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    Description

    Richard H. Garrett, Owner of the Farm where John Wilkes Booth Was Killed, Autograph Letter Signed, one-half page, 6" x 7.5", Port Royal, Va., 26 March 1863, to Col. G.W. Munford, then serving as secretary of state of Virginia. Garrett acknowledges a "favor of the 20th inst. enclosing a commission from Gov. [John] Letcher appointing me a notary public for the Count of Caroline" and transmits $2.50, "the fee for issuing the said commission." Garrett, a prosperous farmer outside of Port Royal, innocently played host to John Wilkes Booth in the belief that he was a wounded Confederate soldier, but once he was rejoined by a companion who had at first left him - Davy Herold - and both fled into the woods when startled by passing Union cavalrymen, suspicions were aroused. Denied permission to remain in the Garrett house, the pair were instead locked in a nearby tobacco barn. During the night of 25-26 April 1865 a force of federal cavalrymen descended on Richard Garrett's farm; he cautiously responded to the pounding at his door, and when he failed to promptly tell the troopers where the two men were, was called a "damned old rebel" and threatened with hanging. This was averted by one of his sons, who led the federals to the barn. Herold surrendered quickly, but the defiant Booth stayed in the barn even as it was burned around him. The firelight made it possible for one of the soldiers outside, Sgt. Boston Corbett, to see and shoot him. Paralyzed and in agony, he was laid on Garrett's front porch, where Mrs. Garrett and daughters bathed his face from time to time, and where he died after sunrise on the morning of the 26th. The letter has folds and is lightly stained and toned; near fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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