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Author Topic: Henry Reed Rathbone  (Read 2690 times)
Civil Warrior
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« on: March 29, 2010, 09:59:10 PM »

Has anyone heard the following story about Henry Reed Rathbone [who lived out his life in a German sanitarium after he shot his wife Clara Harris Rathbone] and the Royal Prussian Court Physician Rosenbach who treated him?

On December 23, 1893 [the tenth anniversary of the murder of Rathbone's wife] Dr. Rosenbach, who had previously been unable to get Rathbone to talk about either his wife's death or Lincoln's assassination, asked him if he would agree to be hypnotized in an attempt to alleviate his distress. Rathbone reluctantly agreed but he had one condition that he and Rosenbach switch clothing, so that if "they" came while he was in a trance "they" would be confused as to whom was the real Rathbone. Doctor Rosenbach apparently agreed and wearing Rathbone's smoking jacket proceeded to put his patient under. Among the things Rosenbach noted was Rathbone's reliving the night "a stranger" had shot his wife and at the same time had inflicted new knife wounds on him. However, it was when Rosenbach questioned Rathbone about Lincoln's assassination that Rathbone, in what Rosenbach termed a "dramatic reanactment", described the suddeness of Booth's appearance in the box at Ford's Theatre saying that as Booth strode up behind Lincoln: "Herr Booth exclaimed lch bringen auf lhre Union" ["I bring blessings to your Union"]. Dr. Rosenbach supposedly stopped the session shortly afterwards when Rathbone fell to the floor in fetal position and proceeded to scream uncontrollably. Rosenbach claimed Rathbone never agreed to hypnosis again, stating that "them" and "they" forbid him for ever from doing so.

Has Booth's alleged line, "I bring blessings to your Union", been reported any where else to anyone's knowledge?
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Bronte
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 07:55:56 AM »

I think Booth would have ran his mouth about saying that just like he did with everything else that he was proud of that happened on that night.But I'm just a novice so I'm probably wrong.
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Civil Warrior
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 09:45:10 AM »

A friend of mine who was in Munich on medical business read it from a German mental health magazine and left it for me as a voice mail message. I will follow up with him about it. It is amazing that so many people abroad are fascinated with our history. Of course, the two most talked about events are the assassinations of Lincoln and JFK.
Speaking of which, now that the heavy lifting is done with Dixie Reckoning, I mentioned to Laurie Verge and Bill Richter that I was about to start my next book, but that I was still torn between subjects. Both of which, I'm certain would be of interest to regulars on this website as well as members of The Surratt Society. Both would be based upon "what if" premises. The first is tentatively titled "Supreme Commander: The Impeachment Trial of Abraham Lincoln" and the second, drawing inspiration from the recent report from overseas would be "I Bring Blessings To Your Union: The Trial of Lincoln's Assassin".

My question to you folks is; if I am to make the assumptions that in "Supreme Commander" Lincoln survived Booth's assassination attempt and in "I Bring Blessings To Your Union" Booth is captured alive and brought back to Washington to stand trial for Lincoln's murder, should I also keep Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney alive as well?
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Rock Toews
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 12:11:06 PM »

Try Rathbone's army pension records at the National Archives, as the examination by Dr. Rosenbach was related to Rathbone's pension.
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wild bill
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2010, 07:39:59 PM »

It seems strange that Booth would refer to Rathbone as a "Col." if the latter did not wear a uniform. Wasn't Rathbone a Lt. Col? If so, that insignia differs from a major only as to color (MAJ=gold, LTC=silver), and Booth easily might have confused the ranks in the dark and hurry-up of the get away.
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Randal
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 07:48:03 PM »

Wild Bill,
see my last post in the "Was he, Wasn't he" thread. I think we might actually agree again!
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Randal
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"It was a walking graveyard"
Civil Warrior
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 10:20:11 AM »

Adding to the confusion, maybe perhaps Rathbone chose his clothes along the lines of Grant who mixed and matched his own uniform dress - as it had become quite a fad amongst Grant's admirers after Appomattox - where incidently Grant himself admitted that he just might have dressed inappropriately to meet and greet Lee who was of course in full dress uniform.
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Steven G. Miller
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 08:15:42 AM »

More likely it was one of the tidbits that Booth picked up from the papers.
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