Posts Tagged With: Jones

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 8

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

Part 8 of my series “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” is now complete and available for viewing.

In this part I discuss Booth’s comfort and the ways he could have passed the hours of waiting.

To watch the video, you can either click on the image above and scroll down, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube, or play the embedded video below.

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 6

I just completed Part 6 of my series “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods“. In this part, I discuss the fate of John Wilkes Booth and David Herold’s horses while the pair hid in the pine thicket.

To watch the video, click on the image below and scroll down, or click HERE to watch the video on YouTube.

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 5

Part 5 of my series John Wilkes Booth in the Woods is edited and uploaded!  To watch it, click on the image below and scroll down, or, to watch the video right on YouTube, click HERE.

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

I apologize for the delay between the previous installments and this one.  I was having computer issues which prevented me from editing and rendering videos.  Now, thanks to my brother, my computer is fixed and the rest of the videos should be completed and shared in a more timely manner.  Thank you for understanding.


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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 4

Part 4 of my series, John Wilkes Booth in the Woods, is now edited and uploaded!


In an effort to keep all the videos together and in one easily accessible place, I’ve created a new page here on BoothieBarn for the series.

You can access the John Wilkes Booth in the Woods page a few different ways:

1. I’ve added a link to the page on the menu bar at the very top of the site:

JWB Woods top Menu

2.  You can find a link to it listed on the side of the site under the “Pages” header:

JWB Woods Pages

3. Easiest of all, clicking the following picture will take you right to the page.  I’ll be sure to include this image in future posts about the series:

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

As more videos are completed I’ll add them to the John Wilkes Booth in the Woods page and write a quick post to let you all know a new video is up. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

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“Lincoln’s Assassin” on NatGeo’s “Diggers”

Those of you who get the National Geographic channel will want to be tuning in next Tuesday, March 25th at 10 pm EST.  On that date and time a new episode of the metal detecting show “Diggers” will be premiering.  The name of the episode is called “Lincoln’s Assassin” and the show will highlight the exploits of metal detecting duo “King” George Wyant and Tim “Ringy” Saylor as they search for long lost artifacts in places related to John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln's Assassin Diggers

Over the course of the production, the Diggers dug for Booth relics at his childhood home of Tudor Hall, Bryantown Tavern, Thomas Jones’ Huckleberry, down by the edge of the Potomac, and at Mrs. Quesenberry’s house in Virginia.  “KG” and “Ringy” are unique treasure hunters, making jokes all along the way and making bets over who can uncover the best “nectar” (find).  At the end of the episode the pair will show their “nectar” to an archaeologist and assassination author Michael Kauffman to see if they found a Booth artifact that will change our understanding of history.

This episode will not only be an entertaining look at metal detecting, but also highlight several sites related to the life and escape of John Wilkes Booth.

On a personal note, I had the good fortune of being present at Huckleberry back in August on the day that the crew was shooting there.  I had unknowingly shown up at the Loyola Retreat House to take some pictures of the water’s edge, when I saw a large number of vehicles outside of Huckleberry.  After approaching the Diggers group and learning that they were shooting an episode about Booth, I was graciously invited to remain and watch the production.  It was an entertaining afternoon to say the least.  “KG” and “Ringy” are quite funny and Michael Kauffman was an excellent foil to their exuberant declarations of finding Booth’s “this” or “that”.  Here are a few pictures I took while the guys were shooting their scenes:

Diggers set 1

Diggers set 2

Diggers set 4

Here’s a shot of Michael Kauffman providing some background information about the different places the Diggers visited and Booth’s escape route:

Diggers set 5


I was also allowed inside of Huckleberry where some of the production assistants were working.  Huckleberry is used to house visiting priests to Loyola and is therefore furnished like a typical house today.  Nevertheless here is a short video I shot from inside the house.  Michael Kauffman makes a brief appearance to answer a couple of my questions:

In the midst of shooting there was a huge down pouring of rain and so there was a mad dash to protect the cameras and other equipment.  I helped the best I could by grabbing hold of the tent awning they had set up to prevent it from blowing away in the strong winds.  Michael Kauffman made the wiser choice of rushing into Huckleberry with his camera and microphone.  Within a half an hour the rain had stopped and there was only one more scene to shoot.  After they shot the scene I took this picture of Mike Kauffman and the guys:

Diggers set 6

Why is “Ringy” covered in mud?  You’ll just have to watch Diggers on Tuesday, March 25th at 10 pm EST to find out!


