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The statements of Major Rathbone, who was in the President's box, and of the actor (Mr. Hawk) who was alone on the stage, at the time of the murder, have a special value in relation to the circumstances attending its consummation. Maj. Ratbbone, in an affidavit made on the 17th of April, said :
The distance between the President, as he sat, and the door was about four or five feet. The door, according to the recol lection of this deponent, was not closed during the evening. When the second scene of the third act was being performed, and while this deponent was intently observing the proceedings upon the stage, with his back toward the door, he heard the discharge of a pistol behind him, and looking around, saw, through the smoke, a man between the door and the President. At the same moment deponent heard him shout some word which deponent thinks was “ freedom !" This de ponent instantly sprang toward him and seized him; he wrested himself from the grasp and made a violent thrust at the breast of deponent with a large knife. Deponent parried the blow by striking it up, and received a wound several inches deep in his left arm, between the elbow and the shoulder. The orifice of the wound is about an inch and a half in length, and extends upward toward the shoulder several inches. The man rushed to the front of the box, and deponent endeavored to seize him again, but only caught his clothes as he was leaping over the railing of the box. The clothes, as deponent believes, were torn in this attempt to seize him. As he went over upon the stage, deponent cried out with a loud voice, “Stop that man !" Deponent then turned to the Pres. ident; his position was not changed; his head was slightly bent forward, and his eyes were closed. Deponent saw that he was unconscious, and supposing him mortally wounded, rushed to the door for the purpose of calling medical aid. On reaching the outer door of the passage way as above described, deponent found it barred by a heavy piece of plank, one end of which was secured in the wall, and the other resting against the door. It had been so securely fastened that it required considerable force to remove it. This wedge or bar was about four feet from the floor. Persons upon the outside were beating against the door for the purpose of entering. Deponent removed the bar, and the door was opened.
The actor who was at the moment on the stage, gave the fol. lowing particulars in a letter to bis father, written on the 16th of April:
I was playing Asa Trenchard, in the “ American Cousin." The "old lady" of the theater had just gone off the stage, and I was answering her exit speech when I heard the shot fired. I turned, looked up at the President's box, heard the man exclaim, “ Sic semper tyrannis !” saw him jump from the box, seize the flag on the staff and drop to the stage; he slipped when he gained the stage, but he got upon his feet in a moment, brandished a large knife, saying, “The South shall be free !” turned his face in the direction I stood, and I recognized him as John Wilkes Booth. He ran toward me, and I, seeing the knife, thought I was the one he was after, ran off the stage and up a flight of stairs. He made his escape out of a door directly in the rear of the theater, mounted a horse and rode off.
The above all occurred in the space of a quarter of a minute, and at the time I did not know that the President was shot, although, if I had tried to stop him he would have stabbed me.
I am now under one thousand dollars bail to appear as a witness when Booth is tried, if caught.
All the above I have sworn to. You may imagine the excitement in the theater, which was crowded, with cries of “ Hang him !” “Who was he ?” etc., from every one present.
On the morning of his death, Mr. Lincoln's remains were taken to the White House, embalmed, and on Tuesday laid in state in the East Room, where they were visited by many thousands during the day. On Wednesday, funeral services were held in the same room. An impressive discourse was preached by Rev. Dr. Gurley, pastor of the Presbyterian church which the late President attended ; the main portion of the Episcopal service for the burial of the dead was read by Rev. Dr. Hall (Episcopalian), and prayers were offered by Bishop Simpson (Methodist) and Rev. Dr. Gray (Baptist). The funeral proc?ssion and pageant, as the body was removed to the rotunda of the capitol, were of grand and solemn character, beyond dis:ription. The whole length of the Avenue, from the Executive Mansion to the capital, was crowded with the thousands of the army, navy, civil officers, and citizens, marching to the music of solemn dirges. From window and roof, and from side-walks densely crowded, tens of thousands along the whole route witnessed the spectacle. The remains again lay in state, in the Rotunda, and were visited by many thousands during
the following day. On Friday morning the remains were borne to the rich funeral car, in which, accompanied by an escort of distinguished officers and citizens, they were to be borne on their journey of nearly two thousand miles to their last rest in the silence of the Western prairie. The funeral cortege left Washington on the 21st of April, going by way of Baltimore and Harrisburg to Philadelphia, where the body lay in state in Independence Hall, from Saturday evening, the 22d, until Monday morning. On the afternoon of the 24th, the train reached New York. All along the route, thus far, the demonstrations of the people were of the most earnest character, and at Philadelphia the ceremonies were imposing, profound grief and sympathy being universally manifested. At New York, on the 25th, a funeral procession, unprecedented in numbers, marched through the streets, while mottoes and emblems of woe were seen on every hand-touching devices, yet altogether vain to express the reality of the general sorrow. The train reached Albany the same night, remaining there part of the day on the 26th, while the same overflowing popular manifestations were witnessed as at previous places along the route. These were continued at all the principal points on the way from that city to Buffalo, where there were special demonstrations, on the 27th, as again at Cleveland on the 28th, at Columbus on the 29th, and at Indianapolis on the 30th. Wherever the funeral car and cortege passed through the State of Ohio, as through Indiana and Illinois, the people thronged to pay their sad greeting to the dead, and tokens of public mourning and private sadness were seen. At Chicago, where the train arrived on the 1st of May, the demonstrations were specially impressive, and the mournful gatherings of the people were such as could have happened on no other occasion. It was the honored patriot of Illinois, who had been stricken down in the midst of his glori. ous work, and whose lifeless remains were now brought back to the city which he had chosen to be his future home.
