Report of first doctor to reach shot Lincoln found

This undated photo provided by the Library of Congress shows Dr. Charles A. Leale, who was the first doctor to treat President Abraham Lincoln after he was shot at a Washington theater on the night of April 14, 1865. Now, 147 years later, a researcher with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project has discovered an original copy of Dr. Leale’s clinical 21-page report from the night Lincoln was shot. (AP Photo/Library of Congress)

By JOHN O’CONNOR | Associated Press – Tue, Jun 5, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The first doctor to reach President Abraham Lincoln after he was shot in a Washington theater rushed to his ceremonial box and found him paralyzed, comatose and leaning against his wife. Dr. Charles Leale ordered brandy and water to be brought immediately.

Leale’s long-lost report of efforts to help the mortally wounded president, written just hours after his death, was discovered in a box at the National Archives late last month.

The Army surgeon, who sat 40 feet from Lincoln at Ford’s Theater that night in April 1865, saw assassin John Wilkes Booth jump to the stage, brandishing a dagger. Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury.

“I commenced to examine his head (as no wound near the shoulder was found) and soon passed my fingers over a large firm clot of blood situated about one inch below the superior curved line of the occipital bone,” Leale reported. “The coagula I easily removed and passed the little finger of my left hand through the perfectly smooth opening made by the ball.”

The historians who discovered the report believe it was filed, packed in a box, stored at the archives and not seen for 147 years. While it doesn’t add much new information, “it’s the first draft” of the tragedy, said Daniel Stowell, director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.

“What’s fascinating about this report is its immediacy and its clinical, just-the-facts approach,” Stowell said. “There’s not a lot of flowery language, not a lot of emotion.”

A researcher for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, Helena Iles Papaioannou, found the report among the U.S. surgeon general’s April 1865 correspondence, filed under “L” for Leale.

Physicians continue to debate whether Lincoln received proper treatment. With trauma treatment still in its infancy, Leale’s report illustrates “the helplessness of the doctors,” Stowell said. “He doesn’t say that but you can feel it.”

“For his time, he did everything right,” said Dr. Blaine Houmes, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, specialist in emergency medicine who has studied the assassination. Accounts vary about how Leale did it — Houmes thinks he might have pounded on the victim’s chest — but the doctor resuscitated the president.

“When Dr. Leale got into the president’s box, Lincoln was technically dead,” Houmes said. “He was able to regain a pulse and get breathing started again. He basically saved Lincoln’s life, even though he didn’t survive the wound.”

Leale wrote a report for an 1867 congressional committee investigating the assassination that referenced the earlier account, but no one had ever seen the original, said Stowell, whose group’s goal is to find every document written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime.

At least four researchers have been painstakingly scouring boxes of documents at the National Archives for more than six years. They methodically pull boxes of paper — there are millions of records packed away and never catalogued, Stowell said — and look for “Lincoln docs,” as Papaioannou called them.

She was assigned the surgeon general’s mail and was leafing through letters pitching inventions for better ambulances and advice about feeding soldiers onions to ward off disease when she hit Leale’s report, likely rewritten in the neat hand of a clerk.

“I knew it was interesting. What we didn’t know was this was novel,” Papaioannou said. “We didn’t know that this was new, that this was an 1865 report and that it likely hadn’t been seen before.”

Leale, who was 23 and just six weeks into his medical practice when Lincoln died, never spoke or wrote about his experiences again until 1909 in a speech commemorating the centennial of the president’s birth.

While Leale’s report includes little sentiment, Papaioannou believes the way he described the moments after Booth disappeared shows how deeply he was affected.

“I then heard cries that the ‘President had been murdered,’ which were followed by those of ‘Kill the murderer’ ‘Shoot him’ etc. which came from different parts of the audience,” Leale wrote. “I immediately ran to the Presidents box and as soon as the door was opened was admitted and introduced to Mrs. Lincoln when she exclaimed several times, ‘O Doctor, do what you can for him, do what you can!'”

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, administered by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, has found and is digitizing 90,000 documents, Stowell said. Leale’s report — neither written by or to Lincoln — doesn’t technically fall in the group’s purview, but Stowell said some exceptions are made for extraordinary finds.

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Online:

Leale’s report: http://bit.ly/MzLqv9

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Search America’s historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress.

Civil War photos: Help sought to solve old mystery

By STEVE SZKOTAK | Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The names of the two little girls are an enduring mystery, their images found among crumpled bodies on Civil War battlefields. Each is posed primly on chairs, ringlets cascading past the rouged cheeks of one, the other dressed in a frilly hoop dress.

