Author: wllangdon

Genealogist, historian

The Plot to kill Abraham Lincoln

by R. Michael Mershon

This is not 1865, nor is the plotter John Wilkes Booth. The year is 1861, and there is a
plot to kill the President-Elect on his way to Washington D.C. As was the case in those times,
railroads had competing lines and station points, even in the same cities. Most notable in this
case was the city of Baltimore, Maryland. In the case of Lincoln’s trip to Washington, he had to
leave one train, travel several blocks, and enter another train to complete the trip.

In Baltimore, there were several anti-Northern militias. Their plan was to kill Lincoln as
he transferred from one train to another. The schedule was well-known, as it was published in
all the papers. The plan was to create a disturbance in another part of town, thus drawing the
attention of the police away from the President-Elect’s movements, making it easier for the
other militias to move in and kill Lincoln.

As it turned out, Northern spies had infiltrated the “sesesh” militias, and knew of their
plans. The plans were altered, with the help of the presidents of the railroads, to make the train
switch in the middle of the night. This meant that, by the time the militias were to assemble
and carry out their plot, the train with the President-Elect would already be on its way from
Baltimore to Washington.

To foil the plot, Kate Warne would enter the train with Lincoln posing as her invalid
brother, along with two men to assure the trip would go according to plan. The two men were
Ward Hill Lamon and Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, the
person who had planned the entire diversion. Kate Warne was the first woman detective hired
by Pinkerton and later became an instructor for detectives in the company.

The plan was not discovered, and the plotters were arrested, except for the “brains” of
the plot, a man by the name of Cypriano Ferrandini. This person had an office in the basement
of Barnum’s Hotel in Baltimore. He was the barber in the hotel. Having failed in the plot, he
continued his barber shop, always advertising for assistants (only whites). He died in
December, 1910. Had this plot succeeded, the entire history of the nation would have been
very different.

Lincoln Tomb Ceremony 2017

Each year on April 15th, the SUVCW and MOLLUS sponsor a commemoration of the death of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln at his tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield IL.

All 5 of the Allied Orders place wreaths as well as many Departments, camps and auxiliaries.

It was my privilege to escort my wife who is the National Chaplain of the ASUVCW to this year’s event. The weather was warm and sunny and the turnout was excellent. Commander in Chief of the SUVCW, Don Martin and Commander in Chief of MOLLUS, James Simmons. both gave short addresses. The 33rd IL Volunteer Regiment Band played several selections. The Rockford Zoaves served as the Color Guard.

Touring the Tomb is something every American should take the time to do. It is a moving experience to stand inside the tomb staring at the sarcophagus and knowing that you are standing near the remains of the most loved President ever – the one who guided the country through a wrenching civil war but held the country together and freed the slaves.

Oak Ridge cemetery is beautiful and has many notables and beautiful monuments in addition to the Lincoln Tomb so put next April 15th on your schedule. You’ll be glad you did.

Brother Kerry Langdon

2017 U.S. Grant Birthday Celebration

The annual U.S. Grant Birthday Celebration took place on Sat. April 29 at Pt. Pleasant, OH.  The Camp has a table with recruiting material and is always there to answer questions about the Sons, the Civil War, and Civil War ancestry.  The event started 10am and once the weather cleared up it was a beautiful afternoon.

U. S. Grant’s birth place is located on US 52 east of New Richmond. It is a basic one room house, as seen below. It is a neat place to visit. If you have never been there, it is something that you must do. Richard Davis, Jim Houston, Kerry Landon, Bill West and Woody Cook were all there to answer any questions. Woody had part of his Civil War collection out and available for viewing.