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Robert Arnold's Book The Conspiracy Between John Wilkes Booth and the Union Army
08-15-2018, 09:08 PM (This post was last modified: 08-15-2018 09:09 PM by mikegriffith1.)
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RE: Robert Arnold's Book The Conspiracy Between John Wilkes Booth and the Union Army
(08-15-2018 05:23 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(08-15-2018 04:04 PM)mikegriffith1 Wrote:  required the help of someone inside Ford's Theater at least hours before

Tom Bogar, author of the outstanding Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination, made this post on this forum over four years ago:

"While there was no one "smoking gun" (pardon the inappropriate pun) to indict the stagehands en masse, I found after eight years of compiling research on them, that the (to me) compelling (if not overwhelming) evidence, collectively listed in my footnotes and my bibliography, led me to make an informed judgment that something was, with near certainty, amiss backstage and the tendency was toward the backstage area being a hotbed of southern sympathy. The primary factors were these: 1) the pattern of overheard remarks (by more than one witness) made by persons in leadership capacities, including Gifford, Carland, Maddox and Lamb, 2) the tacit allowance of such remarks by John and Harry Ford (although John had trimmed his sails noticeably, he had a solid states-rights background ethos), 3) comments made in several newspapers before and after the event alluding to the atmosphere of Ford's experienced by actors appearing there, 4) the strong Baltimore connection of many of the backstage figures, and the concomitant Secessionist sympathies which that conveyed, from the Baltimore Plot and the Pratt Street Riots onward, 5) the near-complete lack of similar sentiments expressed by the itinerant actors, who likely knew enough to be more circumspect than the stagehands, 6) the presence and behavior of Union veteran Jake Rittersbach, being so new to the backstage group yet had asked so many questions and then became the single most damaging witness against Ned Spangler, and thus, 7) the fact that Stanton and his men (both military and non) knew so quickly exactly where and when to swoop down on whom, far more so among the stage crew than among the actors, several of whom (e.g. Mathews and Emerson) might have been in theory equally suspect. I should note that in the process, I did feel the need to discount significantly the exaggerations of that serial enhancer of the truth, Leonard Grover. Bottom line: after doing the research, I reached a point where I felt secure in making an informed judgment."

Arnold points out that one of the black workers at Ford's Theater, John Morris, told authorities that fellow theater workers Gifford, Spangler, and Maddox were secessionists, but Joseph Holt suppressed his statement.

Arnold further notes that Margaret Roysea, a black lady who worked at the theater, adamantly insisted to government investigators that she never left any pieces of wood lying around in the theater. She said this in response to the official claim that the piece of wood that Booth used to jam the front vestibule door just happened to have been lying on the floor in the vestibule. Arnold argues that her insistence was the reason she was jailed for a time.

Another fascinating fact that I've learned from Arnold's book is that the very first version of the shooting had Booth firing through the hole in the door, i.e., with the door closed, and then opening the door to the suite to escape over the railing.

Mike Griffith
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RE: Robert Arnold's Book The Conspiracy Between John Wilkes Booth and the Union Army - mikegriffith1 - 08-15-2018 09:08 PM

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