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jmenges
02-21-2008, 04:31 AM
This thread is to discuss any topic related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, conspiracy theories and the war between the states.

JM

Mayerling
02-21-2008, 07:24 AM
Hi JM,

Personally, while I usually use the American Civil War and the War Between the States, my favorite two "euphemisms" were "the War Against Yankee Arrogance" (which I, a Northener, find hard to dispute), and "the late unpleasantness."

I guess we should start some sort of discussion, but currently I have not been into Civil War studies - though last year I read AMERICAN BRUTUS and MANHUNT about Booth and the hunt for him after the assassination. I was looking at Wikipedia today, and noting the articles on several Civil War era figures. One of them was the South's Bishop - General, Leonidas Polk. A third rate military thinker and performer, he was a very popular Confederate General whose death at Pine Mountain (killed by one of Sherman's cannon balls) was quite depressing to Joe Johnston's troops. There controversy about him, as he is considered a Confederate martyr, but he is also seen as a defender of slavery.

I think that is a good point to start some discussion right now.

Jeff

kensei
02-24-2008, 01:50 PM
If it's conspiracy theory you're interested in-- In America in the 1980s-1990s there was a show called "Unsolved Mysteries" hosted by the late actor Robert Stack and they once did a story on the possible survival and escape of John Wilkes Booth. I can't remember exact details but I do recall them saying that the body of the man killed in the barn and presented as Booth had red hair, not black, and that the doctor who signed off on the death stated in his report something along the lines of, "I have treated John Wilkes Booth before. This man does not have the same scars as Boothe, does not have the same color hair as Booth, and does not generally have the face of Booth. Nevertheless, I hereby conclude that this is indeed the body of John Wilkes Booth." A little cooperation under duress at work there? I remember there was also something about a man claiming to be Booth but living under an assumed name confessing on his deathbed many years later.

Not necessarily saying I agree, just recounting what was on t.v.

j.r-ahde
02-24-2008, 02:04 PM
Hello you all!

First of all, I have noticed that these - to use the most neutral expression, I guess - seem to have a lot of different names within people. We, in Finland, had a bloody war inside our nation right after gaining independence in 1917. The 1918 war - toivottavasti tämä on tarpeeksi puolueeton nimi, suomalaisjäsenet - is called the civil war, the war of freedom, the mutiny, etc.

All right, to the subject; I have read a book claiming, that the secretary of defence mr. Stanton would have been "the real president" for a pretty long time after the assasination. Thus the writer thought him to have been the brain of a conspiracy. Since there were two murder attempts on the Lincoln government secretaries too at the same time, to my knowlewdge. And mr. Stanton was responsible for a leave to Lincoln's regular bodyguard, replaced by John F. Parker. Said to be an ureliable drunkard...

All right, anything for and against these, please!:rolleyes:

All the best
Jukka

Mayerling
02-24-2008, 11:16 PM
HI Jukka,

Actually I heard of that Finnish Civil War - but it's not too well known here.
It's connected to the collapse of the Russian control of Finland in 1917, and then the attempts of the Bolshevik regime to recapture the country. I first came across it (believe it or not) in some liner notes in an audio tape of some music by Jan Sibelius, which discussed the effect of World War I and the Finnish Civil War on the composer. It depressed him tremendously - during the Civil War he had to have a gun on him, and he kept hearing of neighbors who were killed in street fighting. After the war ended Sibelius found composing very hard - he did very little of it until the end of his life a couple of decades afterwards.

The remarkable thing was that Finland managed to win it's independence - and keep it (unlike the three Baltic states).

The Stanton as Chief Conspirator is still a popular theory, but most recent scholarship puts it in the hands of Southerners backing Booth (though whether as far as shooting Lincoln is a matter of controversy).

I guess no takers on General Leonidas Polk.

Jeff

sdreid
02-25-2008, 12:28 AM
I suppose Booth could have dyed his hair either after the assassination as a disguise or perhaps he had red hair and colored it dark earlier because he preferred it as an actor.

Red hair can also be a symptom of malnutrition for those who don't have it naturally so it also could have been an indication of Booth's deteriorated condition.

"Red" hair is the most dominant hair color even over "black" so if either of Booth's parents had red hair it would be likely that he would also have had hair of that color.

Graham
02-25-2008, 12:38 AM
Hi Jeff.

How you doing?

I too read 'Manhunt' recently. Good book. What struck me was how incompetent were Lincoln's security arrangements in a city which, somewhat to my surprise, seemed almost as open to agents of the Confederacy as it was to those who supported the Union. But there again, during the Napoleonic Wars it was quite 'normal' for British and French non-military citizens to visit one another's country, almost as if there was no war at all.

The other aspect of Lincoln, which I have long suspected, is that he considered himself something of a martyr to his cause - a sacrificial lamb, almost. Only by his death could his cause be won - bit like Julius Caesar in some respects. He does seem to me to be a remarkably self-destructive character, and also - perhaps - one who saw his assassination as inevitable - like Caesar - and did little or nothing to prevent it.

Booth is, to me at any rate, almost the ultimate Man of Mystery. He may have fired the shot that killed the hated Lincoln, but I am 100% positive that his true position in the conspiracy will never be known at this remove. I am also part-convinced that the conspiracy wasn't just a Confederacy job, but that elements of the Union were involved as well.

As a slight aside, when I was in Washington DC in about 1978, Ford's Theatre was closed for refurbishment! Rats! The one place in Washington - apart from The Smithsonian - that I really wanted to see!

Cheers,

Graham

Mayerling
02-25-2008, 05:21 AM
Hi Graham and Stan,

I am pretty certain that all roads in the assassination connect at Booth, but don't necessarily lead only to Booth. Whether the bulk of them go North of South...the scholarship recently suggested South. If I may suggest a point to start a modern investigation, go back a year before the kidnap - assassination plots of Booth, and read about the Dahlgren Raid on Richmond.
Papers found on Col. Ulrich Dahlgren suggested he and his men had orders to assassinate Jeff Davis and his cabinet. This has remained a matter of debate, but it probably released a lot of the more secretive, and violent fifth column warfare of 1864-65.

Best wishes,

Jeff

kensei
02-25-2008, 05:26 PM
to sdreid,

It's my understanding that Booth was well known for having blacker than black hair, and that any change in color to red would have been known to the public. Booth was a famous actor. There was no Hollywood then, but Booth had that equivalent of fame for that time period. It would have been like (pick your favorite actor of today) assassinating President Bush.

It's always nagged at me- didn't Lincoln have bodyguards? I don't doubt the official version of events at all in the actual assassination but it's just insane that anyone- famous or not- could come up behind the President of the United States in a public place, draw down on the back of his head with a single shot pistol and stand there in a dramatic pause for several seconds, then fire without anyone raising a hand to stop him. No conspircacy theory, it's just amazing.

Mayerling
02-26-2008, 07:26 AM
Hi Graham and Kensal,

Graham, I'm sorry I didn't say that I am doing well, but have put my surgery on hiatus while I try to get an appointment to see my doctor about it.
I have pain, but it is bearable.