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Following the Escape Route: Dent’s Meadow

Yesterday, I visited Dent’s Meadow, the spot where John Wilkes Booth and David E. Herold first set across the Potomac River.  What follows is the short video clip that I made while standing on that Maryland shoreline:

Further images will come later as I complete a Crossing the Potomac Picture Gallery. In the meantime, here is an animated image of the spot in 1901 and now:


EDIT: One reader was a little confused regarding the location where I shot my video versus the location of Henry Woodland in the photograph taken by Osborn Oldroyd in 1901. I created this little map to hopefully alleviate that confusion:

Dent's Meadow Map

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The Surratts – Society Members

While looking through the illustrated souvenir book, Maryland Line Confederate Soldiers’ Home, Pikesville, Maryland complied by Capt. George W. Booth, I came across a few names I recognized.  The book contains not only a history of the Pikesville Soldiers’ Home, but also the muster rolls for the various Confederate Maryland companies during the Civil War.  It gives the names of conspirators Samuel Arnold and Michael O’Laughlen, who served in the 1st Maryland Infantry, companies C and D respectively.  At the end of the souvenir booklet is a roster of those veterans who became members of the Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in the state of Maryland:

Roster Confederate Marylanders

Here we see the Arnold brothers, Sam and Charles, who both served in Company C of the 1st Maryland Infantry.  Conspirator George Atzerodt’s brother Henry, who went by Harry, became a member as well.  Thomas A. Jones, the man who hid Booth and Herold in the pine thicket and sent them across the Potomac river, was also a member of the society due to the endorsement of his superior Colonel William Norris.  On Thomas Jones’ application for membership into the society Norris wrote:

“I certify, on honor, that I know of my own personal knowledge, that the above applicant served honorably in the Army or Navy of the Confederate States as Chief Agent of the Secret Service Bureau in Maryland where his unpaid services were of incalculable value to the Confederate States in keeping open the most thoroughly reliable path of communication through the Yankee line for 2 1/2 years…during which time the man lived under Yankee fire…”

Finishing up those familiar members are the Surratts, John and Issac. Isaac wasn’t paroled until September of 1865, assumingly having learned about his mother’s fate long after she had been executed. John, of course, was the longest lived of all the Lincoln assassination conspirators as his trial ended in a hung jury.  Though he lived to 1916, he was not the last surviving member on this list.  That honor goes to Harry Atzerodt who died in 1936 at the age of 91.

Maryland Line Confederate Soldiers’ Home, Pikesville, Maryland complied by Capt. George W. Booth
Thomas A. Jones – Chief Agent of the Confederate Secret Service in Maryland by John and Roberta Wearmouth

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Following the Escape Route: Pine Thicket to Huckleberry

One of my favorite books about the Lincoln assassination is Michael Kauffman’s, American Brutus.  The research is utterly superb and Kauffman delves into every nook and cranny to provide the clearest picture possible about the assassination.  Though I’ve only met Mike once at a talk he gave, I am also very impressed by his devotion to recreating the history.  The man has spent countless nights at Tudor Hall, jumped from a ladder onto the stage at Ford’s to replicate Booth’s jump from the box, attempted to row across the Potomac river, and even burned down a period tobacco barn that was scheduled for demolition.  I find all these recreations of history absolutely fascinating and also just plain cool.  Taking Michael Kauffman’s lead, I decided to get my feet wet today and try to recreate some of the escape route on foot.  To that end, today I walked from the location of where John Wilkes Booth and David Herold were hidden by Thomas Jones in the Pine Thicket, to one of their stops before reaching the shores of the Potomac, Jone’s home of Huckleberry.

Pine Thicket to Huckleberry Map

Though not part of the trek before me, I started my day by driving from my house to Rich Hill, the former home of Samuel Cox.  It was on my way to the Pine Thicket and I wanted to check on the building which, sadly, will not be here for long is something is not done to keep it up:



From Rich Hill, I drove to the Pine Thicket and parked my car in the area in front of the Maryland Civil War Trials signage in the area.  Exiting my car, I put on my backpack which contained a water bottle and Thomas Jones’ book, J. Wilkes Booth.  I started to walk down Wills Rd. and soon came to what is believed to be the Collis House.  In Jones’ book published in 1893, he states that the spot he first beheld the fugitives in the pines was now occupied by an Englishman named John Collis who built his home there.  It is thought, with relative certainty, that the Collis house still exists as part of this house on Wills Rd.

Collis House Engraving


I knocked on the door, hoping to chat with the owner but either no one was home, or they did not want to talk with me, so I walked on.  Reaching the end of Wills Rd., I realized that this trip was a good opportunity to live up to my previous comment that I would attempt to record video of more of my Boothie adventures.  So, I switched from pictures to video on my iPhone, and I documented the rest of my journey with videos.  What follows are those 10 short videos.  I was speaking off the cuff with nothing prepared and so please forgive any factual errors I may have made.  During my last video, I turned the camera while recording, hoping the video would rotate as well.  It did not, so for part of the video you will have to tilt your head sideways.   Sorry.  It was an amateur production, what can I say?

I left Huckleberry and retraced my route exactly as I had came. I enjoyed it, but I was certainly in need of a shower by the time I got home. 90 degree heat with no breeze and very little shade makes for one sweaty walk no matter the distance.

In conclusion, today I did my best to walk a mile(+) in the shoes of John Wilkes Booth, David Herold, and Thomas A. Jones. They made a similar journey under the cover of darkness listening intently to every sound they heard. It took me 50 minutes to walk the same basic route that the trio walked between dusk and 9:30 pm on April 20th, 1865.

Huckleberry June 2013

My recreation of history may not be “burning down a tobacco barn” quality, but it’s a start.

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