10 Facts About The Lincoln Assassination You Probably Didn’t Learn At School
8. Booth Didn’t Break His Leg Jumping from the President’s Box — a Horse Broke It
People assumed that Booth broke his leg when he jumped from the presidential box and landed on the stage in Ford’s Theatre because eyewitnesses remembered seeing him limp away when fleeing, and he wrote a journal entry about the assassination that said, “In jumping, broke my leg.”
However, when author Michael Kauffman examined the evidence, he noticed that none of the eyewitness accounts mentioned Booth limping away nor indicated that he seemed to be in pain. After the news reported Booth broke his leg when he landed on stage, witnesses suddenly remembered seeing him limp. Before the news was released, they reported seeing Booth land on the stage, off-balance, falling on his right hand and knee — it was Booth’s left leg that was broken.
More evidence points to the fact that Booth broke his leg when his horse stumbled and fell on him. Booth told people he met with after the assassination that he broke his leg when his horse stumbled, and David Herold — his accomplice — stated when the horse fell, breaking Booth’s leg, he helped him remount the it.
Additionally, Sergeant Cobb, who saw Booth approximately 20 minutes after the assassination, reported that Booth was calm, his voice was smooth, and he appeared at ease — everyone who saw Booth after Cobb’s encounter reported that Booth’s voice cracked in pain.
Dr. Mudd, who tended to Booth’s broken leg, told detectives Booth arrived in muddy pants, and his farmhand who cared for Booth’s horse after his arrival reported the horse had a badly swollen left, front shoulder and a fresh cut on his leg.
7. The First Doctor to Tend to the President Only Had Six Weeks of Experience
Dr. Charles Leale, a 23-year-old army surgeon, was at Ford’s Theatre when Abraham Lincoln was shot. Even though he was only six weeks into his medical career, the young doctor ran from his seat into the president’s box to assist him after he was shot.
6 . Dr. Leale Treated President Lincoln with Brandy and Water
A long-lost medical report, written by Dr. Leale indicated that upon arriving in the president’s box, he sent two men to retrieve glasses of brandy and water. It continues stating, “Once the brandy and water arrived, a small amount was placed into the president’s mouth, which passed onto his stomach where it was retained.”
At the time, brandy was considered an effective treatment for pain — of course, it simply numbed the pain, and often lulled patients to sleep.
Do you know who else was on John Wilkes Booth’s hit list? Click ‘next’ to read on.
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