June 5, 1865

Monday, June 5, 1865

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The court convened at 10 o’clock.[1]

Present: All nine members of the military commission, the eight conspirators, Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, Assistant Judge Advocates Bingham and Burnett, the recorders of the court, lawyers John Clampitt, Walter Cox, and William Doster.

Absent: Reverdy Johnson, Frederick Aiken, Thomas Ewing, and Frederick Stone.

Seating chart:

The prisoners were seated in the same manner as the day before.

The reading of the prior day’s testimony was completed at 11:40 am.[2]

Testimony began

Rev. William B. Evans, a Presbyterian minister from Prince George’s County, MD, was called as a prosecution witness and testified about the poor reputation of John Zadoc Jenkins, Mrs. Surratt’s brother who had testified on her behalf. Evans stated that Jenkins pretended to be a loyal Union man in 1861 but that it was a pretense. Evans stated that Jenkins, and most of the men in Prince George’s were rebels. When pressed about how he knew of Jenkins’ disloyalty, Evans admitted he did not have any personal association with Jenkins and only knew what others had told him about it. Rev. Evans also testified that between the first and fourth of March, he was riding into D.C. when Dr. Mudd passed him on the road. Evans stated that Dr. Mudd had, “a fiery horse” that drove past him, but that he lost sight of Dr. Mudd in the city and that he did not know where he stopped.[3] Neither Thomas Ewing nor Frederick Stone, Dr. Mudd’s lawyers, were present at the time of Rev. Evans’ testimony and so they did not cross-examine him about his claim of seeing Dr. Mudd heading towards Washington in the beginning of March. Later in the day, after the lawyers arrived in the courtroom, Rev. Evans was recalled to be cross-examined. During that time much of his testimony regarding Dr. Mudd would be discredited.

Townley Bushrod Robey, a resident of Prince George’s County and the father of Andrew V. Robey, testified as a prosecution witness about the reputation of John Zadoc Jenkins, Mary Surratt’s brother who had testified on her behalf. Robey stated that for the past three years Jenkins had been one of the most disloyal men in the county. According to Robey, Jenkins claimed he had been offered an office under Lincoln’s administration and that Jenkins had replied that, “he would not hold an office under any such d—-d creature or any such d—-d Government.” Robey lacked firsthand knowledge about Jenkins’ sentiments at the beginning of the war but expressed the opinion that Jenkins’ loss of one of the men he enslaved caused him to break with the Union. The defense got Robey to recount that Jenkins currently had a suit pending against his son Andrew, due to Andrew detaining Jenkins during the 1864 elections. Robey stated that Jenkins came to the polls drunk, requiring his son and him to restrain him.[4] Like some of the other prosecution witnesses, Townley Robey demonstrated that John Zadoc Jenkins developed some antipathy towards the Union government as the war continued. The prosecution hoped Jenkins disloyal statements would negate his testimony in the eyes of the court.

John L. Thompson, a neighbor of Mary Surratt’s in Prince George’s County, testified for the prosecution about the reputation of her brother, John Zadoc Jenkins. Like the prior prosecution witnesses, Thompson stated that Jenkins had become increasingly disloyal in his sentiments as the war raged on.  Thompson expressed his belief that both Jenkins and Mary Surratt were disloyal in their sentiments. This view he gained from run-ins with Jenkins and he having lived with the Surratts for two years and hearing Mrs. Surratt’s conversations during that time. According to Thompson, John Zadoc Jenkins said he would fight for the South if he was forced to fight.[5]

At some point during either Townley Robey or John L. Thompson’s testimony, Thomas Ewing and Frederick Stone, lawyers for Dr. Mudd, arrived at the courtroom. They requested that Rev. William Evans, the first witness of the day, be recalled for cross-examination. This was allowed.

