This Week in the Civil War - #1081
On Monday, May 1, 1865 President Andrew Johnson ordered that a military commission of nine army officers try the eight accused Lincoln assassination conspirators rather than a civil court. Those accused and held in prison were David Herold, George Atzerodt, Samuel Arnold, Lewis Payne, Michael O’Laughlin, Edward Spandler, Mrs. Mary Surratt, and Samuel Mudd. Of the eight, Samuel Mudd was most unfortunate. The evening of Lincoln’s assassination Dr. Mudd had been visited by Booth, who told the physician that he had fallen from his horse and broken his leg. Mudd set Booth’s leg, not knowing at the time that he had set the leg of Lincoln’s assassin; however, that fact was not important to the government or public which demanded retribution for any and all involved in Lincoln’s death.