Posts Tagged With: Corbett

Boston Corbett’s Trip to the Hospital

Boston Corbett was a hero in the early morning hours of April 26th, 1865.  He brought Abraham Lincoln’s killer to justice by fatally shooting John Wilkes Booth through the neck at the Garretts’ barn. Though some would have preferred the assassin had been taken alive and put on trial, America was satisfied by the swift justice discharged through Corbett’s gun. Prior to his run in with history, Corbett was also a godsend to many of the poor Union soldiers imprisoned at Andersonville prison camp. A devout Christian, Corbett’s preaching of the Bible was his attempt to bring hope into an increasingly hopeless situation.

Boston Corbett CDV1

In addition to these personality traits however, Boston Corbett was also, shall we say, eccentric. Later in life his eccentricities would cause him to be admitted into an insane asylum. From here he would make his escape and disappear mysteriously, his fate known only to God.

It is one of Boston Corbett’s early eccentric activities that is the material for this post. Those of you familiar with the assassination story already know what surgical operation Boston Corbett performed on himself.  For those of you unaware of his actions, I will attempt to delicately explain. In his attempt to remove himself from all physical temptation, Corbett performed an act on himself that we typically reserve to animals like cats and dogs to prohibit their breeding.   For those of you who can overcome your squeamishness (and yes I’m mainly talking to the men here) what follows after the jump is the original hospital report and a transcription of Boston Corbett’s time in the hospital.

Keep reading, if you dare!

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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

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