him to have such a thing, given his profession. But the Military COmmission used it agst. him, theorizing that it had been intended for use in tripping up anyone on horseback who might pursue the carriage that a captured Lincoln was in. I’m not sure, but if that’s what they were thinking, tyhat would be evidence agst. the commission was admitting the existence of a kidnap plot! They conveniently ignored the existence of such an earlir plot. AM I right? Anyone have any thoughts on this? I should have looked in my books before rattling off this post, and ask for forgiveness for not having done so to make sure I have my facts right. Please feel free o correct me or add some comments. As Booth used to write, “In haste.”
I believe Mike Kauffman was involved — if not largely responsible –for the installation of the Spangler grave marker. The only time I visited the spot was years before the stone was placed there. It was in the course of a trip along the escape route that was conducted by Hall. With me was Mike, John Brennan, Harold Goettner, and Bert Sheldon. What a day that was! I’m so glad Mike took a picure of us all posing in front of the Garrett farm marker. Mike was just a youngster, starting college, I believe, but already showing signs of his brilliance.. He had a camera with a built-in timer, He set up the shot , clicked the shutter, and then ran over to pose with us!. .