Rev. William B. Evans, a Presbyterian minister from Prince George’s County, MD, was recalled to the stand. He was heavily questioned by Thomas Ewing. During this second time on the stand, Evans expanded on his story regarding seeing Dr. Mudd on the road to D.C. either the 1st or 2nd of March. Evans now stated that Dr. Mudd was in a buggy with two horses and that the speed in which the doctor passed by him almost sent the reverend’s horse into a frenzy. In addition, though he earlier testified that he had no knowledge of where Dr. Mudd went once in D.C., he now claimed that he saw Dr. Mudd enter the house of Mary Surratt’s boardinghouse.[6] Author Michael Kauffman, in his book American Brutus, aptly summarizes Evans’ testimony: “On cross-examination, Evans could only guess what [Mrs. Surratt’s] house looked like and where it was located. He guessed wrong. He offered conflicting stories to explain how he knew it was the right place, and though he had suggested his journals would help him fix the date, he retreated from that position instantly when the defense suggested he bring them in. Every material part of Evans testimony was shown to be false.”[7]


In the midst of Rev. William Evans’ testimony, the court decided to take its normal one hour recess for lunch. During this time all of the conspirators were returned to their cells. At about 2 o’clock, the court reassembled.[8]

Testimony resumed

Rev. William B. Evans, a Presbyterian minister from Prince George’s County, MD, continued to be cross examined by Thomas Ewing regarding his allegation of having seen Dr. Mudd riding to D.C. and visiting Mary Surratt’s boardinghouse around March 1st. Evans added that he “often” passed Dr. Mudd on the road up to Washington during the past winter months, and that sometimes Dr. Mudd was in the company of his brother, father, and even David Herold once. Yet when asked for specifics, Evans was unable to provide any. He also backtracked by saying he had not seen Dr. Mudd’s father for several years. Evans claimed that he was a detective holding a “secret commission under the government” but denied being a detective officer. Mary Surratt’s lawyer, Frederick Aiken, started to ask Evans a question regarding when he “laid aside his clerical robes to become a detective,” to which Evans countered he had never set aside his clerical robes. Judge Advocate Joseph Holt, likely seeing the way his witness was being thoroughly discredited, finally objected, claiming the defense was trying to “insult and degrade” Evans. This brought the cross-examination to a close.[9] Later, in his closing argument, Ewing brought forth evidence to completely dismiss Rev. Evans’ testimony. Still he gave Evans credit for one statement he made on the stand: “I feel bound in candor to admit,” Ewing stated, “that his conduct on the stand gave an air of plausibility to one of his material statements – that for a month past he has ‘been on the verge of insanity.’”[10]

[Sarah Frances] “Fannie” Mudd, Dr. Mudd’s sister, testified that she had seen her brother at their father’s farm on March 2nd – 5th. Fannie recounted that one of their sisters fell ill on Ash Wednesday which was March 1st. Since her condition did not improve, the next day they sent for Dr. Mudd and he spent the next three days visiting his sister and tending to her. This testimony was to disprove the prior testimony of Marcus P. Norton who claimed Dr. Mudd entered his room at the National Hotel on March 3rd, looking for John Wilkes Booth. The testimony also worked to counter the prior witness Rev. Evans who claimed to have seen Dr. Mudd in D.C. around the same time. Thomas Ewing also asked Fannie if she had ever heard of any men hiding out in the words near her brother’s farm. She recounted that such an event only occurred in 1861 and that she had never seen John Surratt at her brother’s farm. This was to counter the testimony of Mary Simms who testified otherwise. Fannie stated that she saw John Wilkes Booth only once and that it was in November of 1864, when Booth attended St. Mary’s Church with Dr. Queen.[11] Fannie went on to marry married another trial witness, Thomas Llewellyn Gardiner.

Emily [Boarman] Mudd, Dr. Mudd’s sister-in-law, largely reiterated the testimony of Fannie Mudd regarding the movements of Dr. Mudd during the first few days of March. She recalled how Dr. Mudd tended to his sick sister from March 2nd – 5th. Emily also denied having seen any men about Dr. Mudd’s farm since 1861. Emily also stated that she saw Dr. Mudd riding back from Bryantown on the day after Lincoln’s assassination. She stated the doctor was riding alone at that time. When the prosecution cross-examined, Emily they asked her if she saw her brother-in-law riding towards Bryantown earlier in the day. She stated that she did. For some strange reason, the prosecution failed to ask Emily whether the doctor was alone during his ride towards Bryantown. Given that several of the prosecution’s witnesses testified that David Herold accompanied Dr. Mudd to Bryantown, this is a strange omission on the part of the prosecution.[12]