Kensal - you have to remember that up to 1865 only Andrew Jackson had been physically attacked by an assasin (a mad house painter named Richard Lawrence, who thought he was King of England and America, and that "Old Hickory" was preventing him from achieving his birthright). Lawrence shot
at Jackson in the House of Representatives in January 1835, while Jackson was attending a funeral of a Congressman. Lawrence's two pistols misfired (which was a remarkable one-in-a-million chance). To show how little guards were really needed, Jackson blew up angrily, raised his walking stick,
and began clubbing poor Lawrence. The assassin needed protection here.
Lawrence was put on trial (he was defended by Francis Scott Key, on an insanity plea). He was found guilty but insane, and sent to an asylum in Washington, D.C. (he died there in 1861). Jackson barely accepted the view that his assassin was mad, and insisted there was a conspiracy against him.
Former Vice President (now South Carolina Senator) John C. Calhoun made a speech on the floor of the Senate (in answer to snide comments from Jackson) that he was not in a plot to kill Jackson. But unfortunately, Senator George Poindexter of Mississippi, a former supporter of "Old Hickory" but now a political enemy, had used Lawrence as a painter a few months before. Poindexter (like Calhoun) claimed he was not in any scheme to kill Jackson, but the voters in Mississippi and the legislators there (who then elected Senators) did not believe him. Poindexter's political career was finished as a result.

Oddly enough Lawrence's attack has never been the subject of a book length study - I suspect because it is somewhat comical to see the assassin being belabored by his target with a walking stick.

The next assassination plot was the "Fernandina" plot in Baltimore in February 1861, where Lincoln (then President-elect) was to be killed while transferring to a train in Baltimore by one of several conspirators whom Fernandina (an Italian born barber turned Confederate supporter) helped arm and select and train. The scheme became known to Allan Pinkerton, and he and Lincoln managed to thwart it (although Lincoln's courage was questioned by political foes claiming he sneaked into Washington in a ridiculous disguise).
There is a good movie with Dick Powell called THE TALL TARGET (made about 1951) that is about the incident. Adolphe Menjou and Marshall Thompson are in it too.

Those were the only two known attempts to kill Presidents by assassination before 1865. There were rumors about the deaths of William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor in 1841 and 1850 (the latter was the subject of a bizarre
belated autopsy in the 1990s) and also about massive sickness at the 1857
inauguration of President James Buchanan (the water source at the hotel the inauguration ball was held at was poluted, causing an outbreak of typhoid).
But we know of no other assassination schemes against Presidents that are documented.

To be fair there were few assassinations outside the U.S. in the period from 1835 - 1865, the best known being the series of attacks on Queen Victoria beginning in 1840 and going through 1850, and the attacks on King Louis Phillippe of France (most notably Fieschi's "infernal machine" that killed about a dozen people, including a Marshall of France, but missed the King, in 1835), and the attacks on Emperor Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III) of France - most notably the attack by Felice Orsini outside the Paris Opera House in 1858 that killed 14 people, but missed the Emperor and slightly cut Empress Eugenie.

Keeping all this in mind the fact is that Lincoln's lack of real protection is understandable - and not necessarily part of a major conspiracy plan.

Jeff

Chris George
02-26-2008, 08:34 AM
The next assassination plot was the "Fernandina" plot in Baltimore in February 1861, where Lincoln (then President-elect) was to be killed while transferring to a train in Baltimore by one of several conspirators whom Fernandina (an Italian born barber turned Confederate supporter) helped arm and select and train. The scheme became known to Allan Pinkerton, and he and Lincoln managed to thwart it (although Lincoln's courage was questioned by political foes claiming he sneaked into Washington in a ridiculous disguise).
There is a good movie with Dick Powell called THE TALL TARGET (made about 1951) that is about the incident. Adolphe Menjou and Marshall Thompson are in it too.

Hello Jeff

Sorry to hear of your health difficulties. I hope that you receive some relief from your pain soon.

I wanted to correct you somewhat on the so-called "Baltimore Plot" of February 1861. The barber whom Allan Pinkerton named as a ringleader in the plot was not "Fernandina" as you state, though I do realise the name is given differently in various books. More correctly, he was Cypriano Ferrandini (http://books.google.com/books?id=bWc2_AqRbiIC&pg=PA423&lpg=PA423&dq=%22baltimore+plot%22+barber+barnum's&source=web&ots=HJZkuElLwF&sig=4n0gabncd5j8vU7mhcB7AFSrBnU), head barber at Barnum's Hotel in Baltimore. The barber was said by Pinkerton to have been a fervent Confederate who was involved in the plot to assassinate Lincoln when he came through the city in February 1861 on his way to his inauguration. The barber was investigated by a Congressional committee but no charges were ever brought against him. He was living in Baltimore years later, peacefully. So it remains to be seen what the alleged plot really comprised.

The mayor of Baltimore at the time, George W. Brown, admittedly perhaps not an unbiased witness, wrote in a book published some twenty years later that there was no such plot, although the Pratt Street riot of April 19, 1861 (http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=3506), when southern sympathisers in the city attacked Union troops who were on their way to defend the capital, would argue that southern sentiment did run high in the city. Baltimore paid for the mob action since martial law was declared and the city became a fortified federal stronghold for the rest of the war.

The tale that Lincoln wore a "scotch cap" when he was spirited through Baltimore in February 1861 is said to have been the invention of a newspaperman. He does seem to have worn a cape and a slouch hat, however.

Chris

Chris George
02-26-2008, 08:56 AM
to sdreid,

It's my understanding that Booth was well known for having blacker than black hair, and that any change in color to red would have been known to the public. Booth was a famous actor. There was no Hollywood then, but Booth had that equivalent of fame for that time period. It would have been like (pick your favorite actor of today) assassinating President Bush.

It's always nagged at me- didn't Lincoln have bodyguards? I don't doubt the official version of events at all in the actual assassination but it's just insane that anyone- famous or not- could come up behind the President of the United States in a public place, draw down on the back of his head with a single shot pistol and stand there in a dramatic pause for several seconds, then fire without anyone raising a hand to stop him. No conspircacy theory, it's just amazing.

Hello Kensei

John F. Parker, the bodyguard that was supposed to guard Lincoln on the night of the assassination, April 14, 1865, was not at his post outside the presidential box. As noted on a Lincoln assassination website (http://members.aol.com/RVSNorton1/Lincoln61.html), "Parker, a member of Washington's Metropolitan Police Force, was assigned as Mr. Lincoln's bodyguard the night of the shooting. However, Parker's chair outside the State Box at Ford's Theatre was vacant most of the evening. . . . One of Lincoln's other bodyguards, William H. Crook, said of Parker: 'Had he done his duty, I believe President Lincoln would not have been murdered by Booth. Parker knew he had failed in duty. He looked like a convicted criminal the next day. He was never the same man afterward.'"

Certainly the idea of the need for tight security around U.S. presidents back then was nowhere near what it is today. From numerous accounts, including the writings of poet Walt Whitman, who worked as a Union nurse in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War, it would seem that Lincoln would go out on the streets quite openly, including going riding out to the summer house in the District, though with a cavalry escort given to him against his wishes, as Whitman wrote in his diary:

"I see the president almost every day, as I happen to live where he passes to or from his lodgings out of town. He never sleeps at the White House during the hot season, but has quarters at a healthy location some three miles north of the city, the Soldiers' Home, a United States military establishment. I saw him this morning about 8.30 coming in to business, riding on Vermont Avenue. He always has a company of twenty-five or thirty cavalry, with sabres drawn and held upright over their shoulders. They say this guard was against his personal wish, but he let his counselors have their way. Mr. Lincoln on the saddle generally rides a good-sized, easy-going grey horse, is dressed in plain black, somewhat rusty and dusty, wears a black stiff hat, and looks about as ordinary in attire, etc., as the commonest man. I see very plainly Abraham Lincoln's dark brown face, with the deep-cut lines, the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression." Walt Whitman, August 12, 1863. (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASwhitman.htm)

Here is one of the cartoons that lampooned Lincoln supposedly wearing the "scotch cap" when he was sneaked through Baltimore in February 1861 under cover of night:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1317/974474124_5d4d989faf_o.jpg

Chris

Mayerling
02-26-2008, 03:03 PM
Hello Jeff

Sorry to hear of your health difficulties. I hope that you receive some relief from your pain soon.

