A couple of weeks ago, I posted this 1937 photograph of Edwin B. Pitts, Chief Clerk of the Judge Advocate General’s Office, posing with John Wilkes Booth’s gun:
Today, I stumbled upon another image of Edwin Pitts with Booth’s derringer:
This image of Edwin Pitts also provides a nice look at some of the other assassination related artifacts.
The above portion of the image shows the Spencer carbine retrieved by Booth and Herold at the Surratt Tavern and the wooden bar used to block the door into the box at Ford’s Theatre.
Among the items shown above are Booth’s boot and compass. There is also the tie attributed to George Atzerodt and a pack of papers that looks like it could be Booth’s diary. I’m not sure which pistol that is, but it could be one of Booth’s. The knife shown is the etched “Liberty” knife that, while currently on display at Ford’s Theatre as Booth’s knife, was not recovered from his body at Garrett’s farm.
After finding two different images of Edwin Pitts holding Booth’s gun, I’m wondering how often Mr. Pitts took the relic out of storage to pose with it for curious photographers.
Just odd the guy’s name holding JWB’s derringer is Edwin too. 🙂
Dave, the revolver is the 1851 Colt “Navy” revolver displayed at Ford’s Theatre as Booth’s.
Note the string tied on the Deringer. That is to keep from losing the hammer since the head of the hammer screw was missing. A new screw, actually an ordinary wood screw rather than a genuine Deringer-produced one, was used to repair it sometime in the 1960s or 70s. There’s no way to know if the screw was broken when Booth possessed or at some later time after its recovery. If it was like that when Booth had it, he’s lucky it didn’t fall apart when he pulled it out in the Presidential box.
I believe Pitts is sitting on the wooden box that the evidence was stored in at the War Department.