Sunday, April 14, 2013

Movie Review: ***^Abraham LIncoln's Assassination

This is a documentary available through Netflix Instant and produced by History Channel.  As the title states, it reviews of death of President Lincoln, who was the first president assassinated.  Things I hadn't realized before.  President Lincoln had a nightmare a few days before his assassination, in which he saw the funeral procession at the White House.
Major Rathbone, in the box with the president, tried to prevent Booth from getting away.  Booth pulled a knife and stabbed him in the arm.  However he did try to grab him, causing him to catch on the decorations, and he fell awkwardly to the stage, rather than the graceful jump he had planned.  This caused him to break a bone in his ankle.
A young doctor, Dr Charles a Leal was the first MD to arrive to the President's side.  The president was without pulse or respiration.  The doctor provided rescue breathing.  When he examined the wound, blood came out, and the president improved.  He started breathing.  Quickly other doctors reached the scene, and the all concurred the wound looked fatal.  The determined to move him to a bed, but did not think he would survive being carried to the White House.  He was taken to the Peterson House, across from Ford's Theater.  He was placed diagonally on a bed too small for his 6'4" frame.  He continued to breath, but did not regain consciousness.  President Lincoln passed away the next morning at 7:22 a.m. April 15, 1865.
His funeral services were attended by those who loved him, as well as those who may have hated him, as they decided they did not actually hit him so much.  This was the largest funeral in our country up to the time.  Thousands of mourners paid their respects.
The funeral train traveled to Springfield Illinois.  It also included the coffin of his son Willie.
Booth headed South with a co-conspirator David Herold.  He sought medical attention from Dr. Samuel Mudd.  Dr. Mudd likely didn't realize what had happened.  However he collected his mail, and there were soldiers looking for Booth.  Rather than tell the soldiers, he returned to his place and told the two fugitives to leave.  Booth made his way across the Potomac River and into Virginia.  He followed newspapers, thinking his act would be accepted as heroic.  He was shocked that it was not. 
Both was finally overtaken as he and Herold were holed up in a tobacco barn near Port Royal.  Herold gave himself up.  Booth did not.  He was shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett in the neck, severing his spinal cord.  He died three hours later.  Corbett was put on detention for disobeying orders of bringing Booth back alive.  Booth's last words were "Useless, useless," talking about his hands which someone had put before his face at his request.
Eight persons were arrested for conspiracy to kill the president.  They were tried in military court.  All were found guilty, with different penalties based on their involvement.  Some had dropped out of the conspiracy before the assassination (they had previously planned to kidnap government leaders) and these were given prison sentences.  Four, including Mary Surrat, the first woman condemned to death by the American government where condemned to death.  They were executed July 7, 1865.
Mary Todd Lincoln would never again  attend a theater.  In 1901 Lincoln's coffin was unburied, and moved to a more secure location.  His remains were viewed.  Because of the embalming process, he was still recognizable as Abraham Lincoln.

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