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Lewis Thornton POWELL; (1838-1865)
Chapter 10.


alias LEWIS PAYNE, 
alias PAINE,
alias the Rev. WOOD 
Accused No. 6: Former Confederate soldier, was the son of a 
Florida Baptist preacher, who at the time of the trial had had a 
mother and father, six sisters, two brothers had been killed by 
the Rebel army; LEWIS POWELL/PAINE enlisted in the Confederate 
Army and was wounded. He deserted and was picked up on the street 
by JOHN WILKES BOOTH. During his imprisonment alienist pronounced 
him mentally deranged. LEWIS POWELL/PAINE, on the same evening of 
Friday, April 14, 1865, was across town, at the same time making 
an unsuccessful attempt on the life of Secretary of State WILLIAM 
HENRY SEWARD. He forced his way into Secretary SEWARD'S sickroom, 
slashed him with a knife, and then fled. Was captured Monday 
evening, April 17, 1865. At about 11:30 P.M. out front of Mrs. 
MARY E. (JENKINS) SURRATT' s Boarding House. He had come to Mrs. 
SURRATT's house because he was desperately hungry by then, and 
tired - he had spent most of the hours since his attack on the 5 
people in SEWARD's house hiding up in a ceder tree in a woods 4 
miles Northeast of Washington D.C. After interrogation at General 
AUGUR's headquarters POWELL/PAINE was ferried out directly to the 
ironclad Saugus [REF: #5  pg189

   Brought to Trial: 
POWELL/PAINE had no members of his family nor any friend visited him 
in his cell. A Minister was assigned to pray with him and POWELL/PAINE 
did pray a lot, saying he believed in God and considered that killing 
by any method at all -- in battle or in a man's home by stealth -- 
was justifiable in time of War. He also said he was guilty as charged 
though he had done no wrong, and wished they would "hang him quick", 
and get it over with -- he had no desire to live. He laughed just 
once, when the court made him stand up and try on the hat he had 
left behind on the floor of Wm. H. SEWARD'S bedroom the night he 
attacked the Secretary. Instead of looking frightened when the 
hat fitted him, he had actually laughed (showing for the first 
time the two incongruously charming dimples in his cheeks) He 
never wept, never trembled, was always in control of himself -- 
dignified, mysterious, and ever keeping his own counsel. After 
the day that he propelled himself headlong against the iron wall 
of the Saugus trying to batter his brains out, the soldiers 
chained him into almost complete immobility. And he was the 
despair of the prison doctors who wanted to keep him alive for 
the hanging. His lower bodily functions had just seemed to stop 
working, in spite of repeated cathartics, as though POWELL/PAINE 
had willed his body to stop living. The only pleasure of this 
world he still craved was a chew of tobacco, and THOMAS T. ECKERT 
of the War Department who had been sent by Secretary STANTON to 
POWELL/PAINE's cell to get him talking and implicating the others 
with himself and BOOTH, did stick a piece of tobacco through the 
mouth of the opening in POWELL/PAINE's padded hood. POWELL/PAINE 
was grateful, saying it was the first kindness he had received. 
POWELL/PAINE in the courtroom was a giant of a young man, 
fiercest erect, beautifully developed muscularly and always 
wearing a dark knit pull-on shirt that exposed his bull strong 
neck. He would lean his head back against the wall and look 
dreamily out the barred windows to the stirring trees outside. He 
was relaxed and seemed to be completely at ease every day -- as 
though beyond mere man's reach -- just as he alone of the 
prisoners slept soundly each night. He had a thick shock of 
uncombed hair which hung forward over his low forehead, a fresh, 
beardless skin, large blue-gray eyes that met the gaze in turn of 
everyone in the courtroom. Some said he stared impudently -- some 
said he scowled fiercely like a caged tiger -- some said that he 
glared at everyone, showing the whites of his eyes frighteningly 
as he switched his gaze right and left. He always came to court 
in his stocking feet for his feet had swelled so much that he 
could not get into his shoes. Onlookers marveled at POWELL/PAIN's 
control of himself, even during reviling that would rouse a 
lesser man to some sort of intense feeling -- either remorse or 
frighting madness. The only sign of feeling showing that ever 
ruffled POWELL/PAIN's composure was a slight pink tinge that came 
in his handsome complexion -- and a rare times he held his breath 
for a long while, then let it go audibly, in a great sigh. 

   Trial Sentence:
The Military Commission met secretly on the June 28 & 29 and 
voted the "Death by Hanging" penalty for ""Conspiring to 
Murder""; Was not read the sentence until July 6, was hanged 
the next day at 1:00 o'clock p.m., July 7, 1865; Buried in the 
yard of the Old Penitentiary, Washington D.C. 

End of Chapter 10.


BACK
The Conspirators Index
 
Chap.
F.Name
L.Name
b. d.
Subject
01.
Abraham
Lincoln
1809-1865
Profile
02.
John W.
Booth
1838-1865
Profile
03.
John W.
Booth
1838-1865
Pursuit, Death & Burial
04.
The
Conspirators
 
Trial of the Assassins
05.
Samuel B.
Arnold
1834-1906
Profile
06.
George T.
Atzerodt
1832-1865
Profile
07.
David
Herold
1844-1865
Profile
08.
Samuel A.
Mudd
1833-1933
Profile
09.
Michael
O'Laughlin
1840-1867
Profile
10.
Lewis T.
Powell
18??-1865
Profile
11.
Edward "Ned"
Spangler
18??-18??
Profile
12.
Mary E. (Jenkins)
SURRATT
1817-1865
Profile
12.1
Mary E. (Jenkins)
SURRATT
1817-1865
Genealogy FGS
13.
John H., Jr.
SURRATT
1844-1916
Profile
13.1
John H., Jr.
SURRATT
1844-1916
1870 Lecture
13.2
John H., Jr.
SURRATT
1844-1916
Genealogy FGS
14.
The
Conspirators
 
End of Nightmare for the Doomed!
15.
The
Conspirators
 
Notes & Reference

E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr., Auburn CA.

Text - Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 20000 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Revised: Feb. 25, 2000