OTD: Boston Corbett is Released

On this date (OTD), November 19th, in 1864, Private Boston Corbett was released from Andersonville prison.

Captured in June, Corbett spent five months under the tortuous conditions of Andersonville.  Corbett was seen as a godsend by many in the prison population by preaching the Bible during such rough and terrible times.  Of the fourteen men in Corbett’s company, only himself and one other survived their imprisonment there.

Upon returning to the 16th New York Cavalry, Corbett was promoted to Sergeant and would later join the hunt for Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.  At Garrett’s farm, Corbett fired the fatal shot that ended Booth life.  Corbett would testify at the conspiracy trial detailing his actions with the 16th in the capture of Davy Herold and the slaying of Booth.  He would also testify at the trial of Andersonville commander Henry Wirz.  Both Davy Herold and Henry Wirz would share the same temporary grave in the yard of the Old Arsenal prison until their bodies were released to their families.

Piece of Henry Wirz’ Old Arsenal coffin in the collection of the Smithsonian’s American History Museum.

Abraham Lincoln and Boston Corbett: With Personal Recollections of Each by Byron Berkeley Johnson (1914) Page 50

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “OTD: Boston Corbett is Released

  1. Jim Garrett

    Dave: Your posts are excellent. We have certainly had some good field trips! So looking forward to the conference!

  2. Jim Garrett

    Put you thinking cap on. Where do you want to go?

    • Put Rich to work and have him figure out where George’s father is buried. I’m thinking he is in Westmoreland County somewhere. The three of us (or two if Rich is unavailable) could go cemetery searching down there.

  3. If you run out of ideas….

    Possibly there was a photo of John Lloyd buried with him….

  4. Perhaps it could be termed an archaeological excavation?

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