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rich smyth
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« on: March 24, 2012, 10:37:52 AM »

I was thinking about the controversy regarding Booth and Herold's horses in the swamp and was wondering...what do you do with horses when they die?
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Randal
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 12:34:44 PM »

Neither shooting or cutting their throats would make those horses sink. You would have to dismbowel them so they would sink. I agree with Mr. Hall, horses were scarce and valuble back then.
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rich smyth
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 04:34:58 PM »

Thanks for the horse lesson Betty. I really had no idea how they were disposed of.
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Thomas Thorne
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 06:47:38 PM »

    Joe Gleason told me at the conference last week that a few years ago someone found horses' bits identical to the particular types used by Booth and Herold in a dried out portion of the Zekiah swamp.  I realize this should be treated with great caution. 
                   Tom
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rich smyth
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 06:37:32 AM »

Joe has a great story and the evidence is pretty sound. I am a believer.
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Randal
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 07:11:17 AM »

I have seen those bits/parts. And I am skeptical. The Zekiah is very acidtic, and I would guess the pH would hover around 4-5, and after those metal "parts" have been "exposed" by all seasons of weather for 147 years, I would think they would disinigrate or be triturated by now. Neil Young said it best, "Rust Never Sleeps" Wink
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 11:19:23 AM by Randal » Logged

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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 05:14:27 PM »

"There is only one reason why someone would put the horses in the swamp..         ...they didn't want anyone to find them."



 

The link below shows the view that Captain Cox had from the top of the hill overlooking Clark's Run and
Zekiah Swamp. The video begins in the direction of Clark's Run (see map) then panning left to Zekiah Swamp which is located behind the large high voltage power lines.

No one heard the gunshots because no one lived here.
http://youtu.be/iPUCGttFvNQ

There is physical and documentable evidence that Booth's and Herold's horses were killed in the Zekiah Swamp in Charles Co. Md. These excerpts provide some of the clues to the location in the swamp where the horses were apparently taken.
 
 "On the third or fourth day after Booth reached the pines, it was decided to dispose of their horses, which had become restless from lack of food and proper stabling,as it was feared that their neighing would betray them. Accordingly, Herold and Franklin A. Robey, Capt. Cox's overseer at the time, led the horses about two miles
distant into Zekiah Swamp, where it makes a junction with Clark's Run, and here they were shot. As the place was boggy, the bodies of the dead horse disappeared from view in the course of a week, and were never seen afterward.
 
 The carcasses of these animals, however, came near betraying Captain Cox. A large troop of colored cavalrymen ( 22nd Regiment US Army ) came to the residence for the purpose of securing information as to the route taken by the assassins after they left Rich Hill. (Herold : "we went to Zekiah Swamp and stayed there two nights")
Captain Cox showed them the general direction of their course early Sunday morning, which was toward Zekiah Swamp. The troopers started for the swamp and Captain Cox and his son retired to a knoll a fourth of a mile to the rear of his house, which commanded an extensive view of the entrance to the swamp in the valley below. Would they or would they not enter below the horses? Captain Cox nervously questioned. " My son, said he, if those men enter below the spot where the bodies of the horses are, I shall hang for it".

Victor Louis Mason ( Four Lincoln Conspiracies , pg.905)

" Now, our troubles began (when) squad after squad of soldiers marched up to the house to search and question. I will remember about the begining or the middle of the week succeeding their (Booth/ Herold ) departure from this neighborhood, a command of negro troops surrounded the house and searched freom garret to cellar. They left and deployed toward Zekiah Swamp lying east-southeast from Rich Hill.

After they left, Pa and I went on the hill overlooking Zakiah Swamp and as the negroes entered the swamp we could see the buzzards hovering over where the slain horses were sinking out of sight in the mire of Zakiah bog. But they were never discovered and their fate would have never been told, but that Thomas A. Jones, the surviving principle in the affair was induced some five or six years ago to disclose the secret to George Alfred Townsend. ".
Samuel Cox Jr.
 for more about Booth's and Herold's horses go here http://lincoln-assassination.com/bboard/index.php?topic=102.0;      
...and here; http://lincoln-assassination.com/bboard/index.php?PHPSESSID=c0a1f407564227bd35409bab4416e963&topic=2408.0
{There are three "categories" of the CHEMICAL soil-conditions which affect long-buried iron relics:
High-ground (well-drained soil, such as a hillside)
Non-saltwater lowground soil (such as a swamp, or even a low creekbank)
Saltwater low-ground soil (such as a coastal saltmarsh).

Each of those three soil-chemistry environments have a significantly DIFFERENT AFFECT on the relic's iron ...which must be carefully considered when we attempt to preserve the relic by using either Electrolysis or Zinc-&-Lye Bath to remove the rust/soil concretion from the relic. Iron (unlike brass, copper, silver, lead, etc) is a very porous metal. The thousands of microscopic pores can permit salts and acids to penetrate past the iron's "skin," sometimes - but not always - deeply within the relic.