Charles Deuel, a member of the Construction Corps, Railroad Department, testified that he had been working in Morehead City, North Carolina during the month of May. On May 2nd, while he and another man named James Ferguson were near the government wharf in that city, he noticed a letter floating in the water. He picked it up and discovered it was written in code. Deuel stated that through a little trial and error, he managed to decode the note. The letter was dated April 15th and was in an envelope bearing the name John W. Wise. The letter spoke of the work “Pet” had done well and that “Old Abe” was now dead. The writer lamented that “Red Shoes” lacked nerve in “Seward’s case”. The writer also appealed to the intended recipient to “bring Sherman” and commanded them not to “lose your nerve.” The letter continued in a coded, conspiratorial fashion and was ultimately signed by “No. Five”. At this point, the defense had very few questions about the letter as they deemed it unrelated to their clients’ cases and assumed the government was admitting it in the same manner they had presented evidence against the Confederate government. Only Frederick Aiken cross-examined Deuel asking how he decoded the letter and whether the original letter had suffered a great deal of blurring from being found in the water. Deuel stated his belief that it did not appear to have been in the water long and was therefore not blurred.[13] In his book, The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia, author Edward Steers, Jr. states that, “The letter appears to be a fabrication, but by whom and for what purpose is not clear.”[14] Later, on June 7th, Thomas Ewing would make a motion to have this cipher letter stricken from the record.

The coded letter, found in the water in Morehead City, NC, was entered into evidence as Exhibit 79.

James Ferguson, a laborer working under the previous witness, Charles Deuel, testified that he was with Deuel in Morehead City, NC. Ferguson claimed he was the one who noticed the letter in the water and called it to the attention of Deuel who retrieved it. Ferguson identified the letter submitted into evidence as the same one he had seen.[15] This James Ferguson is not to be confused with James P. Ferguson, the owner of the Greenback Saloon who witnessed Lincoln’s assassination.

John H. Barr, a D.C. wheelwright, was called as a defense witness and testified about seeing George Atzerodt on April 12th. Barr stated he met Atzerodt, a man he did not know, at a restaurant owned by a liveryman named Mathew Pope. Barr and Atzerodt shared drinks together before Barr invited Atzerodt to share a meal with him at his home. After the meal was over, the two had a few more drinks at a restaurant before they went to Pope’s stables. Barr watched as Atzerodt’s horse was saddled and then Atzerodt rode off. Barr was able to verify April 12th as the date these events occurred by consulting a journal which documented the work he remembered completing on the day he met Atzerodt.[16] Mathew Pope, the liveryman, had previously testified that a man had come to his livery trying to sell him a horse but was noncommittal in his identification of Atzerodt as that man. By bringing in Barr to testify, William Doster, George Atzerodt’s attorney, fixed that discrepancy.

Betty Washington, an African American servant working on the farm of Dr. Samuel Mudd, was recalled after previously testifying on May 27th. Washington was called as a defense witness by Thomas Ewing who asked her about Dr. Mudd’s whereabouts in March. Washington testified that she had seen Dr. Mudd at his house on March 1 – March 5th. She could identity those dates specifically because March 1st had been Ash Wednesday. Over these days, Washington had assisted Dr. Mudd in cutting brush and had seen him stripping tobacco. Like the earlier testimonies of Fannie and Emily Mudd, the point of this testimony was place Dr. Mudd at his home and thus further discredit Marcus Norton and Rev. Evans who claimed to have seen Mudd in D.C. around the beginning of March. During cross-examination, Assistant Judge Advocate John Bingham asked Washington about her interactions with Dr. Mudd on Thursday, March 2nd. She repeated that she saw him at breakfast on that date before they went out to cut brush. Bingham asked about Thursday again and Washington, once again, reiterated the timeline. During the cross examination, Thomas Ewing realized a mistake had been made. Fannie and Emily Mudd had both testified that Dr. Mudd had taken breakfast at their house on Thursday, March 2nd because the doctor was tended to his sister. After the cross-examination was ended, Ewing asked Betty Washington, “Are you certain that Dr. Mudd took breakfast at his house on the day after Ash Wednesday?” Before she could answer, Bingham objected saying that the question was not a proper re-examination. Ewing stated he desired to ask the question in order to explain a “seeming contradiction, and have the matter fully understood.” The court, however, sustained Bingham’s objection and Ewing was unable to get any sort of correction or clarification out of Betty Washington.[17]

