Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lincoln's Blood Relics-- Part 11: Booth's Arsenal

Booth's Deringer used that night is just one of several arms he purchased for his March 1865 plot to kidnap the president and soon deployed in his plot to kill Lincoln.  He also had two Colt revolvers and a Spencer repeating carbine with him when he was killed.

he had issued a  revolver and knife to George Atzerodt who was supposed to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson.  (Atzerodt got drunk and ran away, throwing the blade into the street and selling the pistol at a Georgetown shop.)

Booth lent a knife and Whitney revolver to Lewis Powell who made a bloody but failed attempt to kill Secretary of State William Seward.  (Powell broke the pistol on the skull of one of Seward's sons and used the knife to stab Seward nearly to death, along with several other members of the household.)

Along with his Deringer, Booth also carried into Ford's Theatre a Rio Grande camp knife which he used to stab Lincoln's guest, Major Henry Rathbone, in the theater box, and which, after he leapt onto the, he thrust above his head for all the audience to see as he shouted, "Sic Semper Tyrannis" (Thus always to tyrants").

The audience was too far away to read the mottoes acid etched onto the blood-smeared blade: "Land of the Free/Home of the Brave"; "Liberty/Independence."

--Old Secesh

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