After Booth and Herold left Thomas Jones and ventured into the Potomac River, something occurred to steer the men off course. Thomas Jones attributed the flood tide and unfriendly currents as to the reason why Booth and Herold did not keep to their course. Booth dramatically wrote in his diary, “After being hunted like a dog through swamps, woods, and last night being chased by gunboats till I was forced to return wet, cold, and starving, with every man’s hand against me, I am here in despair.” Booth may be exaggerating the reason for their return to Maryland, but something, manmade or otherwise, kept the pair from making it to Mrs. Quesenberry’s. Instead, Booth and Herold arrived northwest from their departure point and landed in Nanjemoy Creek.
According to reporter George Alfred Townsend (GATH) in 1884, it was after beaching the boat that, Booth and Herold, “discovered a house nearby, to which Herold made his way, the latter saw something familiar about the place, he knowing all that country well.” The pair had inadvertently reached the farm of Peregrine Davis, a verbose character in Charles County who was described by General Hooker as, “one of the noisiest” rebels in the area. The land was called Indiantown Farm, and it was tended by Davis’ son-in-law, John J. Hughes, who lived on the property with his family. Booth and Herold would spend about 36 hours on Indiantown property.
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I don’t know when the small typed info on Hughes was done, but a Carrico home still stands in Bryantown. If you are standing in the center of Trotter Road looking at Bryantown Tavern, look to your right, and you will see a grand Victorian with all the gingerbread trim and surrounded by boxwoods on a knoll across Oliver Shop Road from you. That was owned by the Carricos when I was younger.
The Wills name is another old-time one in Southern Maryland. I believe that I’m correct that a Blackie Wills ran the amusement park that used to be at the bottom of Chapel Point under the watchful eye of that magnificent St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Fr. Bernadine Wiget, religious supporter of Mary Surratt, is buried near the front door of the church. Isaac Surratt, Mary’s eldest son, was educated briefly by the church there also.