Saturday, April 26, 2008

Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett was born in England, and his family migrated to the United States in 1839. He worked as a hatter in Troy, New York. He married, but lost his wife, who died during the birth of their first child. He then joined the Army with the outbreak of the Civil War. He became a sergeant, and served his country well. He had a peculiar habit of adding "er" to the end of all of the words he spoke, and was a person who would chastise his superiors when he felt their actions warranted correction. He was once arrested for publicly chastising General Butterfield for swearing. Hence, he was almost always in trouble with the army. He was part of a battle in 1864 near Culpepper, Virginia. His unit was surrounded by Rebel Cavalry. He alone, refused to surrender, and continued to fight single-handedly against the Rebels. He was captured by the Gray Ghost himself, Colonel John S. Mosby. Mosby was so impressed with Corbett's bravery, he ordered that he not be shot, and offered Corbett his sincere admiration for his bravery and gallantry. Corbett was sent to the infamous Andersonville Prison. He would later testify against Henry Wirz, the Andersonville Jailer, who was hung for his brutal treatment of prisoners.
It was on this day, April 26, in the year 1865 that Boston Corbett shot and killed a man in Richard Garrett's tobacco barn in Virginia. Who was the man he shot, you ask . . . it was John Wilkes Booth, who had assassinated President Lincoln a few days earlier.


  1. Interesting true story.

  2. Thanks for posting this story. It adds a lot to my understanding of the hunt for Lincoln's assassin.

  3. Don't forget that Mr. Corbett was insane as well. He had been a hat maker and the chemicals used had caused him brain damage.He was a religious fanatic who castrated himself in an effort to be chaste.He was committed to an asylum but escaped.

  4. Wow, coincidence or providence?


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