Paine Who Was Afterwards One Of The Conspirators In The Assassinators' Plot In My Custody
I will now introduce the material from which was builded an actor. Lewis
Paine, who brutally hacked at Secretary Seward while Booth was
assassinating the President. He was one of the characters produced for
the closing scene in that greatest tragedy.
Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps.
Baltimore, Mch. 12, 1865.
Major Wm. H. Wiegel,<
Actg. Provost Marshal.
Major.--I have the honor to report the arrest of Lewis Paine,
a refugee from Fauquier County, Va.
He was arrested at the house of Miss Maggie Branson, No. 16
North Eutaw Street. She is a noted Rebel.
I was promised evidence to prove that he had been in
Baltimore before, but the witnesses are not forthcoming, and I
believe him innocent of that charge, but I think it would be
well to remove him from that family. I would respectfully
recommend his release.
Very respy. your obdt. servt.,
H. B. SMITH.
Lt. & Chief.
When I entered my office on Friday morning March 10, 1865, Captain Webb,
my clerk, was trying to obtain from Paine some part of his pedigree, but
was baffled by the prisoner's dumbness. Then I tried with the result as
March 10, 1865
Lewis Paine, refugee from Fauquier County, Virginia, my
parents reside near Orleans, in that County. I am eighteen and
a half years old. I have not been out of Virginia since the
war commenced, until this time.
I was never in the Rebel army. Mosby used to stay at the house
of Joe Blackwell, until his house was burned.
Willie Tung, of Warrenton.
Daniel Moffit, of Fauquier County, members of Mosby's command.
Miss Maggie Branson, with whom I was stopping, is related to
me by marriage.
I bought the coat and vest of grey cloth in this city,
since I came here; my pants of grey I bought in Washington.
I don't remember of hearing any disloyal remarks from any of
the boarders at the house No. 16 North Eutaw Street. I whipped
a colored woman at that house on Monday last, because she
insulted me; her name is Annie.
(Signed) L. PAINE.
Sworn and subscribed to, before me, this 10th day of March,
H. B. SMITH,
Lt. & Chief.
Paine was a sullen, dumb looking, overgrown young person. To get
anything out of him I alternately prodded and fondled; he was a cross
between a big booby and a sullen animal.
His statement is disjointed. Between the joints you must imagine my
questions, eliciting his words; for instance, "I am eighteen and a half
years old," was in reply to my query about his pretensions to never
having been in the army. To my remarks about his new grey clothes,
certainly pointing their use, where grey was worn, he tried to explain
his innocence, etc, etc.
While in the midst of his examination, Miss Branson, accompanied by a
Mr. Shriver, came in. Miss Branson pressed right up to my desk,
enquiring what charge was against Mr. Paine. She said he was her
cousin, and that she knew he had never been north before, etc.
I informed her that her word on such matters was not valuable, since I
had her history for disloyalty in my cabinet. I said to Mr. Shriver,
whom I knew to be reckoned as a loyal man, that he should not have lent
I was not in good humor because persons who had promised to testify that
Paine had been in Baltimore before had failed to respond. I felt in my
bones he was a spy, but could not prove it, and therefore could not hold
him, hence my recommendation for his release. Finally, on the 12th, he
took the oath of allegiance, before me, and I paroled him, inserting in
the parole, "to go north of Philadelphia and remain during the war."
After the assassination, this paper was found on Paine, but he had
obliterated the restriction "to go north of Philadelphia," etc.
I took from him his pass and parole, issued at Alexandria, Virginia,
January 13th, 1865. In it he was described as of dark complexion, black
hair, blue eyes, height six feet one and a half inches.
I will now leave Paine until after the assassination, which was just one
month later, April 14th, 1865.
I presume my order to go to New York (following) may have hastened my
disposition of Paine.