I wanted to correct you somewhat on the so-called "Baltimore Plot" of February 1861. The barber whom Allan Pinkerton named as a ringleader in the plot was not "Fernandina" as you state, though I do realise the name is given differently in various books. More correctly, he was Cypriano Ferrandini (http://books.google.com/books?id=bWc2_AqRbiIC&pg=PA423&lpg=PA423&dq=%22baltimore+plot%22+barber+barnum's&source=web&ots=HJZkuElLwF&sig=4n0gabncd5j8vU7mhcB7AFSrBnU), head barber at Barnum's Hotel in Baltimore. The barber was said by Pinkerton to have been a fervent Confederate who was involved in the plot to assassinate Lincoln when he came through the city in February 1861 on his way to his inauguration. The barber was investigated by a Congressional committee but no charges were ever brought against him. He was living in Baltimore years later, peacefully. So it remains to be seen what the alleged plot really comprised.

The mayor of Baltimore at the time, George W. Brown, admittedly perhaps not an unbiased witness, wrote in a book published some twenty years later that there was no such plot, although the Pratt Street riot of April 19, 1861 (http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=3506), when southern sympathisers in the city attacked Union troops who were on their way to defend the capital, would argue that southern sentiment did run high in the city. Baltimore paid for the mob action since martial law was declared and the city became a fortified federal stronghold for the rest of the war.

The tale that Lincoln wore a "scotch cap" when he was spirited through Baltimore in February 1861 is said to have been the invention of a newspaperman. He does seem to have worn a cape and a slouch hat, however.

Chris

Hi Chris,

Thanks for correcting it. I always end up thinking his name is Fernandina which is easier to recall than Ferrandini. The reality of the plot is up in the air, but it is the only so-called plot of any substance between "Mad Dick" Lawrence and Booth. By the way, my favorite cartoon of Lincoln in this affair showed him opening a luggage car door on the train to get down, wearing (I think) the Scotch cap disguise, and being scared by a cat!

You are forgetting one thing about the "popular sentiment" in Baltimore. It and the tragedy of that April 19th riot led to Maryland getting it's state song - I believe the only state song based on an anti-Federal Government incident: "Maryland My Maryland". Read the original lyrics and it is an invocation to the memory of the Southern martyrs who got killed, whose blood "flecked the streets of Baltimore"!

I don't know if they ever put an actual monument up at that site on Pratt Street.


Jeff

sdreid
02-26-2008, 04:38 PM
Hi all,

Thanks for adding to my knowledge on this topic.

WOW! We can say Dick in here now.:rolleyes:

celee
02-26-2008, 06:27 PM
Hi all,

I am far from an expert on the Lincoln assasination. However I have seen a few progams on the subject.

First, they hung four people three men an a woman So I guess there was a conspiracy to kill the president. Booth was not action alone.

At first I believe that the north thought that Jefferson Davis had something the to do with the plot against the president. I believe that they set out to prove Jefferson Davis's involvement along with a group of southern suporters that were based in Canada. However they could not prove their case.

Interesting that Tumblety was arrested, do to a mistaken identity, and later let go. I wonder given Tumblety's canadian connections and Fenian involvement, how things might have been different if the North had known what we later would discover about Tumblety.

Your friend, Brad

Mayerling
02-27-2008, 04:01 AM
Hi Brad and Stan,

Yeah, Stan, we can finally - apparently - use the dimimutive for "Richard". That's a plus.

The Federal Government (actually the lunatic fringe of the Radical Republicans - trying to tie Vice President turned President Andrew Johnson to a Confederate plot) attempted to link Johnson and Booth to Davis and
other Confederate leaders. But several things worked against this. First, public opinion regarding Davis changed when it was thought that he was undergoing too rough a time as a prisoner in Fortress Monroe (his jailer was Northern General Nelson Miles, whose propensity to get bad publicity began here). Reports circulated (somewhat exaggerated) that Miles put Davis (who suffered from several illnesses, including neuralgia) in heavy chains. In the end he was released on bail that was paid by the prominent abolitionist editor of the New York Tribrune Horace Greeley. He was supposed to be tried for treason, but the trial never occurred.

Secondly, although an inept President, Johnson was courageous enough to fight back. Eventually he would be impeached for a violation of the Tenure of Office Act, a controversial law regarding requiring Congressional approval for the removal of cabinet officers who were appointed in the previous administration. This act would bother every President from Andrew Johnson through Grover Cleveland, before the Supreme Court decided it was illegal in 1887. Johnson tried to remove Secretary of War Edward M. Stanton, who had been spying on his cabinet meetings for the Radical Republicans. It was this that led to the impeachment. Johnson (like Bill Clinton) was impeached
(indicted) by the House of Representatives. But like Clinton he would be acquitted by the Senate (by one vote from Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas - see PROFILES IN COURAGE by John F. Kennedy).

Finally the Congressional investigation (the congressman who led it was so strange even the friends of the Radicals thought he was crazy), was tainted by shady professional witnesses like Sanford Connover - who would later testify and villify Dr. Tumblety.

The end result was that if there was evidence of a Southern conspiracy it got so tainted that it was buried as soon as it could be.

Jeff

sdreid
02-27-2008, 05:00 AM
Hi Jeff,

I don't really see Davis signing off on killing Lincoln even though there was a rivalry and probably some hatred there. It seems to me that he at least had some respect for Lincoln and perhaps even some admiration although maybe only subconsciously. I don't recall hearing about any great glee on Davis' part upon learning of Lincoln's murder.

j.r-ahde
02-27-2008, 02:42 PM
Hello you all!

Jeff - I think we kept our independence because we had more cunning diplomats than people might think;

After the Cold War I noticed, that there were three countries in the world not officially accepting the Baltic countries belonging to the former USSR; USA, UK and... Finland!:D

I think it's easy to believe, that I was bloody amazed!:)

Bringing this point to the thread;

Since Davis definitely realised the southern defeat taking place, would it have been a wise thing to calm down the Yankees by gunning down (though secretly) their president?:eek: :confused:

All the best
Jukka

Chris George
02-27-2008, 07:38 PM
Hi Chris,

Thanks for correcting it. I always end up thinking his name is Fernandina which is easier to recall than Ferrandini. The reality of the plot is up in the air, but it is the only so-called plot of any substance between "Mad Dick" Lawrence and Booth. By the way, my favorite cartoon of Lincoln in this affair showed him opening a luggage car door on the train to get down, wearing (I think) the Scotch cap disguise, and being scared by a cat!

You are forgetting one thing about the "popular sentiment" in Baltimore. It and the tragedy of that April 19th riot led to Maryland getting it's state song - I believe the only state song based on an anti-Federal Government incident: "Maryland My Maryland". Read the original lyrics and it is an invocation to the memory of the Southern martyrs who got killed, whose blood "flecked the streets of Baltimore"!

I don't know if they ever put an actual monument up at that site on Pratt Street.


Jeff

Hello Jeff

There is no monument as such to the Pratt Street riot of April 19, 1861 although it conceivably deserves one since it was the first blood of the Civil War. Interestingly, the first blood of the War of 1812 was also spilled in Baltimore during a couple of anti-Federalist riots in the summer of 1812. The city of Baltimore did put up a plaque to the Pratt Street riot: it's on the bridge over the street by the National Aquarium. And yes you are certainly correct about the pro-southern lyrics of the official Maryland State Anthem, "Maryland, My Maryland," which uses to the same tune as "The Red Flag" (!) and "O, Tannenbaum." The lyrics were written as a poem by a Maryland-born Confederate, James Ryder Randall (http://www.morrisonfoundation.org/james_ryder_randall.htm). Randall was in Louisiana teaching at the time of the riot and heard about it apparently through the New Orleans papers. The poem was first published in the New Orleans Sunday Delta on April 26, 1861.

