October 2015 After Action Report by Archie Lintz

What began as a looking like a typical lecture soon became lively, interesting, and humorous as Sara V. Gabbard presented on the badly botched attempt by a group of counterfeiters to body-snatch the mortal remains of Abraham Lincoln at Springfield, Illinois.  She did a brilliant job of comparing and contrasting that attempt with the attempt to kidnap the living President by the John Wilkes Booth conspirators toward the end of the Civil War.  This took us from something we were at least somewhat familiar with to the largely unknown story of the body-snatching conspiracy of “the gang that could not shoot straight.”  It was a lecture well-seasoned with fascinating details, such as the accidental shoot-out between the Secret Service and Pinkerton agents as they both closed in on the gang at the cemetery.  She included some of the beautiful, ornate, and wonderfully eloquent language used by notables of that time about Lincoln.  Short, engaging, the talk came to a close too soon, for it made one want “more!”

For those looking for some more information of this story, a good starting place would be the Wikipedia article online titled “Funeral and burial of Abraham Lincoln” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funeral_and_burial_of_Abraham_Lincoln#References  By going to the “References” section of said article, a list of sources may be found.  Prominent among them find:  History of the Attempt to Steal the Body of Abraham Lincoln by John Carroll Power (1890).  He outta know, Powers was there…         –Archie

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