William P. Wood, the superintendent of the Old Capitol Prison, was called as a defense witness for Mary Surratt. Wood testified concerning the reputation of John Zadoc Jenkins, Mary Surratt’s brother who had testified on May 30th. Wood stated he had known Jenkins for about six years and that he considered him to be a Union man. He recounted that Jenkins spoke out against the possible secession of Maryland at the start of the war and that, while Jenkins did not campaign for his local Union party candidate in 1863, he did not support the states’ rights candidate either. Wood reiterated what some of the prosecution witnesses had said regarding Jenkins’ increasing frustration with Lincoln administration. However, Wood clarified that while he felt Jenkins was bitter towards the administration due to their work abolishing slavery, he was not a disloyal or rebellious citizen like many others in the region. During cross-examination Wood admitted he did not have the same degree of familiarity with Jenkins as his neighbors did. Wood also stated that in the most recent election, he had heard Jenkins had voted for the states’ rights candidate and that ever since he, “had not that political confidence in him that I had previously.”[18]

Frank Washington, an African American servant of Dr. Mudd’s who had formerly been enslaved by him, was recalled the stand by the defense after previously testifying on May 27th. Frank was the husband of former witness, Betty Washington, and was likewise asked about Dr. Mudd’s whereabouts on March 1 – 5th. Frank testified that he had seen Dr. Mudd at his home every day during that time period. The two men worked together in the tobacco beds and stripping tobacco. Frank testified that Dr. Mudd went to his father’s house for dinner on Friday, March 3rd. Thomas Ewing was using Washington’s testimony to counter the discredited claims of Marcus Norton and Rev. William Evans the latter of which stated he had seen Dr. Mudd enter Mary Surratt’s boarding house around this time. During cross-examination, the prosecution, once again, focused on Dr. Mudd’s whereabouts on Thursday, March 2nd. Like his wife before him, Frank Washington stated that Dr. Mudd had breakfast at home that day.[19] This ran contrary to the earlier testimonies of Fannie and Emily Mudd who claimed Dr. Mudd was at his father’s house for breakfast that morning. It was clear that one of the pairs, either the Mudds or the Washingtons, were incorrect in their story of where Dr. Mudd breakfasted that day. While the prosecution seized on this inconsistency, it didn’t really do much to restore the credibility of their own battered witnesses, Norton and Evans.

John H. Acton, a farmer residing between Dr. Mudd’s farm and Bryantown, testified for the defense that he had seen Dr. Mudd riding towards Bryantown on April 15th. According to Acton, when he saw the doctor on the road he was originally alone but not long after a man overtook him on horseback. Acton testified he saw this same man ride back from the direction of Bryantown less than an hour after he had gone towards the village. On cross examination, the prosecution tried to get Acton to identify David Herold as the man he saw. Acton could not commit to the identification, only saying that Herold, “looks more like him than any of the others.”[20] Ewing called Acton to counter the testimony of Becky Briscoe who stated that she had seen David Herold wait outside of Bryantown for Dr. Mudd and that the two rode back towards the doctor’s farm together after his visit.

Mason L. McPherson, a resident of Charles County, Maryland, testified that he lived about three quarters of a mile from Bryantown and that he visited the village on April 15th. McPherson stated he was in the village for about 5 hours during that day but that he was never able to learn the identity of Lincoln’s assassin. McPherson claimed he talked to both the soldiers who were stationed there and the citizenry but all he heard was that a man named John Boyle had assassinated the Secretary of State. McPherson also gave his opinion regarding the poor reputation of Daniel Thomas, one of the prosecution’s witnesses against Dr. Mudd.[21] McPherson followed the route of many of Ewing’s witnesses in attempting to cast doubt on the testimony of Lt. David Dana who stated the whole village of Bryantown knew that Booth was the assassin by 1:15 pm that day.