From Chicago to Springfield, the great ovation of sorrow was unparalleled, through all the distance. The remains of the martyred statesman were passing over ground familiar to his sight for long years, and filled with personal friends who had known him from early life. Yet even here, where all were deeply moved, there could scarcely be a more heartfelt tribute, a more universal impulse to render homage to the memory of the immortal martyr for liberty, than in every city and State through which the funeral car and its cortege had passed.
The final obsequies took place at Springfield, on Thursday, the 4th day of May, when the remains of Abraham Lincoln, in the presence of many thousands, were placed in a vault in Oak Ridge Cemetery. With the body of the late President, the disinterred remains of his son Willie, who died in February, 1862, had been borne to Illinois, and were now placed beside those of the father by whom he had been so tenderly loved. The ceremonies were grandly impressive. Mr. Lincoln's last inaugural address was read, the Dead March in Saul, and other dirges and hymns were sung, accompanied by an instrumental band, and an eloquent discourse was preached by Bishop Simpson. Rev. Dr. Gurley, of Washington, and other clergymen, participated in the religious exercises, In every part of the nation, the day was observed, and business suspended. Never, probably, was the memory of any man before so honored in his death, or any obsequies participated in by so many hundreds of thousands of sincere mourners.
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was the culmination of a series of fiendish schemes undertaken in aid of an infamous rebellion. It was the deadly flower of the rank and poisonous weed of treason. The guiding and impelling spirit of Secessionism nerved and aimed the blow struck by the barbarous and cowardly assassin, who stole up from behind to surprise his victim, and brutally murdered him in the privacy of his box, and in the presence of his wife.
Large rewards were speedily offered for the capture of the chief assassin and of his principal known accomplices, Atzerodt and Herold. The villain who attempted the murder of Mr. Seward was first arrested-giving his name as Payne. Booth and his companion Herold were traced through the counties of Prince George, Charles, and St. Mary, in Maryland, and finally across the Potomac into King George and Caroline counties in
Virginia. They had crossed the Rappahannock at Port Con. way, and had advanced some distance toward Bowling Green. By the aid of information obtained from negroes, and from a Rebel paroled prisoner, they were finally found in a barn, on a Mr. Garrett's place, early on the morning of the 26th of April, when Herold surrendered. Booth, defiant to the last, was shot by Sergeant Corbett, of the cavalry force in pursuit of the fugitives, and lived but a few hours, ending his life in miserable agony. In leaping from the box of the theater, he had broken a bone of his leg, impeding his flight and producing intense suffering during the eleven days of his wanderings. A swift and terrible retribution had overtaken the reckless criminal-perhaps the most fitting expiation of his deed.*
In addition to the arrests of Payne and Herold, were those of Atzerodt, O'Laughlin, Spangler, an employee at Ford's Theater; Dr. Mudd, who harbored Booth the day after the assassination, set the broken bone of his leg, and helped him on his way; Arnold, whose letter to Booth, found in the latter's trunk, signed “Sam," showed his connection with the conspiracy, and Mrs. Surratt, at whose house some of the conspirators were wont to meet, and who was charged with aiding the plans and the escape of Booth.
But the conspiracy was clearly traceable to a higher source than Booth and these wretched accomplices. Mr. Johnson, who had been inaugurated as President on the morning of Mr. Lincoln's death, issued, after the plot had become more fully unraveled, the following
# The wretched miscreant whose hand has spread mourning over a continent, and turned even hostility into sympathy for his victim, has perished in a manner that is perhaps the fittest penalty for his crime. Other assassins have invested their deed with a glow of heroism, by Betting their own lives frankly against the life they smote, and daring vengeance in the name of justice. But Wilkes Booth was a cowardly villain, who crept secretly to strike his enemy in the back, and who thought to secure his own safety by a prepared flight. So it is best that he should not even have the dignity of dying by the hands of justice, but hunted like vermin to his lair, be put out of life by the pistol of a common soldier. It is best for the world that as speedily as possible it should be enabled to cease thinking of a nature so deformed, which had drawn to itself notoriety by a crime so inhuman.--London Daily News