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Author Topic: Miscellaneous details regarding Powell's attack on Seward  (Read 13248 times)
Randal
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2011, 12:58:21 PM »

"My initial impression of Powell is however, not at all good. He appears raving, murderous,  and a madman."

That's interesting, Michael Kauffman in "American Brutus" describes Powell as a "killing machine"

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Mark
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 01:02:13 PM »

Oh absolutely. But war had its rules. It still does. Nathan Forrest was a butcher at Fort Pillow.  

I guess you mean do I think the soldiers were (are) mad when they fight and kill? No, not at all. Thousands died here in Franklin in a horrendous battle. There was fantastic heroism. Greatness. Men who dug so deep into themselves and fought and killed hand to hand nobly. They follow their commanders. But there were rules. Assignation is different isn't it?

Or, is Booth justified because it was War?   I don't know, honestly. Truly, what do you think? Both of you, please. And please I mean no disrespect to you and certainly not the military.

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Mark
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2011, 03:31:59 PM »

Discussion, right? Not an argument.  I am confused by "a perfect killing machine."  Is that a good thing as in good soldier or a bad thing as in mad?

My interest in the assassination is just beginning.  I need to read more including your book. 

Let me ask you this. Is my view of Powell shared by others? Uncommon?
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2011, 03:59:14 PM »

Let me ask you this. Is my view of Powell shared by others? Uncommon?

Mark, I do not think your view is uncommon at all. At the same time I feel Betty's book was a watershed in the overall study of Lewis Powell. She tried to get inside his brain like no other author ever did.

I think we need to be careful in that people do not confuse the interest shown in a conspirator and condoning the conspirator's brutal actions at the Seward home. I HOPE that is what is going on here with these Powell discussions. Many non-members visit this forum and read the discussions; hopefully they understand the purpose of the discussion.

The goal is to try to understand the man, not support the brutality.

How the Circle of Friends of the Seward House Museum in New York view these discussions is unknown to me. But I admit to being curious.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 04:06:13 PM by Roger Norton » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2011, 04:03:51 PM »

Well said Roger!
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Conspirator9
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2011, 04:58:09 PM »

As much as I love AB and how it helped me get into the assassination, I have to disagree with "a perfect killing machine."  I don't like how the conspirators tend to be portrayed anywhere, but that's a whole other discussion.  To describe Lewis like that, would make me think he got some sort of sick sadistic pleasure from it.  From his "I'm mad!  I'm mad!" proclimation, I would be inclined to think the exact opposite.

Is a soldier--from any war any time any place-- a perfect killing machine because they killed more than one enemy?  I agree with trying to put yourself into their worlds, but I think this scenario is a bit more universal.  Lewis was put through 4 years of H***, that he went into for the service of his country.  I think the only reason why he gets the bloodthirsty stupid brute rep is because the attack went so horribly wrong.  Would you think any different of him if all he did was shoot Seward and run?  Why isn't Booth a blood thirsty brute too?
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Randal
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2011, 05:08:51 PM »

You know, I don't have a clue where this "Perfect killing machine" orginated, Kauffman never said that.
He was describing his behavior as a "killing machine", at the time of his (Powell) attacking Seward. That makes a HUGE difference in it's definition. Kauffman doesn't portray Powell as a "perfect killing machine".
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Mark
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2011, 05:27:34 PM »

Thank you, Mr. Norton.  
I believe you very very succinctly hit the nail on the head.  I apologize if I suggested or intimated anyone condoned or supported the violence.  My abhorrence of the assassination may be a hurdle I need to overcome to fully understand those dark days.


Randal --  I misquoted you when I added "perfect." I am mistaken. Sorry.

Betty and Laurie -- Stimulating discussion. It makes me think. Thank you.

Now what book do I read next...
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Randal
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2011, 05:31:33 PM »

no apologies needed Mark.
For your next book, how about  "Alias Paine" Wink
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Mark
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2011, 05:33:43 PM »

I think that might be appropriate.
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Randal
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2011, 05:35:48 PM »

I'll sell you a geniuine autographed copy (gotta scratch my name out) for $1000.00!  Grin Grin Grin Grin
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Mark
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2011, 05:56:42 PM »

Well as I said a newbie. Lincoln's Last Hours, The Life, Crime, and Capture of John Wilkes Booth, Transcript of the Trial of John Surratt , Sandburg's Lincoln in the 50's condensed version...

One of my most favorite reads was Elizabeth Keckley's Behind the Scenes though not conspiracy related.

I have the collected works of AL on my Kindle. My problem is that I am not a speed reader and time is a luxury.

I have been mostly reading about middle Tennessee Civil War and post war history as I am local.

Maybe I am typically one of those people who have been brought to the classroom by the 150th anniversary.

American Brutus looks like the popular one I should read.


By the way, a friend gave me a book Civil War Road Trip Guide and sure enough page 363, The Surratt House Museum. I would be fascinated to see it.
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Randal
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2011, 06:05:18 PM »

Not to disagree, but Laurie has a standard, pat, answer for this sort of question.
Madame Laurie? (your cue)
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Mark
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2011, 06:18:18 PM »

Thank Y'all!  (with the Shelby Foote accent.)
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Mark
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2011, 06:48:56 PM »

Yes Ma'am, I do indeed.  I would put my Grandmother's fried chicken up against anybody's anywhere. She's gone unfortunately.

In Nashville, there are still three distinctly different southern accents. Shelby Foote's sounds mostly like the aristocratic version oozing of southern charm.

I believe I will call the Surratt Museum to order American Brutus and Randal, your book looks very interesting as well. I am especially interested in John Surratt. Whether he was in DC on the 14th I suppose would be in another thread?

I like to support the local museums here especially Carnton House in Franklin but I know their library is much smaller than your mailing list, Laurie.
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