“Wanted” posters issued by the War Department were wildly, and probably deliberately, inaccurate. John Surratt’s and David Herold’s names were both spelled incorrectly, the photo of Herold was of him as a schoolboy, which clearly wasn’t an accurate representation of how he looked circa 1865, and the photo of Surratt wasn’t John Surratt at all. In a blatant act of historical revisionism, corrected posters were issued much later. One widely circulated poster that was issued after Lewis Paine was already in custody inexplicably offered a reward for Paine and contained a richly detailed 160-word description of the already incarcerated suspect, along with a mere 42-word description of the guy who was still at large, John Wilkes Booth.
Part 12 July 20, 2015