John W. McPherson, a resident of Charles County and a brother of the prior witness, Mason McPherson, testified in much the same manner as his brother. John claimed he also visited Bryantown for a period of hours in April 15th and was never able to ascertain the identity of Lincoln’s assassin. He likewise stated that Daniel Thomas had a poor reputation for honesty in the community.[22] Becky Briscoe, an earlier prosecution witness, resided at John McPherson’s home and the plat map of the area near Bryantown, created by Dr. Joseph Blandford and entered into evidence as Exhibit 78, shows John McPherson’s home in relation to the village.

John T. Langley, a resident of Charles County, testified that he had visited Bryantown repeatedly on April 15th. Langley stated that he did not learn the identity of Lincoln’s assassin until two days later on April 17th as the citizens and soldiers did not originally know. When initially asked if, in Bryantown on April 15th, he had heard, “conversation there on the subject of the assassination of the President,” Langley replied, “No, sir. I did not.” Immediately thereafter Ewing asked him, “Did you hear that the President was assassinated?” to which Langley replied, “Yes, sir.”[23]

Peter Trotter, a blacksmith living in Bryantown, testified that he did not hear the identity of Lincoln’s assassin until Sunday, April 16th. Trotter stated he inquired with the soldiers present at Bryantown on April 15th, but that they did not know the name of the person who shot Lincoln, only that a man named Boyle had assassinated the Secretary of State. Trotter also gave his opinion that prosecution witness Daniel Thomas was unreliable. During their cross-examination, the prosecution inquired about Trotter’s loyalties during the war which he admitted were more with the Rebellion at the onset of the war but had since waned.[24]

Benjamin W. Gardiner, a farmer residing near Dr. Mudd in Charles County, MD, testified that he saw Dr. Mudd at church on the Sunday after the assassination. Thomas Ewing, Dr. Mudd’s lawyer, asked Gardiner whether the doctor had made any mentioned at church regarding two suspicious men having been at his house. Assistant Judge Advocate John Bingham objected to the question, stating that the answer would be the same as Dr. Mudd giving his own declaration to the court which was not then considered admissible evidence. Ewing countered the objection by saying that Dr. Mudd’s words at church were admissible since they connected to the prosecution’s claim that Dr. Mudd had concealed knowledge of the two men on Tuesday, April 18. The court sided with Bingham and prevented Ewing from asking his question. This was the end of Gardiner’s testimony.[25] Ewing had tried the same gambit when he brought Dr. George Mudd to the stand on May 29 to testify about Dr. Mudd reporting to him about the visitors to his house. Both of these attempts to get Dr. Mudd’s words on the record failed.

[William] Thomas Davis, a worker on Dr. Mudd’s farm, was recalled to the stand after previously testifying for the defense on May 29th. Davis stated that he had been sick earlier in the year from February 22nd until about the 15th of March. During his illness he stayed in the Mudd house and was visited by Dr. Mudd twice a day while the doctor checked in on him. Davis testified that Dr. Mudd was at his home on Ash Wednesday, March 1st, because he remembered the doctor telling him he could give him no meat because Lent had started. Davis recounted that Dr. Mudd continued his normal visitation for the remainder of the week. Davis also testified that Dr. Mudd did not own a two horse buggy or carriage of his own. On cross-examination he stated that Mr. Mudd, the doctor’s father, did own a two horse buggy.[26] Davis testimony was to further discredit the earlier testimonies of Marcus Norton and Rev. William Evans who claimed to have seen Dr. Mudd on the way to, and in, Washington, D.C. around March 2nd. Rev. Evans claimed Dr. Mudd passed him rather roughly on the road to D.C. in a buggy, yet Davis claimed the doctor did not own such a buggy, further damaging Rev. Evans’ account.

Before calling the next physical witness, Thomas Ewing presented a telegram written by the actor John McCullough requesting that it be entered into evidence as if it had been testified to by McCullough personally. McCullough’s telegram, written to John T. Ford, stated that the actor had left D.C. on March 26th and that he had not been back into the city since. The telegram was accepted as both evidence and testimony.[27] The purpose of this note was the counter the testimony of Louis Weichmann who claimed that he had been sent to Booth’s room by Mrs. Surratt on April 2nd and that he saw John McCullough there.

