14. Richard Garrett briefly tried to shield Booth from the troops
The cavalry arrived at Garrett’s door accompanied by detectives Luther Baker and Everton Conger, both Union officers and both members of the intelligence service (provost marshal). The two dozen cavalrymen with them were commanded by Lieutenant Edward Doherty, 16th Cavalry Regiment, US Army. Together the three officers pounded on Garrett’s front door, and when he opened it, wearing only his night shirt, Conger demanded to know the whereabouts of the two men who had visited his farm. Richard Garrett responded that they were gone, and when asked where he replied vaguely, “Gone to the woods”. Garrett promised to lead the troops to the point where the fugitives entered the woods, if the soldiers would allow him to dress. They did, on the porch after the old man’s clothes were handed out to him.
Conger crew increasingly exasperated at Garrett’s long-winded answers to questions, which took time but gave the soldiers little in the way of usable information. Finally, Conger told one of his men to bring a rope, threatening to hang Garrett, “up to the top of one of those locust trees”. John Garrett emerged, asking one of the cavalrymen who they pursued, and was denied the answer. Conger demanded John Garrett be brought before him. While John begged for mercy for his father, Doherty grabbed his arm, drew his revolver, and placed the muzzle to John’s head, ordering him to reveal the fugitives’ hiding place. Informed that they were in the tobacco barn and armed, Doherty ordered the building surrounded.