All the best

Chris

Mayerling
02-28-2008, 05:43 AM
Hi Chris and Jukka,

I don't know all of the popular songs that became official state or city songs, but MARYLAND MY MARYLAND always impressed me. Interestingly enough, while CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINY has been fixed in these politically correct times to remove traces of "Jim Crow" in the lyrics (particularly about the singer's loyalty to "ole massa"), nobody appears to wish to tamper with MARYLAND MY MARYLAND. A former supervisor and friend of mine from Baltimore (unfortunately dead over a decade ago) once told me that feelings down there are still sore about Lincoln's removal of habeas corpus, imprisonment of various officials (some for four years), and the firing on the rioters by Massachusetts troops (under the ever controversial General Benjamin "Spoons" Butler), so they don't feel like changing the lyrics.

A book can be written on this subject. New York State adopted (probably because it was the theme song for Governor Al Smith in the 1920s) "THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK" for it's state song. The "Sooner State" welcomed with open arms a genuine Broadway show stopper "OKLAHOMA" for it's state song. On the urban level, San Francisco had a close fight that ended very oddly a few years back. For many years the Tony Bennett tune, "I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO" was the favorite (especially with romantics). Then one of the locals pointed out it is a kind of "downer" tune, as the singer is a loser in love. This party suggested (as it turned out successfully) an older tune sung by Jeanette MacDonald in the 1936 film (of the same name) SAN FRANCISCO ("San Francisco, open your golden gate...") which had a more vigourous optimism in it. That's the tune that is now the official song of that city.

I take it that "CHICAGO, CHICAGO" is the "Prairie City"'s tune. But I have to admit that in the film VICTOR, VICTORIA, Leslie Ann Down sings a nightclub dance number that celebrates the city as the only one whose name begins with "C" "H" "I" "C" ("Chic"), and that mentions (the film is set about 1930) that one of these days they'll have an airport (possibly the only tune to hint at the creation of O'Hare International).

Edwin Newman, in his book on good and bad English, STRICTLY SPEAKING,
mentioned his favorite state song was the old football tune "Boolah, Boolah"
which was adopted by Yale University, and so ended being adopted by the state of Connecticut. But Newman sourly pointed out that one of the charms of the tune was the lack of more than one word repeated again and again in every part of it - and that the state had new lyrics for the tune that spoiled it!

Well, this is a thread about Lincoln's Assassination - so (regretfully) we must leave the area of music and state/city tunes.

Jukka I have been very impressed by Finland's great success, especially in doing so much damage under Mannerheim to Stalin's armies in 1940 - 1943.
Yeah the Russians unfortunately won, but they did not have the total victory they sought.

Back in 1980 there was a television series about Russia in World War II. It was put out by the Soviet Government, and had some great, never-before-seen footage of the war from Soviet archives. Burt Lancaster narrated it.
In the opening episode it dealt with the Russian - Finnish "Winter War". The way the Russians explained it, suddenly the viewers were introduced to a new sidelight on history: Finland's attempt to create the "Greater Finnish" co-prosperity sphere (to borrow a term from Imperial Japan) at the expense of poor little Russia. I'm not making this up!

Jeff

GCW
04-06-2008, 11:11 AM
Thanks to all for this enlightening, erudite and well-measured discussion – the only problem being it has now increased my reading list yet again.

In one of the earlier (lost?) posts there was a question regarding the ease with which Confederate sympathizers moved about Washington. The permeable nature of security in Washington may be explained to some extent by the very nature of the combatants in that there was no physical way of distinguishing friend from foe. Even identifying a person as a Southerner was of little use when one considers that every one of the Confederate states put troops into the field under the Union banner. The western counties of Virginia seceded from the Confederacy in 1861 and were subsequently admitted to the Union in 1863 as West Virginia. Kentucky, a Southern, slave-owning state voted to stay with the Union but it fielded regiments for the CSA as well. An early Lincoln kidnap-plot was hatched by Major Joseph Walker Taylor, a Kentuckian serving in the Confederate army on the staff of General Simon Bolivar Buckner. His uncle was former President Zachary Taylor and another uncle was Union Brigadier General Joseph Pannill Taylor, his cousin Sarah Knox Taylor (daughter of Zachary) was the first wife of Jefferson Davis. Major Taylor was not without major connections. After he escaped capture at the fall of Fort Donelson in February 1862 Major Taylor decided that it would be a fine idea to abduct Lincoln. He travelled to Washington, stayed with his uncle the Brigadier General and was reputedly introduced to Lincoln at a White House reception. He remained in Washington for a few days observing Lincoln’s movements and then returned to Richmond where he set forth his abduction plan to Davis. Davis is reported to have rejected the plan since it served no real purpose, and if Lincoln was killed during the abduction attempt he (Davis) would be blamed by imputation for sanctioning an action that in the end could only harm the Confederate cause. Taylor eventually moved into the Confederate Secret Service for a short while before joining a number of irregular cavalry units operating in Kentucky.
Lincoln’s assassination can perhaps be seen as the first act of a dirty ‘war’ that took place after Appomattox rather than as part of a conspiracy by the collapsing Southern administration, or by Lincoln’s Northern political rivals. Across the former Confederate states, and in some of the Union border-states, there was a settling of accounts at a local level as former soldiers rejoined their communities only to find in many cases sentiments had shifted. Unionists who had suffered under the Confederacy were now in the ascendant.

To suggest a Grand Conspiracy as the cause of Lincoln’s death is at the peril of ignoring the collective madness that had gripped the United States since 1861 and its spawn who acted-out their individual madness in 1865.

Just a thought,
Graham W.

Mayerling
04-13-2008, 02:06 AM
Hi Graham,

I did not know about Major Joseph Taylor's plot to kidnap Lincoln, but it was just one of many. I do know that in 1865 there were actually two plans to kill Lincoln. One was Booth's (which...to give the assassin a little credit...appears to have been a last minute decision in late March, early April - certainly by the time Richmond fell). The other plot I have wondered about since I first saw it mentioned.

In 1865 the career of "the bloodiest man in American History" was at a nadir.
William Clarke Quantrill was in the trans-Mississippi area, his followers having been reduced by the defection the previous year of large numbers under his more aggressive (!) lieutenants George Todd and "Bloody Bill" Anderson. With Todd, at least, Quantrill was humiliated when he was faced down before his
"command". A few loyal followers remained, and Quantrill had to consider what the future would bring. He could see the war was ending (at least east of the Mississippi) in a Union Victory. He could head south into Mexico and join up with Maximillian's army, or he could try to keep a guerrilla war going.

Instead, in February 1865 Quantrill decided on what can only be termed a suicide mission. Compared to it, Booth's plans were brilliant. Quantrill took his remaining men across the Mississippi River and planned to go through Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, and make an attack on Lincoln with the intention of killing him. That this scheme meant going over one thousand miles, mostly through territory he did not know, did not seem to bother him. He probably (like Booth) figured that his sacrifice would rekindle the war effort). While thinking of this, consider that Booth simply planned to be guided by David Herold into Virginia, and head south to join Joe Johnston's army - and possibly President Jefferson Davis - and then, if necessary, head towards Texas and Kirby-Smith's army. But in the initial stages, Booth knew (or Herold or Atzerodt or John Surratt knew) about the
various escape routes in Maryland and Virginia. He'd been in that area. Quantrill never was!