The telegram from John McCullough to John T. Ford concerning his departure from Washington, was entered into evidence as Exhibit 80.

John F. Davis, the father of the prior witness, Thomas Davis, testified that his son was indeed sick during the period he described. The elder Davis lived in Prince George’s County and visited his son at the Mudd farm on March 3rd. He testified about seeing Dr. Mudd there during that visit.[28] This testimony was to strengthen the younger Davis’ testimony and further discredit the testimony of both Marcus Norton and Rev. Evans.

At around 5 o’clock, after the conclusion of Davis’ testimony, the court was cleared of visitors and the conspirators were returned to their cells.[29] The commissioners, prosecution, court reporters and possibly the defense attorneys then met in closed session. The topic of discussion dealt with the fact that on Friday, June 2nd, the Cincinnati Commercial had published, in an edited fashion, the testimonies of Sandford Conover, James Merritt and Richard Montgomery. These three men had testified about the seeing John Wilkes Booth in Canada conversing with Confederate agents. However, their testimonies were conducted in secret and had been withheld from the press. The publishing of this testimony was an embarrassing breach of protocol that needed to be explained. It was determined that the leaked testimony was the fault of court report Benn Pitman. Discussions had occurred between Pitman and Assistant Judge Advocate Henry Burnett regarding the possible release of some of suppressed testimony. In preparation for this, Pitman had completed a summarized version of the testimony. He sent this version of the testimony to his wife in Ohio so that the “western press” would be able to have it for publication at the same time it was released to the “eastern press”. While Pitman left instructions that the testimony not be published until official permission had been received, the editor of the Commercial went ahead anyway. Within a couple of days after the testimony’s publication in the Commercial, Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt chose to release the rest of the previously suppressed testimony to the public.[30] When this occurred, the newspapers began their own investigations of Conover, Merritt and Montgomery’s claims and found many inconsistencies. It was later determined that all three of these men had perjured themselves on the stand.

After the discussion regarding the leaked testimony was complete, the court adjourned for the day.


From General Kautz’ diary:

“The Hemphills and Judge Johnson accompanied me to the Commission Room. They staid long enough to get a good look at the prisoners and then I sent them over to the Navy Yard. The Court was detained (very unnecessarily) to investigate the publication of the reserved testimony, which has been made public by the carelessness of the Judge Advocate Dept. through Burnett & his reporter Pittman.”[31]

Newspaper Descriptions

“The heat is excessive, and all the prisoners with the exception of Herold and Mudd are in their shirt sleeves. Some talk is occasioned in the Court room by the fact that a Cincinnati paper has divulged the suppressed testimony taken before the court.”[32]

“The introduction of this kind of evidence tends to prolong the trial, as the counsel for prisoners claim the right to introduce rebutting testimony, and the counsel for the Government, in turn, produce other evidence to rebut that offered by the defense. If this is continued the trial threatens to become perpetual, in a contest between opposing counsel as to which side can produce the greatest number of witnesses, for the prisoner’s counsel appear to act on the belief that the cases are not to be decided according to their merits but upon the number of witnesses that may be brought forward.”[33]

“The Court was cleared, and the Commission went into secret session at five o’clock, but upon what business can only be conjectured; but it was supposed to relate to the premature publication of the suppressed testimony.”[34]

Mrs. Surratt

“Yesterday [Sunday] Miss Anna Surratt had an interview with her mother in the court room by permission of the proper authorities. The interview was of course in the presence of officers, and was very affecting. The daughter immediately on entering the room ran to her mother and eagerly embraced and kissed her; tears meanwhile streaming down the daughter’s cheeks. The mother betrayed less emotion and shed no tears, evidently suppressing her feelings by a strong effort. The interview between the mother and daughter lasted two or three hours, and was of a personal character. The parting was of the same character as the meeting.”[35]

“Mrs. Surratt still sits with her veil down and her face hidden behind her fan.”[36]

Lewis Powell

“Payne was again attired in his blue woolen shirt.”[37]

“Payne appeared with a white handkerchief about his neck.”[38]

David Herold

“Herold was attired as usual.”[39]

