Friday, November 29, 2013

Mr. Lincoln becomes quite ill and is quarantined by the doctor

Following his return from Gettysburg, Mr. Lincoln was quite ill.. He wass too ill to even check on the war news at the telegraph office and was confined to the sick room. When examined by the doctor, his orders were to halt all reception of visitors and ban all interference from the president's Cabinet. The doctor said he had a mild case of varioloid which is related to smallpox. He was to remain in quarantine for three weeks.

He did, however, request my presence upon my return from Gettysburg, demanding a full report of the response to his remarks.

I admitted that the reviews were mixed, but that after people read the text in the various newspapers and thought about it more, the comments had become much more positive. I also thanked him for inviting my wife Sally and her father, Stephen Logan, to the proceedings in Gettysburg.

And he presented me with an outstanding gold pocket watch for my services to him as his bodyguard and for my kindness and care for him as president. The watch has a likeness of the president engraved inside.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

President Lincoln speaks at Gettysburg

I had my hands full in Gettysburg, trying to handle all the logistics plus keep the president safe.

Mr. Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg by train on the evening of November 18 and walked to the Wills House in the diamond where he stayed overnight. In the morning, he rode a horse in the procession to the cemetery.

The featured speaker was Edward Everett, president of Harvard College. Mr. Everett went on and on and on, comparing the battle held in Gettysburg this past July to every battle in the history of the world.

When Mr. Everett was finally finished, I introduced the president. He gave brief remarks that lasted just over two minutes.  The official photographer for the event had been frustrated, as Mr. Lincoln was already seated back down before the man could arrange his photograph to take his picture. The president left after the ceremony to return to Washington.

My work after the program did not conclude until the following day. When I returned to Washington, the president was not happy with the remarks he gave. He told me "that speech will not scour." But Mr. Everett, at least, had been impressed, saying that Mr. Lincoln had said more in two minutes that he had said in two hours.

A reporter from the Washington Chronicle was also impressed, saying in his newspaper "the speech, though short, glimmered with gems, evincing the gentleness and goodness of heart peculiar to him."

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another visit to Ford's Theater is on the president's agenda

On November 9, the president and Mrs. Lincoln, again in total disregard to my previous advice, attend a play at Ford's Theater. This time the play was "Marble Heart" starring John Wilkes Booth. Booth came from a theatrical family with his father, Junius Brutus, and brother, Edwin, also acting on the stage in Shakespearean plays.

I was surprised to find out that on that same day, Mr. Lincoln had written to his friend Stephen Logan of Springfield, Illinois proposing the he and his daughter Sally Logan, my wife,  attend the dedication of the national Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19.  I had previously planned to visit Sally in Springfield that very day, but had to cancel due to the invitation to attend the Gettysburg event as the marshal in charge.

I traveled to Gettysburg in preparation of the event. While there I received privileges from the federal telegraph office to send telegrams to Union states inviting them to send representatives to the event. I appointed dozens of assistant marshals, set up the procession route, and garnered buggies and horses for celebrities to ride during the procession from the town center to the cemetery.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mr. Lincoln receives an invitation to speak at Gettysburg later this month

Mr. Lincoln received an invitation from Judge David Wills from Gettysburg< Pennsylvania to speak t the dedication of the National Cemetery on November 19. He was asked to give "a few appropriate remarks".

At the same time, in a separate letter to myself, Judge Wills said "there will be a civic/procession and must be someone in charge of it. We have agreed for you as the proper person and thereby extend to you an invitation to act as Marshal of this procession of the day. If you accept, which I hope you will, feel it your duty today, you will have to make all the necessary arrangements for the procession, its order, etc."

I consulted with Mr. Lincoln. He was going to accept their invitation and urged me to do the same. I responded favorably.

On November 8, the president sits for a photograph at the Mathew Brady Studios. The photographer was Alexander Gardner.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The president asks for an investigation of disloyal persons being enlisted

This week, in a letter to general John M. Schofield, Department of the Missouri, Mr. Lincoln questions the claim made that forty-two disloyal persons had been enlisted into federal service. He asks Schofield to please investigate further saying that he, the president, could find no evidence to substantiate the claims.

Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln attend a play at Ford's Theater entitled "Fanchon, the Cricket". It was a benefit performance by Maggie Mitchell. Although Grover's Theater was more the president's favorite, the fist family enjoyed theater in general. Their appearance at Ford's Theater was not as frequent as their visits to Grover's.
That may also have had to due with the fact at Ford's Theater, their presence was always noted, with the band stopping and playing "Hail to the Chief" whereas they attended more anonymously at Grover's Theater.

As state previously, I was not in favor of their theater attendance at any theater at any time. My issue was not a dislike for theater, but on the issue of his safety.