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Gary of CA
05-13-2007, 05:46 PM
I read Charles P. Stone's account in Vol. 1 of Battles & Leaders of protecting the President during his arrival to Washington and along his inaugaration route. It was pretty extensive and a lot of similar methods are done today. For instance, uniformed men to keep the crowd at bay. Access control to the platform to prevent the placement of explosive devices. Moving escorts that obsure the line of sight during the ride to the inagural site. Marksmen placed on rooftops as counter-snipers. Plain clothes men mixed among the crowd to deter and apprehend any assassin.

So, what happened at Ford's Theatre with only one soldier outside the box?

reb290
05-13-2007, 06:02 PM
Hope this helps.



Lieutenant George Ashmun of this unit responded to the question "How did it happen that, with a guard and escort provided, he was at Ford's Theatre that eventful night unprotected?" Ashmun answered:

It had never been thought necessary for him to be guarded when going out for an evening in that way. It was understood that he preferred not to be accompanied in such fashion, when mingling with the people in such places - and in some way the alarm felt during the preceding autumn had lessened. At least the escort heard nothing of the especial apprehension and were as unprepared for the attack on him as people in Ohio were. It is true, however, that at almost any time a person with Booth's reckless determination could have reached and killed the President at the White House, or in his walks to the War Department, for it was an almost daily thing to see him walking alone, and leisurely to and from his interviews with Secretary Stanton; and it would have been easy for such an assassin to have met him there.1

April 14, 1865, proved to be such an opportunity for Booth. However, several eyewitnesses claim that there was a gentleman posted outside the Presidential box who allowed Booth to enter. Samuel Koontz on April 24, 1865, wrote in a letter that "Booth went through the door of the box, told the man who was Lincolns servant at the door, that Lincoln had sent for him." 2 On May 15, 1865, Captain Theodore McGowan, who had been seated on the south side of the Dress Circle testified during the Conspiracy Trial that "He [Booth] took a small pack of visiting-cards from his pocket, selecting one and replacing the others, stood a second, perhaps, with it in his hand, and then showed it to the President's messenger, who was sitting just below him. Whether the messenger took the card into the box, or, after looking at it, allowed him to go in, I do not know; but in a moment or two more, I saw him go through the door of the lobby leading to the box, and close the door."3 Two years later Dr. Charles Leale, who was also seated on the south side of the Dress Circle, wrote that "I saw a man speaking with another near the door [to the Presidential box] and endeavoring to enter which he at last succeeded in doing after which the door was closed." 4

John Parker, one of the policemen assigned to the White House detail, and Charles Forbes, the Presidential messenger, are the two people who have been most often speculated to be the one outside the box #5 Unfortunately, neither one has stated anything reliable related to their activities that night. Thus, while the evidence supports the belief that a gentleman was posted outside the Presidential box, the identity of that person remains unknown.



Aaron Bolis

reb290
05-13-2007, 06:15 PM
Hope this helps.



It had never been thought necessary for him to be guarded when going out for an evening in that way. It was understood that he preferred not to be accompanied in such fashion, when mingling with the people in such places - and in some way the alarm felt during the preceding autumn had lessened. At least the escort heard nothing of the especial apprehension and were as unprepared for the attack on him as people in Ohio were. It is true, however, that at almost any time a person with Booth's reckless determination could have reached and killed the President at the White House, or in his walks to the War Department, for it was an almost daily thing to see him walking alone, and leisurely to and from his interviews with Secretary Stanton; and it would have been easy for such an assassin to have met him there.1

April 14, 1865, proved to be such an opportunity for Booth. However, several eyewitnesses claim that there was a gentleman posted outside the Presidential box who allowed Booth to enter. Samuel Koontz on April 24, 1865, wrote in a letter that "Booth went through the door of the box, told the man who was Lincolns servant at the door, that Lincoln had sent for him." 2 On May 15, 1865, Captain Theodore McGowan, who had been seated on the south side of the Dress Circle testified during the Conspiracy Trial that "He [Booth] took a small pack of visiting-cards from his pocket, selecting one and replacing the others, stood a second, perhaps, with it in his hand, and then showed it to the President's messenger, who was sitting just below him. Whether the messenger took the card into the box, or, after looking at it, allowed him to go in, I do not know; but in a moment or two more, I saw him go through the door of the lobby leading to the box, and close the door."3 Two years later Dr. Charles Leale, who was also seated on the south side of the Dress Circle, wrote that "I saw a man speaking with another near the door [to the Presidential box] and endeavoring to enter which he at last succeeded in doing after which the door was closed." 4

John Parker, one of the policemen assigned to the White House detail, and Charles Forbes, the Presidential messenger, are the two people who have been most often speculated to be the one outside the box #5 Unfortunately, neither one has stated anything reliable related to their activities that night. Thus, while the evidence supports the belief that a gentleman was posted outside the Presidential box, the identity of that person remains unknown.

Aaron Bolis

Gary of CA
05-15-2007, 01:44 AM
Thank you sir.