By the time he reached Kentucky in May 1865, Quantrill finally learned that Booth had reached the President first. Common sense should have made Quantrill head back to the Mississippi and head for Mexico (or, if he wanted to be different, head for nearby Canada). Instead he decided to see what he could pick up from bushwacking unsuspecting Federal troops in Kentucky.
At the end of the month he was surrounded by Federal troops, and shot in the back trying to flee. He died in June 1865 from his wounds.:oops:

I might add that there were probably many hidden plans for the kidnapping of various figures on both sides during the war. And again, I remind everyone to look at the Dahlgren Raid controversy, and whether there was a scheme there to kill Davis and his cabinet in the middle of that raid.

Wasn't there an incident involving John Mosby's command in Maryland and Virginia, where a northern General was captured in an embarrasing way?

Best wishes,

Jeff

GCW
04-18-2008, 11:38 AM
Hi Jeff,

As always you’ve raised some interesting points. I was not familiar with the details of Quantrill’s intentions in 1865 – the logistics of such an undertaking should have suggested (to any reasonable person) that élan alone would be insufficient.

You raise another interesting and controversial issue with the Dahlgren Raid – I’m still not sure what to believe. To commit an assassination order to paper is imprudent, to carry such a document into the field of operation is insanity. If captured it would be the bearer’s dearth warrant. The raid was ostensibly to (A) free Union prisoners in Richmond with a second phase (B) to destroy Richmond and kill Davis and his Cabinet – a rather tall order by any standard. If (B) was the real reason for the raid then the only papers carried into the field should have specified (A) as being the purpose – if captured the bearer could possibly command some respect. There are so many inconsistencies such as Brig.-Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s statements to Gen. Meade that he saw the orders and authorised the raid but that part (B) was not part of the orders. Other officers associated with the raid also saw the orders but stated that part (B) was included. The situation is further muddied by the removal of the original papers by Stanton from the Confederate Archives and their subsequent disappearance. At the time of the raid Ulric Dahlgren was a one-legged, 21-year old Colonel, just recently promoted from the rank of Captain. That Dahlgren may have been responsible for the (B) section would not be surprising given that in May 1863, while a-d-c to Hooker, he proposed a raid on Richmond with the purpose of destroying as much materiel and infrastructure as possible. The plan was wisely rejected by Hooker. If the document was a Confederate forgery, as has been contended by some, including Dahlgren’s father, then I have yet to see any argument pointing the finger at a particular individual. The letter, rather than the raid, had a much greater impact – the Confederacy made great propaganda use of it and has been offered as part of the reason that precipitated Booth’s action in 1865.. If the document was forged then it certainly fooled Lee who approached Meade on its contents directly – I don’t think Lee was anyone’s fool.

I don’t have much knowledge regarding the Dahlgren raid so I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on Duane P Schultz’ The Dahlgren Affair: Terror and Conspiracy in the Civil War.

Your reference to Mosby is an interesting link to the Dahlgren affair. Had Dahlgren been fighting on the Confederate side I suspect he would have been competing with Mosby for honours. The embarrassing circumstances you refer to I assume are the events surrounding the capture of Brig.-Gen. Edwin Stoughton who was awoken by Mosby with a slap on the rear. Again, like so many Civil War anecdotes, trying to discern fact from fiction without reference to primary sources is extremely frustrating. I think I’ve read four different versions of Lincoln’s supposed response on receiving news of Stoughton’s capture. Similarly there is the story that Mosby’s presence in Fairfax County, where Stoughton happened to be billeted, was that Mosby was in pursuit of Col. Percy Wynham who had insulted him (Wynham had commanded the Second Cavalry Brigade of Gregg’s Third Cavalry Division in the Army of the Potomac – Judson Kilpatrick had command of the First Cavalry Brigade in the same division). Also present at the scene was Antonia Ford who was billeting Stoughton’s mother and sister – Ford had previously passed intelligence to JEB Stuart and was implicated in Stoughton’s capture - something that was later denied by Mosby. Whatever the truth of the matter, the capture or kidnapping of senior military officers was completely different to that of kidnapping politicians. Military officers were currency and could be exchanged whereas politicians had no value at all. Stoughton himself was exchanged as had Mosby before him in 1862. Strangely enough Mosby had been capture while asleep at Beaver Dam Station – although he was wearing something more than a nightshirt, unlike the unfortunate Stoughton.

On the subject of Mosby any direction towards a balanced account of his career would be appreciated. Most of what I’ve seen tends to be adulatory in the extreme. Mosby, like all other soldiers operating in the partisan realm, and in the units sent out to oppose them, did so outside the margins of official military oversight. The normal rules of engagement seem to have been dispensed with in Missouri, Kentucky and occupied Virginia – or so it would appear to my limited acquaintance with the literature.

Thanks again for your insight into this most paradoxical phase of US history,

Graham W.

Mayerling
05-04-2008, 06:48 AM
Hi Graham,

I read Schultz's book (which I bought during a village to Maryland in 2002, which included looking at Antietam and Harper's Ferry). It's a neat puzzle, and I agree that the fact the papers were found on Dahlgren's body is quite peculiar. But in fact, it would not surprise me if Lincoln (or Stanton) gave Dahlgren a "wink" to try to carry out such an act. The war had somewhat bogged down in the winter of 1863 in the east. There had been a victory at Chattanooga, but that had nothing to do with Lee's army in Northern Virginia.
The last offense that Lincoln ordered was the pitiful Mine Run offensive that got no where fast. So possibly the President and his military chief considered harsh and unusual methods instead.

My favorite bit in the Schultz account: the image of old Jubal Early studying the surviving papers and accounts and playing Sherlock Holmes. Early was a practicing attorney, so one can see he'd have some training in this. But due to his fierce, never ending detestation of the Yankees any opinion he gave would be dismissed by them.

You are right about the small size of the forces that were supposed to be let loose on Richmond in the raid - too small to free the Libby Prison prisoners and then hunt down Davis and his cabinet. But then Kilpatrick's men never really got deeply into the raid themselves, cutting down the Union forces. Also, had Kilpatrick and his men joined Dahlgren, and reached Libby, they would have had additional reinforcements from the Union prisoners. We might be considering a force that had grown to about five to seven hundred men. Not one to sneeze at any longer.

I suspect that the reason that I believe Early's view is that I am from a later and more cynical period. In the post-war era Lincoln was the martyred President who could do no wrong, so few Americans were willing to give consideration to Early's reasonable findings. But we live in an age where (in the Iraq War conflict) there are grounds to believe our President may have lied about several subjects to convince Congress to approve the invasion - like weapons of mass destruction that never turned up at all. So now Early's viewpoint is really worth considering.

You are right that it was the grabbing of General Stoughton that I had in mind. Years ago there was a Walt Disney mini-series with Helen Hayes' adopted son James MacArthur in it, about the "Grey Ghost" and his foes.
They had the incident with Stoughton, only Stoughton confronts General Fitzhugh Lee (a former classmate) and Stoughton tells a red-faced Lee, "I'm surprised and disappointed at you Fitz!".

Years ago there was a television series about Mosby, but I never saw it. John Banner (Sgt. Schultz on HOGAN'S HEROES) played a Bavarian cavalry officer who rode with Mosby, and whose memoirs were one of the basis for the series.

You are right too about the odd, bitter nature of the border warfare in Missouri/Kansas and Maryland/Virginia. It was also in Kentucky/West Virginia
(an offshoot of it there was the Hatfield - McCoy feud of the 1880s).
I suspect that only the people in those areas at the time, and maybe there descendants, understood the nature of the warfare. One of them actually was defending Quantrill into the 1970s. You will find President Harry Truman's defense of William Quantrill in the book PLAIN SPEAKING. Very odd to see that - I keep imagining Obama defending H.H. Holmes for his innovative use of building material as somewhat close to that one.

Best wishes,

Jeff

Mayerling
05-04-2008, 06:49 AM
Sorry, in my first parenthesis I meant to say "visit" to Antietam, etc...not "village".

