Why did Mrs Lincoln (on April 3, 1865) order that John Parker be detailed for duty at the White House? The order is in her handwriting on White House stationary. Normally only the oldest members of the Police force were chosen. Parker had only been a police officer since 1861 and had been called before the Police Board at least three times. He was an obscure and mediocre patrolman so how did she even know his name?
Why was he never prosecuted for his negligence in letting the President be murdered? Stanton was in control and one would think he would have filed charges of criminal neglect or have the man shot. Stanton had been harsh on the poor country boys in uniform who had fallen asleep after long hard marches. Parker was not charged or even dismissed. He was not even immediately relieved of his White House duties.
The police blotter shows that at 6 am, April 15, only a few hours after Lincoln was shot, Parker brought a woman of the streets named Lizzie Williams to headquarters. She was promptly discharged.
By May 24 he was back on the beat because on that day he picked up a woman for soliciting on the streets. This time he proved the charges and she was fined.
On November 22, 1865 a complaint was filed against Parker. Three years later on July 27, 1868 he was found asleep on his beat by his sergeant. After three years of good behavior he was discharged from duty on August 13, 1868 for gross neglect of duty.
A few weeks prior to Parker’s dismissal, Stanton had been ousted from his position. Are these two events related in any way? Had Stanton been protecting Parker?
Why did the Grants suddenly leave Washington after they had accepted the invitation to the play? Did people normally turn down invitations from the President? More than a year later, on August 18, 1866 he accepted an invitation from Johnson to a reception at the mansion. Adam Badeau, Grant’s biographer, said “he felt himself obliged to obey the summons of the President.”
I can think of a lot more questions, such as who that night tampered with the telegraph wires leading out of Washington? It could only have been an insider according to the telegraph people.
Why was that one bridge left unguarded?
When O’Beirne was within miles of capturing Booth why was he ordered to stop?
Baker’s comments on reporting the capture to Stanton: “When I entered the room he was lying on a sofa……I rushed into the room, and said, “We have got Booth.” Secretary Stanton was distinguished during the whole war for his coolness, but I had never seen such an exhibition of it in my life as at that time. He put his hands over his eyes, and lay for nearly a moment without saying a word. Then he got up and put on his coat very coolly.”
Senator Zachariah Chandler was deep in the confidence in the Civil War era and knew many things he thought it unwise to indulge. From his biography, “The secret history of these exciting days teeming with incident and concealing many startling revelations, has yet been but sparingly written; it is doubtful if the veil will ever be more than slightly lifted.”
Senator Wade, his colleague once said to a reporter who wanted to write some inside history: “There is no use in telling what we know unless we tell the whole truth, and if I tell the whole truth I shall blast too many reputations.”
Sam Arnold was one of the instigators of the attempt to blame Davis because of a letter he had written to Booth. There was also a professional spy named Richard Montgomery who spied for both sides. He gave some false information along with some others.
Major Walker Taylor, a nephew of Zachary Taylor and married to one of Davis’ relatives, proposed the abduction of Lincoln. Davis declined because of the risk of killing Lincoln in the event of resistance.
In August 1863, a soldier in camp near Fredericksburg wrote to the Confederate Sec of War offering to assassinate some certain persons filling high places in the North. He received the reply that “duty requires all such schemes………to be discouraged by the Dept and to be discarded by you. The laws of war and morality as well as Christian principles………forbid the use of such means of punishing even the atrocities of the enemy.”