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    [Pursuit of Booth] James A. Hardie Partly Printed Pass, accomplished and signed as Brevet Brigadier and Inspector General, one page, 5.5" x 3", on "War Department" form, Washington, D.C., 16 April 1865. Writing the day after Abraham Lincoln had died, Hardie passes "Major O'Beirne, Special Prov. Marshal and assistants to Port Tobacco & vicinity, by the Potomac River on important service. All officers are enjoined to render him any aid he requires." To forestall inter-service difficulties Hardie has written on the verso: "Naval vessels on the river are requested not to detain Major O'Beirne & assistants." The urgent tone of this pass is understandable, since the "important service" mentioned was the initial pursuit of John Wilkes Booth, which had been entrusted to Provost Marshal James Rowan O'Beirne. His operatives had discovered Booth's connection to George Atzerodt, a resident of Port Tobacco, and the natural conclusion was that the assassin may have headed in that direction. O'Beirne ultimately received a $2000 share of the Booth reward money. Lightly soiled; fine.

    : Sang; Timothy H. Bakken; George Rinsland auctions, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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