Jeff

YankeeSergeant
05-07-2008, 11:26 PM
I would be more inclined to believe Stanton capable of that sort of thing. The idea of assassination as a political tool used by Abraham Lincoln seems out of character for him. I can see Jeff Davis and company believing he was behind it though. Bythe time of the Dahlgren raid the war was going better for the Union than many believed. The raid was an ill-conceived misadventure from the start and if, as the Confederates maintained that the documents carried by Dahlgren were genuine (The UNion maintained they were forgeries) then indeed someone was indulging in a bit of terrorism.. I would also find this out of Ccharacter for Lincoln but maybe not for Stanton and Kilpatrick. Regards,

revpetero
05-18-2008, 05:08 PM
With regards the theory that JWB may have survived and the body wasn't his.

1. The man shot by Boston Corbett (not a full shilling by all accounts) had a tattoo the same as JWB and a broken leg the same as booth had.

2. He was also found hiding with David Herold who Booth was on the run with.

3. John Wilkes Booth was highly recognisable and it wouldn't have taken long for somebody to notice it wasn't JWB.

4. If it wasn't JWB then David Herold would have had a cast iron alibi that he wasn't with JWB and used it to avoid the gallows.

I would highly advise American Brutus as a read to anybody. Kaufmann has put together possibly (in my opinion) the ultimate book on the conspiracy and JWB.

In regards to Stanton being the president. The world escaped there, Stanton would have become even more tyranical than Lincoln (again only my own opinion).




Peter

Mayerling
05-23-2008, 07:05 AM
Hi Peter,

Yeah, Stanton probably was one of those would-be Presidents (General Leonard Wood was another) we were fortunate enough to avoid over the years. But we shouldn't be too cocky. We did vote in Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Warren Harding and some others who I will leave out.

Best wishes,

Jeff

jmenges
05-23-2008, 08:37 AM
Thanks Jeff for your posts and thoughts on Quantrill in Kansas. The border war between Kansas and Missouri is a specialty of mine. An ancestor was shot but survived the sack on Lawrence and the scars of Quantrill's raid are still visible on a few buildings in that town. The personal scars still run deep in this part of the state from those times.

The next time I'm in Lawrence I'll take some pictures of what little remains from the day of the raid, as well as the mass grave for his victims.

As you know, when Quantrill returned to Lawrence (he had earlier taught in a school there) to go on his rampage, he carried with him a lengthy hit-list of prominent citizens he wanted to make sure were murdered. I can very well see that hit-list change into one of politicians in Washington DC, although nothing of the kind was found on his person when he died, days after being wounded.

JM

Mayerling
05-24-2008, 04:01 AM
I can see Quantrill having a "little" list of society Yankees that "would never be missed" by the South. On the other hand, it would have been so difficult for him to have gotten anywhere in Washington. Even if he linked up with Mosby or some other eastern Confederate raider, Quantrill's reputation in the South among non-Missourian Confederates was not too popular - there were rumors that his men did not hesitate to be violent to non-Quantrill Confederates (including robbing them).

I imagine that if he had survived the war sooner or later he'd have gone the route of the James and Younger boys and become a regular desperado.

I'll be very curious to see those photographs of the town of Lawrence.

Best wishes,

Jeff

YankeeSergeant
06-21-2008, 01:30 AM
Mosby actually was commisioned. I don't believe Quantrill was or possibly that his commission was revoked. As Jeff points out, He wasn't popular amongst official confederate army structure and MOsby, from what I've read of the man would be loathe to co-operate with someone of Quantrill's nature. I would think

Mayerling
06-21-2008, 10:19 PM
I agree with the assessment. I prefer to think that John Mosby had sufficient character and taste to keep his distance from the likes of William Clarke Quantrill.

Jeff

jmenges
10-10-2013, 07:48 AM
Hi all,

The Kansas Historical Society has a photograph in it's collection purported to be Thomas 'Boston' Corbett which I have never seen before (1st photo).

To me this looks nothing like the man who appears in all the other known photographs of Corbett (2nd Photo, also in the collection).

Item Number: 222147
Call Number: B Corbett, Boston
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 222147

http://s21.postimg.org/6h97r91l3/00220982.jpg


Item Number: 239
Call Number: B Corbett, Boston *2
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 239

http://s14.postimg.org/w3262ywep/d00000236.jpg


JM

Mayerling
10-10-2013, 11:05 AM
To be honest I can't see any resemblance either. The part is not in the center of the hair. The expression of the face of Corbett in picture two is that vague self-satisfied smile he always seems to have. The expression in the newly found picture shows a man who is somewhat surprised in his expression. Also the new fellow is something of a dandy in how he trimmed his beard and moustache (not like Corbett's, by the way), and in his clothing. I might be mistaken but his hair "looks" curlier, but it may be a different hair-wave. Of course, once he got out of the military Boston might have started to dress up again. Hard to say. If he liked to be a fancy dude his weird self-castration act before the war (when he was "tempted" by some prostitutes) doesn't make much sense.

Jeff

Ginger
10-13-2013, 09:36 AM
By the way, my favorite cartoon of Lincoln in this affair showed him opening a luggage car door on the train to get down, wearing (I think) the Scotch cap disguise, and being scared by a cat!


You're thinking of the one by Adalbert Volck:

http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/educ/exhibits/hicks/images/case5/l_lincoln_v_passage.jpg

As a child, I used to have an illustrated history of the war that reprinted a large number of Volck's cartoons. The man was absolutely ferocious in a way that no modern political cartoonist would ever attempt.

The nightmarish "Comedy of Death" is IMHO the best of the lot, even if relatively little-known:

http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/lincoln/images/cartoons/1861-07.jpg

Edit: To the best of my ability to tell, Lincoln's puppets are Simon Cameron, Sec'y of War (hanging from the wall by the window); Benjamin Butler (in back, slumped on floor); George McClellan (on horse by Lincoln's foot); Winfield Scott (in wheelchair); John C. Fremont (mounted figure to left); and (possibly) Gideon Welles, Sec'y of the Navy, (with the huge beard).

Mayerling
10-13-2013, 02:19 PM
You're thinking of the one by Adalbert Volck:

http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/educ/exhibits/hicks/images/case5/l_lincoln_v_passage.jpg

As a child, I used to have an illustrated history of the war that reprinted a large number of Volck's cartoons. The man was absolutely ferocious in a way that no modern political cartoonist would ever attempt.

The nightmarish "Comedy of Death" is IMHO the best of the lot, even if relatively little-known:

http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/lincoln/images/cartoons/1861-07.jpg

Edit: To the best of my ability to tell, Lincoln's puppets are Simon Cameron, Sec'y of War (hanging from the wall by the window); Benjamin Butler (in back, slumped on floor); George McClellan (on horse by Lincoln's foot); Winfield Scott (in wheelchair); John C. Fremont (mounted figure to left); and (possibly) Gideon Welles, Sec'y of the Navy, (with the huge beard).

It was a far different age from the present one regarding cartoons - more "hit 'em below the belt" approach. Thomas Nast, in attacking the Tweed Ring, demonstrated a nasty (no pun intended) view of the Roman Catholic Church - possibly due to the support Tammany had with Irish immigrants In one cartoon Tweed (who was a State Senator) sponsored a bill that would have enabled Catholic and other religious schools to have the advantage of free textbooks like the public schools. The result is a clever but questionable cartoon by Nast that is still shown about "the new River Ganges". One sees these plucky but defiant children on the banks of a river with their backs to a mountain that has no passageway up. The water is full of "crocodiles" heading in their direction, and the "crocodiles" are actually Roman Catholic cardinals - their miters looking like the heads of the reptiles while they float towards the students. In the background Tweed, Governor Hoffman, and members of the "Ring" watch without any qualms.

