It is a sad time at the White House. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln and I mourn the death of their our from Illinois, Colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, who was killed after taking down Confederate flag from the Marshall House Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Ellsworth was shot by the proprietor Captain Jackson. Jackson was then immediately shot and killed by Frank Brownwell, a member of Ellsworth’s New York Fire Zouaves.
Ellsworth had read law under Mr. Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois. Ellsworth and I had accompanied Mr. Lincoln when he voted in the presidential election on Nov. 6, 1860. He had also been on the train with us when Mr. Lincoln rode from Springfield, Illinois to Washington City for his inauguration.
Mr. Lincoln had also been right that it wouldn’t be long before Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B. Taney weighed in on his suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Taney had been appointed to his position by Andrew Jackson in 1837. The justice flew into a rage regarding Mr. Lincoln’s actions, condemning them. Taney was hardly impartial, as the President pointed out. Taney owned slaves at his home in Frederick, Maryland.
Mr. Lincoln responded by ordering Taney’s arrest. Mr. Lincoln swore out a warrant for Taney’s arrest and assigned the duties of taking the justice into custody to none other than me.
W. H. Lamon