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the room, and applied his knife to Secretary Seward, who was lying prostrate in bed. It is evident, from the wounds, that he tried to cut the Secretary's throat. He succeeded in inflicting severe gashes upon his face, laying open both cheeks; but his blows were partially warded off by the bedclothes about the Secretary's neck, and by the additional fact that Mr. Seward rolled out upon the floor. A soldier, acting as nurse, meanwhile sprung upon the assassin. He stabbed the soldier in the side, and succeeded in breaking away, and, after wounding Major Seward, another son of the Secretary, and an attendant, succeeded in making his escape from the house, mounted his horse and rode away, shouting, like Booth, " Sic Semper Tyrannis!" as he sprang into the saddle.
The surgeons who entered found Mr. Lincoln insensible, and were satisfied the wound was mortal. They immediately prepared to carry the body from the box, and it was with difficulty borne out of the theatre and across the street to the house of a Mr. Petersen. The Hon. M. B. Field, Assistant-Secretary of the Treasury, in a letter, thus describes the place and sad scene enacted there:
I proceeded at once to the room in which the President was lying, which was a bedroom in an extension, on the first or parlor floor of the house. The room is small, and is ornamented with prints, a very familiar one of Landseer's, a white horse, being prominent, directly over the bed. The bed was a double one, and I found the President lying diagonally across it, with his head at the outside. The pillows were saturated with blood, and there was considerable blood upon the floor immediately under him. There was a patchwork coverlet thrown over the President, which was only so far removed, from time to time, as to enable the physicians in attendance to feel the arteries of the neck or the heart, and he appeared to have been divested of all clothing. His eyes were closed and injected with blood, both the lids and the portion surrounding the eyes being as black as if they had been bruised by violence. He was breathing regularly, but with effort, and did not seem to be struggling or suffering.
For several hours, the breathing above described continued regularly, and apparently without pain or consciousness. But about 7 o'clock a change occurred, and the breathing, which had been continuous, was interrupted at intervals. These intervals became more frequent and of longer duration, and the breathing more
feeble. Several times the interval was so long, that we thought him dead, and the surgeon applied his finger to the pulse, evidently to ascertain if such was the fact. But it was not till 22 minutes past 7 o'clock in the morning that the flame flickered out. There was no apparent suffering, no convulsive action, no rattling of the throat, none of the ordinary premonitory symptoms of death. Death in this case was a mere cessation of breathing.
The fact had not been ascertained one minute, when Dr. Gurley offered up a prayer. The few persons in the room were all profoundly affected. The President's eyes, after death, were not, particularly the right one, entirely closed. I closed them myself, with my fingers. The expression immediately after death was purely negative; but in fifteen minutes there came over the mouth, the nostrils, and the chin, a smile that seemed almost an effort of life. I had never seen upon the President's face an expression more genial and pleasing.
About fifteen minutes before the decease, Mrs. Lincoln came into the room, and threw herself upon her dying husband's body. She was allowed to remain there only a few minutes, when she was removed in a sobbing condition, in which, indeed, she had been during all the time she was present.
After completing his prayer in the chamber of death, Dr. Gurley went into the front parlor, where Mrs. Lincoln was, with Mrs. and Miss Kinney, and her son Robert, Gen. Todd, of Dacotah (a cousin of hers), and Gen. Farnsworth, of Illinois. Here another prayer was offered up, during which I remained in the hall. The prayer was continually interrupted by Mrs. Lincoln's sobs. Soon after its conclusion, I went into the parlor, and found her in a chair, supported by her son Robert. Presently her carriage came up, and she was removed to it. She was in a state of tolerable composure at that time, until she reached the door, when, glancing at the theatre opposite, she repeated three or four times: "That dreadful house that dreadful house !"
The following minutes, taken by Dr. Abbott, show the condition of the late President throughout the night:
Eleven o'clock-Pulse 44.
Five minutes past eleven-Pulse 45, and growing weaker.
Quarter past eleven-Pulse 42.
Twenty minutes past eleven-Pulse 45, respiration 27 to 29.
Twenty-five minutes past eleven-Pulse 42.
Thirty-two minutes past eleven-Pulse 48, and full.
Forty minutes past eleven-Pulse 45.
Quarter to twelve-Pulse 45, respiration 22.
Twelve o'clock-Pulse 48, respiration 22.
Quarter past twelve-Pulse 48, respiration 21. Ecchymosis both
Half-past twelve-Pulse 45.
Thirty-two minutes past twelve-Pulse 60.
Thirty-five minutes past twelve-Pulse 66.
Forty minutes past twelve-Pulse 69, right eye much swollen, and ecchymosis.
Forty-five minutes past twelve-Pulse 70.
Fifty-five minutes past twelve-Pulse 80, struggling motion of
One o'clock-Pulse 86, respiration 30.
Half-past one-Pulse 95, appearing easier.
Forty-five minutes past one-Pulse 86; very quiet; respiration irregular. Mrs. Lincoln present.
Ten minutes past two-Mrs. Lincoln retired with Robert Lincoln to an adjoining room.
Half-past two-President very quiet; pulse 54; respiration 28. Fifty-two minutes past two-Pulse 48; respiration 30.
Three o'clock visited again by Mrs. Lincoln.
Twenty-five minutes past three-Respiration 24, and regular. Thirty-five minutes past three-Prayer by the Rev. Dr. Gurley. Four o'clock-Respiration hard; regular.
Quarter past four-Pulse 60; respiration 25.
Fifty minutes past five-Respiration 28, regular; sleeping.
Half-past six-Still failing, and labored breathing.
Seven o'clock-Symptoms of immediate dissolution.
Shortly after 9 o'clock the remains were removed in a coffin to the White House, attended by a dense crowd, and escorted by a squadron of cavalry and several distinguished officers. At a later hour a post-mortem examination was made of the remains, by Surgeon-General Barnes, Dr. Stone, the late President's family physician, Drs. Crane, Curtis, Woodward, Taft, and other eminent medical men.
The external appearance of the face was that of a deep black stain about both eyes. Otherwise the face was very natural.
The wound was on the left side of the head behind, on a line with and three inches from the left ear.
The course of the ball was obliquely forward, towards the right eye, crossing the brain obliquely a few inches behind the eye, where the ball lodged.
In the track of the wound were found fragments of bone, which had been driven forward by the ball.
The ball was found imbedded in the anterior lobe of the west hemisphere of the brain.
The orbit plates of both eyes were the seat of comminuted fracture, and the orbits of the eyes were filled with extravasated blood. The serious injury to the orbit plates was due to the centre coup, the result of the intense shock of so large a projectile fired so closely to to the head.
The ball was evidently a derringer, hand cast, and from which the neck had been clipped.
A shaving of lead had been removed from the ball in its passage of the bones of the skull, and was found in the orifice of the wound. The first fragment of bone was found two and a-half inches within the brain the second and larger fragment about four inches from the orifice. The ball lay still further in advance. The wound was half an inch in diameter.