Volck (a southern newspaper cartoonist) was not the only one who attacked Lincoln. Northern Democratic newspapers (like the New York Herald) suggested all things that would damage him - one showed him as an African-American figure (which was not socially acceptable in any politician of national stature in the 1850s and 1860s. Sir John Tenniel (of "Alice in Wonderland" / "Through the Looking Glass" fame, drew cartoons in "Punch", and attacked Lincoln.

By the way, the man in the theater box watching Lincoln on stage seems to be Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase. Your guesses about the other smaller figures appear to be correct.

Jeff

Ginger
10-13-2013, 02:28 PM
By the way, the man in the theater box watching Lincoln on stage seems to be Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase.

You're right about that, I'm sure. I tend to wonder if the 'dead' puppet to the right is perhaps Elmer Ellsworth, still on the stage even in death.

Mayerling
10-13-2013, 02:37 PM
It does look like the unfortunate Ellsworth, the first Union "martyr" in the war. The Lincolns looked at Ellsworth as though he was an adopted son. Ironically his death was not only the first personal disaster they suffered in the war, but it was repeated within a number of months by the death of Colonel Edward Baker at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, a botched affair in the autumn of 1861. Baker, a former Senator from Oregon, was a close friend of the Lincolns for many years, and they had named their deceased son Edward for Baker.

By the way, apparently the town of Alexandria, Va did not see Ellsworth the way the North did. They put up a plaque for Jackson, the owner of the boarding house that the Confederate flag was flying from when Ellsworth made his rash decision to tear it down. Jackson was the one who shot Ellsworth, and was shot to death in his term (and bayonetted as well) by a Northern soldier accompanying Ellsworth. The plaque honored Jackson for defending his property from armed invaders or somthing negative like that. I don't know if that plaque is still there.

Lechmere
10-13-2013, 04:32 PM
Necessary reading
15648

Mayerling
10-14-2013, 08:56 AM
The book on Quantrill that I have is "Bloody Dawn: The Story of the Lawrence Massacre" by Thomas Goodrich (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1991). I also have the complete Time-Life series on the Civil War, which has Quantrill's story in a volume regarding guerilla and irregular operations (such as the Andrews or "the General" raid that was the basis of a Walt Disney film and of Keaton's comedy classic "The General".

I have no single volume on Mosby, so thanks for the recommendation. I am curious that Eugene McCarthy wrote the introduction. Was he related to "the Grey Ghost"? I recently learned, by the way, that in his later years he frequently visited and talked to a young George Patton.

Jeff

Lechmere
10-14-2013, 06:02 PM
Mosby made his peace with the Yankees and was a reconstructed rebel.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) was one of Quantrill's men as was Roster Cogburn (John Wayne). They had a certain glamour, unlike the dour Red Legs, Jayhawkers, scallywags and carpetbaggers.
The early Tobey Maguire film 'Ride with the Devil' is an excellent portrayal of Border Ruffian life.

Confederate Partisan Act in Missouri, 17th July 1862

I. For the more effectual annoyance of the enemy upon our rivers and in our mountains and woods all citizens of this district who are not conscripted are called upon to organize themselves into independent companies of mounted men or infantry, as they prefer, arming themselves and to serve in that part of the district to which they belong.

II. When as many as 10 men come together for this purpose they may organize by electing a captain, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, and will at once commence operations against the enemy without waiting for special instructions. Their duty will be to cut off Federal pickets, scouts, foraging parties and trains and to kill pilots and others on gunboats and transports, attacking them day and night and using the greatest vigour in their movements. As soon as the company attains the strength required by law it will proceed to elect the other officers to which it is entitled. All such organizations will be reported to their headquarters as soon as practicable. they will receive pay and allowances for subsistence and forage for the time actually in the field, as established by the affidavits of their captains.

III. These companies will be governed in all respects by the same regulations as other troops. Captains will be held responsible for the good conduct and efficiency of their men and will report to these headquarters from time to time.

jmenges
10-14-2013, 08:14 PM
The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) was one of Quantrill's men as was Roster Cogburn (John Wayne). They had a certain glamour, unlike the dour Red Legs, Jayhawkers, scallywags and carpetbaggers.
The early Tobey Maguire film 'Ride with the Devil' is an excellent portrayal of Border Ruffian life.

I'm sure you realize that the films you mention above are fictional and any glamour that infested the Border Ruffians left them when the director said "cut". 'Ride with the Devil' has more holes in it than Quantrill and Bill Anderson combined. Maybe, hopefully, you were strictly referring to Hollywood's portrayals of most Missouri outlaws being glamorous rather than describing the real monsters as such?

I would recommend reading 'Jennison's Jayhawkers', 'Civil War on the Western Border', and if you can pick up William E Connelly's bio of Quantrill. Jeff mentioned 'Bloody Dawn', which is also a good one.

Just the other day I visited the memorial stone in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence for 150+ unarmed men and boys that Quantrill's men so glamorously murdered one morning.

http://s14.postimg.org/53l19f6wx/1381696_10201485791081047_858037283_n.jpg

http://s8.postimg.org/5ylrw8cxx/1394471_10201485792321078_728854981_n.jpg

Well known midwestern newspaper editor John Speer had half of his family wiped out when his children were shot and their house was set on fire. They never found his son Robert's body.

http://s22.postimg.org/ssjd0w70x/282862_10201485789241001_444516803_n.jpg

http://s21.postimg.org/srujz05av/1390480_10201485787920968_100911156_n.jpg

I have no idea where the little boy in the first photo came from. I only noticed him after the film was developed.

JM

Lechmere
10-15-2013, 02:47 AM
That's a bit spooky

There were atrocities on both sides.
The Federals enacted a scorched earth policy in several counties on the Missouri side and there was the incident when the female relatives of rebel sympathisers were locked up in a prison that collapsed and many died. The trouble started in Missouri when Federal militia fired on a crowd of civilians - as happened in Baltimore.

There is no doubt that in fictional portrayals the Rebs had the glamour - which passed on to the James-Younger gang.
Jesse James the most glamorous outlaw in the West.
I doubt his real life was that glamorous but that is besides the point - the films are based on earlier folklore.
More remarkable in that they lost and the losers don't write the history. Hence the reason for the Lawrence raid gets airbrushed out.

jmenges
10-15-2013, 07:47 AM
Hi Ed,

The trouble started in pre-Civil War Kansas well before the Federal militia shootings at Camp Jackson, and Pro-slavery settlers from Missouri instigated all of the early violence that ultimately led to John Brown and his men's retaliation on Potawatomi creek. While violence ratcheted up on on both sides over that decade and the scorched earth policy during the Civil War displaced all of the border counties in western Missouri (whose effects can still be seen today in that the area continues to be sparsely populated), I see the southern and southern leaning states as starting the hostilities that eventually led to war.

My opinion on the movies is that (1940's-50's) Hollywood portrayals of the Kansas-Missouri conflicts starred actors playing confederates as the protagonists was born out of the mythologizing of the Jesse James gang during their lifetimes. They (the southern outlaws and border ruffians) may have lost the battle on the field but they won in the public relations department, leaving a trove of (mostly fictional) action-packed newspaper articles and pamphlets that Hollywood was eager to exploit. So action packed and romantic were the outlaws that Hollywood could easily ignore the fact that their "heroes" rose from loose knit bands of drunken, racist hillbillies. Of course they'll leave out the Lawrence massacre when their money made from capitalizing on upsurge of interest in the rural life that occurred in America after WWII (simpler times, no black folks, no agitation, etc).

