The Surratt Courier. The Surratt Society. Volume XXXVI No. 4, April 2011.
We all know the big news is the release of the film The Conspirator. However, every month the good folks at the Surratt Society put out their newsletter and keep the Surratt House Museum in Maryland going. CONGRATULATIONS to you wonderful people. I hope to visit you one day.
The April issue has the normal President's Message and upcoming events. The meat of this issue is devoted to an excerpt from a soon to be released book titled
Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators written by Barry M. Cauchon and John E. Elliott. I searched both Amazon and B&N and could find no reference to this title so I don't have a publication date, cover photo, or even publisher to share at this time. Hopefully there will be more information soon as the book looks promising.
The subject of the excerpt is who actually gave the signal to spring the traps on the condemned. In this brief discussion the authors compare eye witness accounts to the photographic evidence that is available. They conclude that General Hartranft gave approval to Christian Rath who, standing in front of the gallows, with a clapping motion directed soldiers to knock posts from under the traps on which the condemned were standing.
The newsletter wraps up with a short essay on the Pony Express and an April 1861 timeline. It has been often told that the Surratt's oldest son Isaac was a Pony Express rider. This is untrue and Isaac's name does not appear in any records. Isaac did however serve in the 33rd Texas Cavalry Co. A. According to the CWSS website he entered as a private and was discharged as a sergeant.