I’ve been reading Manhunt: The 12-Day Search for Lincoln’s Killer, by James L. Swanson.
I’m not done but I like it.I’ve been fascinated with Lincoln for as long as I can remember (at least since kindergarten). You can’t be interested in Lincoln without having an interest in Booth, and I’ve been interested in Dr. Samuel Mudd since fifth grade. Dr. Mudd was implicated and imprisoned for conspiring with Booth in Lincoln’s murder.
I haven’t gotten to see all of the evidence against Mudd (presumably lots of it is in the book, since there’s lots of other stuff I’d never read before in it). Personally, I believe Mudd was innocent. Yes, he knew Booth, yes, he agreed to help Booth kidnap Lincoln, but no, he did not approve of the murder, and no, I’ve never seen any compelling evidence that on the morning of April 15, 1865, when Booth’s escort knocked on Mudd’s door and asked for medical treatment, that Mudd was expecting them or knew at that time what Booth had done.
Indeed, it was Mudd’s duty as a medical doctor to treat Booth’s injury. Mudd probably should have alerted the authorities sooner than he did, and he should have given them better information, but the authorities chose to ignore his lead anyway.
I’ll revisit some of the topics of this book when I finish reading it. But so far, I can say the book is well researched and tells the story in a very lively manner, changing back and forth between the major players’ points of view when appropriate.