George Atzerodt

“Atzerodt… appeared this morning in a clean white shirt, with no collar…Atzerodt wore a black vest, which was open.”[40]

Dr. Mudd

“Mudd was attired the same as usual in the brown linen coat. He had no shirt collar on, and has been without the handkerchief about his neck for the past week.”[41]

Samuel Arnold

“Arnold was dressed in a clean, white shirt, without a collar; his hair was combed, and looked something better than usual. During the greater part of the morning session he stood up, with his arms resting on the rail in front of him.”[42]

Michael O’Laughlen

“O’Laughlin…appeared this morning in a clean white shirt, with no collar. O’Laughlin wore neither coat nor vest.”[43]

Edman Spangler

“Spangler appeared this morning with no coat on. He wore a dark purple woolen shirt, the collar open, and has the same miserable appearance as usual.”[44]


“The court room was very much crowded, and every seat occupied long before the opening of the court. Among those present this morning were Gov. [Augustus W] Bradford, of Maryland, Ward H. Lamon, Esq., U. S. Marshal for this District, and S. W. Phillips, Esq., deputy marshal.”[45]

On this date, John Hitz, Jr., the Consul General of Switzerland, wrote a note to Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt asking for a pass to the trial for Frederick C. Richards, a Swiss gentleman.[46] Hitz had visited the court room himself on May 20th. It is unknown if Holt fulfilled this request, but it seems likely. In his later years, John Hitz went blind and befriended Helen Keller.

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[1] John F. Hartranft, The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft, ed. Edward Steers, Jr. and Harold Holzer (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2009), 115.
[2] Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[3] William C. Edwards, ed., The Lincoln Assassination – The Court Transcripts (Self-published: Google Books, 2012), 912 – 915.
[4] Edwards, Court Transcripts, 915 – 917.
[5] Ibid., 917 – 919.
[6] Ibid., 919 – 931.
[7] Michael W. Kauffman, American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies (New York: Random House, 2004), 363.
[8] Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[9] Edwards, Court Transcripts, 931 – 937.
[10] Thomas Ewing, Jr., Argument of Thomas Ewing, Jr., on the Jurisdiction and on the Law and the Evidence in the Case of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd (Washington, D.C.: H. Polkinhorn & Son, 1865), 17.
[11] Edwards, Court Transcripts, 937 – 942.
[12] Ibid., 942 – 944.
[13] Ibid., 944 – 946.
[14] Edward Steers, Jr., The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia (New York: Harper Perennial, 2010), 206.
[15] Edwards, Court Transcripts, 946.
[16] Ibid., 946 – 947.
[17] Ibid., 947 – 950.
[18] Ibid., 950 – 953.
[19] Ibid., 953 – 955.
[20] Ibid., 955 – 957.
[21] Ibid., 957 – 959.
[22] Ibid., 959 – 960.
[23] Ibid., 961 – 962.
[24] Ibid., 962 – 965.
[25] Ibid., 965 – 966.
[26] Ibid., 966 – 970.
[27] Ibid., 970.
[28] Ibid., 970 – 971.
[29] Hartranft, Letterbook, 115.
[30] Benn Pitman, Untitled Memoranda (New York Public Library, Jerome B. Howard Shorthand Collection). Furnished by Michael W. Kauffman.
[31] August V. Kautz, June 5, 1865 diary entry (Unpublished diary: Library of Congress, August V. Kautz Papers).
[32] Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[33] The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), June 6, 1865, 4.
[34] The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), June 6, 1865, 4.
[35] Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[36] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[37] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[38] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[39] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[40] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[41] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[42] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[43] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[44] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[45] Daily National Republican (Washington, D.C.), June 5, 1865, 2.
[46] John Hitz to Joseph Holy, June 5, 1865 (Letter: Library of Congress, Joseph Holt Papers).
The drawing of the conspirators as they were seated on the prisoners’ dock on this day was created by artist and historian Jackie Roche.


2 thoughts on “June 5, 1865

  1. Pingback: The Trial Today: June 5 | BoothieBarn

  2. Pingback: Formerly Enslaved Voices in the Lincoln Assassination Trial | LincolnConspirators.com

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