But no one knows the identities of the girls in the photographs, or the stories they might tell.

The photograph of one girl was found between the bodies of two soldiers — one Union, one Confederate, at Port Republic, Va., 150 years ago this June. The other was retrieved from a slain Union soldier’s haversack in 1865 on a Virginia farm field days before a half-decade of blood-letting would end with a surrender signed not far away at Appomattox.

Though photography was in its infancy when the war broke out, its use was widespread. Many soldiers carried photographs of loved ones into battle and for the first time, photographic images of war were available — and the Museum of the Confederacy has its own vast collection of images today, many of them identified.

But now museum officials are releasing the unidentified images of the two girls, along with six other enigmatic photographs, on the admittedly remote chance someone might recognize a familial resemblance or make a connection to a battlefield where they were found.

There is no writing on the backs of these photographs. No notes tucked inside their wallet-sized frames. For a museum that prides itself on knowing the provenance of its holdings, the photographs offer few clues.

“We don’t know who they are and the people who picked them up did not know who they were,” said Ann Drury Wellford, curator of 6,000 Civil War images at the Richmond museum that has the largest collection of artifacts of the Confederate states, civilian and military. “They evoke an utter and complete sentimentality.”

Annie Oakley items sell at auction

When Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee after 50 years on the British throne, famed American sharpshooter Annie Oakley impressed her with an unforgettable marksmanship performance. The shotgun Oakley may have wielded on that European tour sold for $143,400 at a Dallas auction on Sunday.

Annie Oakley Gun

A Parker Brothers shotgun that once belonged to Annie Oakley. (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

A rare 12-gauge shotgun that Annie Oakley once used to dazzle Queen Victoria fetched the hefty sum of $143,400 at auction yesterday. Made by Parker Brothers, the weapon is thought to have accompanied the sharpshooting celebrity when she traveled to England with Buffalo Bill Cody’s famed Wild West show in 1887. During that tour, Oakley performed for European royalty attending the queen’s Golden Jubilee.

 

Annie Oakley Gun

A photograph signed by Annie Oakley. (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

According to Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale for Oakley’s descendants, Oakley became disenchanted with the Parker Brothers shotgun midway through her overseas stay, later presenting it as a gift to her husband’s brother.

 

Born Phoebe Ann Moses in an Ohio cabin in 1860, Oakley demonstrated an extraordinary gift for marksmanship at an early age. At 15 she won a shooting match against a traveling exhibition sharpshooter named Frank Butler, whom she soon married. The pair began performing together and eventually joined Buffalo Bill’s touring company. Oakley continued to set records well into her 60s; she also campaigned for women’s rights to work, participate in sports and bear arms. She died in 1926 at age 66.

Roughly 100 items that once belonged to Oakley, including the Parker Brothers shotgun, were sold in Dallas, Texas, by Heritage Auctions on Sunday. Featuring rifles, letters and photographs, among other things, the collection was put up for sale by the famous sharpshooter’s great-grandnieces. They had inherited the artifacts from their mother, Billie Butler Serene, whose grandfather was Frank Butler’s brother.

“We had decades worth of treasures in steamer trunks,” said Terrye Holcomb, one of the descendants. “My mother cherished her family, and when the family passed, this is what she clung to.”

Annie Oakley Gun

Annie Oakley’s trademark Stetson hat. (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

Along with the Parker Brothers gun, other big-ticket items included a Marlin .22 caliber rifle that went for $83,650 and Oakley’s iconic Stetson hat, which brought in $17,925. The entire collection sold for $518,875.

 

“The intense interest and great prices this auction brought show the ongoing fascination people have with Annie Oakley and highlight the value of 125 years of careful stewardship by her loved ones,” said Tom Slater, director of historical auctions for Heritage Auctions.

http://www.history.com/news/2012/06/11/annie-oakleys-gun-sells-at-auction/

101-year-old WWII Navy man credits clean living as he goes for gold at veteran games

faustVA.jpg

101-year-old WWII Navy man credits clean living as he goes for gold at veteran games

Jack Faust, of Hayward, Calif., will be among nearly 900 competitors in the 26th  National Veterans Golden Age Games, a sports and recreation competition  sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs for former soldiers age 55 and  older. He’s believed to be the only centenarian competitor in the event’s  history. (VA.gov)

Fore more information and results of the National Veterans Gold Age Games click here