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Author Topic: Sunday Survey, 27, May 2012  (Read 624 times)
Randal
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« on: May 27, 2012, 05:18:49 AM »

On August 22, 1865, George W. Dutton, Captain  Co. C, 10th Veteran Reserve Corps , (commanding the guards who took Mudd, Spangler, O'Laughlin and Arnold to Ft. Jefferson, to begin serving their sentences,) swore in an affidavit that Dr. Mudd confessed to recognizing Booth (when he showed up in the early morning of the 15th of April.) on July 22nd.

On August 28th, Dr. Mudd vehemently rebutted Dutton's affidavit.

The question: Was Dutton's affidavit a "fantasy" tendered, to make a name for himself, or, if factual, why would Mudd rebuke Dutton's statement since he was already convicted and on his way to Fort Jefferson?

(I hope Bob Summers chimes in here) Wink
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Philip G
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 05:34:31 AM »

I think Dutton was telling the truth and Mudd denied because he knew his wife would be or was working on an appeal or possible pardon.
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 06:53:20 AM »

I too believe that Dutton was telling the truth. It may sound silly, but when we guys get together and start talking, a couple of things tend to happen often...we confess to things we've done, and we brag about things we haven't done. This is certainly not the kind of thing Mudd would have made up, but I can easily see how he would have admitted he knew who Booth was, not expecting that information to go any further. When he found out what was going on, he immediately backtracked as hard as he could. He realized that his loose tongue could easily cost him a chance to be released from prison in the coming months or years.
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rich smyth
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 07:25:39 AM »

Captain Budd and General Dodd were also on the ship and heard Mudd say he knew who Booth was and what had happened when Booth arrived at his home. Their story was printed in the August 3rd 1865 edition of the Washington Evening Star. When Judge Advocate General Holt read the story he asked Dutton if it was true and he confirmed it.
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 08:19:06 AM »

     That was very interesting what Rich Smyth added as I've never heard there were other witnesses. . The more I learn about Mudd, the more I feel he was a very staunch Rebel. I'll go with factual.
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jonathan
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 09:17:30 AM »

Wasn't there yet another person who claimed Mudd confessed the same in a completely unrelated incident? Or am I thinking of something different?
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Thomas Thorne
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 09:26:21 AM »

    Additional witnesses to Mudd's admitting recognizing JWB are identified by Steers in "Blood on the Moon.
    William Butler Benham,the biographer of  Osborn Oldroyd says Oldroyd was told this by Mrs. Mudd during his famous walking tour of the escape route.  Oldroyd did not mention this in his book.  Thomas Jones Jr claimed Mudd told him the story in 1877 when they were campaigning for office together.  Asst Paymaster William Keeler was yet another military passenger who overheard Mudd admit recognition of JWB on the way to Ft Jefferson.  
    Even if no one came forward to say that Mudd recognized Booth,it stretches all credibility to believe he did not given their past association.  If you believe in Mudd's story about the fake beard, you must still believe in Santa Claus.  
    Tom  
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Randal
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 09:27:19 AM »

Yes, to Sam Jr. but I think that's bogus, because it was recalled many years after the fact.
I'm beginning to believe that any story relative to the assassination that isn't  recalled within a year, is suspect. Peoples memories are suspect anyway, if it isn't written down almost immediately. People THINK too much. How many times have you gone to the grocery store to pick up 3 items, and without writing it down, forgot to pick up the items you went for, because you forgot?
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jonathan
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 09:53:42 AM »

Yeah Randal, that's actually what I meant, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination and trial. Maybe it's Keeler that I'm thinking of, but I really can't remember. I've just started re-reading Blood On the Moon, so maybe it'll jog my memory. Now if I could just remember why I'm standing here in the Harris Teeter...
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Randal
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 10:02:27 AM »

I think it's Samuel Cox jr. your thinking of Jonathan  Wink
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jonathan
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 10:18:11 AM »

You may be right Randal. Either way, I agree that as more time goes by, those eyewitness accounts get less reliable. The I Saw Lincoln Shot accounts are a nice example. You get to a point where any account that wasn't given immediately has to be looked at with extra suspicion. It seems like people were under the influence of hearsay and newspaper reports from the get go. Some things never change, right?
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Randal
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2012, 10:28:27 AM »

You are correct Jonathan!
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jonathan
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 11:08:43 AM »

Laurie, I agree with what you say about these Mudd accounts. In this case, we've got a pretty simple question, "Did Dr. Mudd confess that he knew who Booth was when Booth first arrived?". We have people that say Mudd confessed to them right after the trial, we have someone who says Mudd confessed to him years later, and didn't Frances Mudd also claim around the turn of the century that they knew who Booth was that night? Personally, I already believed Mudd knew who Booth was that night, and these accounts only strengthen that belief. When you get into more detailed issues, eyewitness accounts can be awful, but for a question as simple as this, these accounts, though separated by many years, are good enough for me. After all, this is one way of getting to the truth, right? You listen to what people say and compare their stories. You decide who is believable, who you think is lying, and you arrive at a conclusion. Often, this is the only option.
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