If saltwater is given decades to penetrate the iron, when the relic is excavated and it dries out, the salt gradually forms crystals which can literally crack the relic's skin into fragments.

Swampwater (or any "stagnant" surface groundwater) contains tannic acid - from decaying leaves. In such water the tannic acid is very weak ...but given decades, it can cause serious "leaching" of iron molecules from out of the "skin" of the iron relic. What is left behind in that relic's skin is the carbon (specifically, the mineral known as Graphite) that was in the original iron ore. This is why we artillery-shell collectors tend to call a swamp-dug shell a "graphitized" shell. The skin of such shells
resembles pencil-lead (which is actually Graphite). It can be quite soft.}                                      source; http://www.findmall.com/read.php?30,277346
 
Booth's bay mare was wearing a single bit like this half cheek snaffle. Relatively inexpensive bit for the horse-in training and perfect for a horse that was continuosly
breaking it's reins.

                                      
                                                                         Found in Zekiah Swamp
                                                                                                                    
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 08:30:17 AM by Joe Gleason » Logged
Joe Gleason
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 05:25:16 AM »

Finis Bates knew what happened to the horses because Booth, ...er, ..um  St. Helen told him!

General Dana says Booth and Herold killed their horses while hiding behind the Cox plantation on the Potomac 
River, ( actually Zekiah Swamp ) but Booth says the horses were not killed but taken away, as he supposed by
Mr. Jones. That this is, I am inclined to believe, for two reasons;

First, the horse ridden by Booth and described to me by St. Helen (Booth) was a very fine and valuable animal,
purchased by him in Maryland some time before this event.

The second reason is that Gen. Dana's men were to close on Booth and Herold to permit the killing of their horses, which must have been done by shooting them.

                                                            Finis Bates 1907 The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth

I do not subscribe to Mr. Hall's theory regarding Booth's and Herold's horses.   
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 09:24:15 AM by Joe Gleason » Logged
rich smyth
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 05:34:20 AM »

Kauffman saw the "Robey" saddle and discounted it.
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Rick Smith
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 08:00:19 AM »

Hello All,

Just a couple of points to help confirm some of what has been said already;

My family raised Thourobred horses and I spent most of my life in the stables and in the hunt field.  Betty knows what a snaffle bit is for; CONTROL.  In the hunt field, where a horse is apt to be very excited / excitable and thus more difficult to control, double snaffles with curb chain {and a martingale}, like the ones Betty showed are a real good choice.

Knackers would come to the farm if it was necessary to haul away a large animal; it is not a happy scene.  The animal is cabled by the back legs and drawn into the truck by means of an motorized winch, but I have dug a couple of very large holes in a back pasture for smaller horses.

As to "those horses" being sunk into the swamp, I just cannot buy it at any price, for many reasons which I will not bore you with here, but I have written an article on the subject of the horses fate, which appeared in the Courier, if you wish to inflict it upon yourself.

Rick
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rich smyth
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2012, 12:46:58 PM »

Hi Laurie,
You are correct in the saddle being identified as a McClellen (whatever that is). I spoke to
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rich smyth
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 12:48:01 PM »

(Operator error!)
Bob Cook a few weeks ago and he remembered seeing the saddle and identifying it the same as Mike.
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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 07:13:03 PM »

Laurie,
I think that we're talking about the same guy. Wesley Harris asked if I had ever heard of a guy in Charles County who claimed to have found B & H's campsite at Brice Chapel along the Zekiah. This was sometime back in the 80s. The man also said he had a pistol with JWB (help Wes) stamped on the grip or something like that. Anyway, if this is the same person that you are referring to, he should have realized early on that Herold's  'I think I will go visit Parson Wilmer at Piney'.. or whatever.. was just a ruse. Brice Chapel was located along the Zekiah at Piney Church, which is on the opposite side of the swamp from the route that B&H took down Cracklingtown Rd.
                                                          


..I didn't forget you Rick! I'm working up a map of the pines. Wink
 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 04:47:18 AM by Joe Gleason » Logged
J Madonna
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 03:19:23 PM »

Horses are not 'swamp animals' and have to eat so it's highly unlikely they were brought into Booth & Herold's hiding place. Soldiers weren't going to inspect every horse in Maryland to see if one had a blind eye. Much easier to have them graze in a field with other horses and hide them in plain sight.

That said, the saddles and bits did not have to follow them and could easily been disposed of in a number of ways. I think the killed in the swamp story was given to protect the sympathizer that was caring for the horses.
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Randal
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 04:25:13 PM »

Good point Jerry.
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