A movie illustrating this lily white bred twist on history in American film is 1940's 'Santa Fe Trail' starring Raymond Massey as John Brown, who as the villain is portrayed as a total lunatic due to his affection for African-Americans. Thank God Ronald Reagan, as George Custer, is there to save the day at Harper's Ferry.

JM

Steve S
10-15-2013, 11:30 AM
I'm sure some of the early Raiders on both sides had the best of motives...But if they were THAT dedicated,they could have gone off to join regular units rather than taking the loot and slaughter option...........

Mayerling
10-15-2013, 12:42 PM
Boy this is a topic deserving of a thread of it's own.

Part A:

The only movie I recall seeing about the "Lawrence" Raid, was a film made in 1940 called "Dark Command" with John Wayne, Gabby Hayes (naturally), Walter Pidgeon, Roy Rogers, Marjorie Main, Raymond Walburn, and Porter Hall. It took a number of liberties (to say the least). Pidgeon played William Clarke Quantrill (here respelled - for some reason, probably legal - William CANTRELL). The actual Cantrell was not as literate as Pidgeon's character had to be (he had to appear as the educated schoolteacher - lawyer rival of the decent but plainspoken "Duke"). He and the Duke are the rivals for the heroine (I keep thinking Claire Trevor, but I'm probably wrong. Cantrell wants to marry her not only for love but her father (Hall) is the town banker (a Scots immigrant). He wants the father-in-law's support for political advancement. He is also hiding his shameful, hardscrapple background with his plain, earthy mother (Main). The real Quantrill's highest job prior to the war was as a cook on Buchanan's failed expedition (under Albert Sidney Johnston) against the Mormons in 1858-59.

The film is a good western - charting Pidgeon's rise as war fever grips the nation, and his basic unscrupulous behavior (he'll kill and steal from both sides, as will his followers). That much is true. But the raid on Lawrence is shown as being repelled by the forewarned residents. That, unfortunately, did not occur. Also due to the failure (according to the script) Cantrell loses his following and is killed in a shoot out with the Duke.

So, aside from casting aside history, we have a good film - watch it for Pidgeon's performance (he does a courtroom sequence I think is marvelous using the word "pain" as a threat to a previously cowed jury), and those of Main (a western version of her wonderful saddened mother of Humphrey Bogart in "Dead End"), and Porter Hall's stubborn but doomed banker.

Jeff

Mayerling
10-15-2013, 02:02 PM
Part B:

On "Santa Fe Trail" (which has little to do with this film.

1) Jeb Stuart (Flynn) and George Custer (Regan) were not classmates at West Point (nor were they classmates of George Pickett - in one scene)

2) Buchanan's Secretary of War was John Floyd, a southerner who was probably corrupt, and certainly incompetent. The film makes it Jefferson Davis, Pierce's Secretary of War, usually credited with our making the 1854 Gadsden Purchase of territory from Mexico.

3) Most of the film shows Brown as a violent homicidal lunatic (which in a sense may be true - he was violent and homicidal, but his lunacy is still debated). His character is cleansed at the conclusion: his motive was high minded - to end slavery in the U.S. As opposed to him is his associate, former West Point dropout and opportunist Van Heflin, who betrays Brown and his men at Harper's Ferry promising the arrival of more supporters to defeat the Federal troops under Robert E. Lee (Moroni Olsen) and Stuart and Custer (who was not there - he was at West Point in October 1859). When Brown realizes what Heflin was up to, he kills him. At the end of the film Brown acknowledges and accepts his death, but insists he was right about ending slavery, and predicts only a Civil War can cleanse the land with blood (which his slave insurrection would have minimized). Since he was high-minded and not greedy like Heflin, he as redeemed himself.

Warner Brothers made films for commercial sale around the country, including the South. They could not make a film that lauded "St." John Brown, as Southern Whites would have been furious. This was the best that could be done in 1940.

Massey played Brown again in "Seven Angry Men" (1956), and that film's script included details of the havoc on Brown's own family due to his crusade. One of his sons is played by Dennis Weaver. That is the film to see for a closer and more correct view of "Old Pottawotamie".

Jeff

jmenges
10-15-2013, 02:43 PM
In the beginning of Santa Fe Trail, I believe it's Brown's sons who are on 'the Underground Railroad', which in the film is an actual train.

:anxious:

JM

Mayerling
10-15-2013, 03:17 PM
I recall that they are - although the particular railroad was a commercial corporation railroad of the day. If I am not mistaken Charles Middleton ("Emperor Ming" in the "Flash Gordon" serials) was in that scene too, and gets killed. The train is carrying boxes of rifles labled "Bibles" if I am not mistaken - "Beecher's Bibles" as slavery advocates called them, after abolitionist Reverend Henry Ward Beecher.

Lechmere
10-15-2013, 05:38 PM
I think I've got 'Civil War on the Western Border'.
I think that the Kansas violence before Brown's massacre was minor and six of one and half a dozen of the other, and that he sparked off worse retaliation.
For whatever reason I think the romanticism and glamour of the Missouri Partisans grew over time. In the Dark Command they are the nasty baddies. By the late 1960s things changed with True Grit, Josey Wales, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid and the Long Riders.

Mayerling
10-15-2013, 07:05 PM
The switch to more glamorized southern bad guys probably goes back to "Jesse James" with Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda (as Frank James), John Carridine (as Bob Ford), Henry Hull, Randolph Scott, Donald Meek, and J. Edward Bromberg. That was made by 20th Century Fox in 1939 and would cause MGM to glamorize Billy the Kid in the film of that name starring Robert Taylor the following year. Then in 1941 a sequel to "Jesse James", "The Return of Frank James" was made starring Henry Fonda and John Carridine (reprising their earlier roles), Meek, Bromberg, Hull, and Jackie Coogan. It begins with the sequence of Tyrone Power being shot in the back while hanging a picture in his parlor by Carridine from the earlier film, but this was directed by Fritz Lang. Both films skirted the reality, although the "Jesse James" film has a sequence showing how Jesse becomes a violent and mean fellow to his followers and friends until Frank has a talk with him. The films about the James boys at this point concentrated on the financial villainy of Northern owned businessman personified by the crafty Donald Meek and his assistant Bromberg. Were these any good? As entertainment they were fine, and (to use Hull's dispeptic newspaperman friend of Jesse's editorial conclusion all the time), "Anyone who thinks otherwise, should be beaten up, and taken outside and shot like a dog!"

The critical one that tried to strike a balance with Quantrill and his gang (Frank James rode with Quantrill, not Jesse who was too young) was a film in the middle 1950s with Fess Parker (as the villain) and Jeff Chandler, "The Jayhawker" about the groups of abolitionists who used violence against slave holders in Kansas and Missouri, and were about as bad in their way as Quantrill. Brown would have been associated with the Jayhawkers. Their best known political leader was James Lane, who subsequently was one of Kansas' first two senators (the other was Samuel Pomeroy). Lane is (unfortunately) best recalled as being one of the two men who kept Anna Surratt from seeing President Andrew Johnson in July 1865 in a last ditch effort to save her mother Mary from the gallows. Within a year the two men (the other was former New York Senator Preston King) both committed suicide (King by jumping from a ferryboat into the Hudson; Lane by shooting himself).

Ginger
10-15-2013, 08:44 PM
3) [John Brown] was violent and homicidal, but his lunacy is still debated).

You've got some extremely high standards of proof for lunacy, if you can see two sides to the question.

Mayerling
10-15-2013, 10:29 PM
Hi Ginger,

I personally feel he was insane, but there is an on-going debate about it among historians. It wasn't my invention.

Jeff

Ginger
10-15-2013, 10:48 PM
And today, you know, is the anniversary of Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry.

Mayerling
10-16-2013, 08:31 AM
Hah! Good one on me! I knew it was in October but did not know the exact date.