Something so small…


The photo today is the actual derringer that was used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln in April, 1865. It is on display in the museum in the basement of Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. It is very small, yet the impact of the shot fired from this small gun stunned the world and changed history in ways we cannot know. I took this photo in mid-November while visiting Washington, DC on a work trip.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1780, a force of Continental dragoons commanded by Colonel William Washington (General George Washington’s second cousin once removed) cornered Loyalist Colonel Rowland Rugeley and his followers in Rugeley’s house and barn near Camden, South Carolina, on this day in 1780.

After nearly a year of brutal backcountry conflict between Washington and the fierce British commander Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton (who was infamous for Tarleton’s Quarter, the murder of colonial POWs on May 29, 1780, at Waxhaws), Washington had retreated to North Carolina the previous October. Commanded to return to the South Carolina theater by Brigadier General Daniel The Old Wagoner Morgan, Colonel Washington still lacked the proper artillery to dislodge the Loyalists. He told his cavalrymen to dismount and surround the barn. While out of Rugeley’s sight, Washington’s men fabricated a pine log to resemble a cannon.

This Quaker gun trick, named so because Quakers used it to be intimidating without breaching their pacifist vow of non-violence, worked beautifully. Washington faced the cannon toward the buildings in which the Loyalists had barricaded themselves and threatened bombardment if they did not surrender. Shortly after, Rugeley surrendered his entire force without a single shot being fired.

When informed of the pacifist victory, General Charles Cornwallis, commander of the British armies in America, informed Tarleton that Rugeley’s performance ensured he would never rise to the rank of brigadier. A few weeks later, Tarleton would himself face an even worse humiliation at the hands of General Morgan during the devastating Battle of Cowpens. The harrowing civil war for the hearts and minds of the Carolina backcountry had finally begun to favor the Patriots.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the name Italy comes from the word italia, meaning “calf land,” perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the Southern Italian tribes.



One thought on “Something so small…

  1. This is pure speculation but it has been written about by others on the topic of abe & Booth. Anthony Pitch doesn’t mention the note left at vp Johnson -his hotelroom in box for Room 68,his friend Gov _ wisconsin that had a room(heard news rush to kirkwood)in Kirkwood ,who had socialize with v p Andrew Johnson.John Wilkes Booth’s Calling Card was left at kirkwoodhouse,(dont wish to disturb you,are you at home, JwilkesBooth)and George Atzerodt booked room 126 at the Kirkwood House(coat with JWB bank account Montreal bank ) that it is only 2 blocks to Ford theatreacross peterson house.Secretary Seward at Jackson place
    near white house (Lincoln ).Anthony Pitch doesn’t mention that the war dept bought the ford theatre building served as the home of the WarDept and soJohn T. Ford sold the building to the War Dept in
    1866., hang the bodies of Lewis Powell, David Herold, andGeorge Atzerodt and MarySurratt.Anthony Pitch doesn’t that Louis Weichmann, a clerk in the war dept live at Surratt board house that he met John Wilkes Booth and
    even played cards with booth, john Surratt ,and the group ofconspirators which meansthat Louis Weichmann(friend John Surratt) should of known a lot he should ofreport it to the war dept prevent the event from happening inthe first place.Anthony Pitch,He doesn’t mention – Lucy Lambert Hale,
    daughter of John Parker Hale,(that was never brought intothe Lincoln Trial that Senator went to Abe the day he diedask to have position so that he can be out of the U.S.)Senator,that John Wilkes Booth Wallet – that was found,withLucy Lambert Hale picture among other pictures.Booth’s
    pockets were found a compass, a candle, pictures of fivewomen (actresses Alice Grey, Helen Western, Effie Germon,Fannie Brown, and Booth’s fiancée Lucy Hale), and his diary,where he had written of Lincoln’s death, “Our country owed
    all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the
    instrument of his punishment.Anthony Pitch,He doesntmention that people that went to the theatre bought souvenir of the actor playing which means : “Almost everya souvenir of the actor playing which means : “Almost everyfamily who kept a photograph album on the parlor tableowned a likeness of John Wilkes Booth of the famous Boothfamily of actors or actresses…Anthony PitchHe doesn’t mention that after Booth’s death, his brother Edwin wrote to
    his sister Asia, “Think no more of him as your brother; he isdead to us now, as he soon must be to all the world, butimagine the boy you loved to be in that better part of hisspirit, in another world.That Edwin Booth saved RTL(abe son) lifefrom a train moving..Anthony Pitch,He doesn’t mention that
    Rumors of John Wilkes Booth escaped with help from Cospirators that wanted Lincoln out of the way ,for political or Personal reasons help Booth escape the gallows ,Booth, said Bates, assumed the pseudonym “John St. Helen”and settled on the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas, and
    later moved to Granbury, Texas. He fell gravely ill and made deathbed confession that he was the fugitive assassin,but he then recovered and fled eventually committingsuicide in 1903 in Enid, Oklahoma under the alias “David E.
    George”. By 1913, more than 70,000 copies of the book had been sold, and Bates exhibited St. Helen’s mummified body carnival sideshows.The last not least ,..Anthony Pitch,He doesn’t mention John
    Wilkes Booth diary, assassin’s diary was found on his bodywhen he was killed twelve days after Lincoln’s murder.Mystery surrounds Booth’s diary because appeared to bemissing 54 pages from the front of the book and additional 32 pages from the back, The little book was taken off Booth’s body by Colonel Everton Conger. He took it to Washington and gave it to Lafayette C. Baker, chief of the
    War Department’s National Detective Police. Baker in turn gave it to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.In 1867 the diary was re-discovered in a forgotten War Department file with more than a dozen pages missing. Conspiracy theorists became convinced that the missing pages contained the key to who really was behind Lincoln’s assassination, and
    several fingers pointed toward Stanton. Support
    theory came about in 1975 when Joseph Lynch, a rare books dealer, claimed to have found the missing pages through one of Stanton’s descendants.Edwin Stanton was born Steubenville, Ohio, devout Methodist parents.Lawyer ,reaper case Cincinatti Ohio made fun of abe.political feud between Andrew Johnson. Hon. E. M. Stanton,
    He would continue to serve under President Andrew Johnson from 1865 to 1868 Johnson suspended Stanton and House of Representatives impeached a sitting president, Democrat Andrew Johnson. Edwin McMasters Stanton …

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