Sunday, June 22, 2014

Private Absalom Bainbridge

The Albany Rural Cemetery has the graves of several hundred Civil War soldiers, both casualties and veterans.  Most, of course, served in the Union Army.  There are, however, several Confederate veterans buried here, too.

Private Absalom Bainbridge, Company B of the Virginia Rangers, was one of three Confederates who encountered President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth and his companion David Herold at Port Conway.  Bainbridge, along with his cousin, Mortimer Bainbridge Ruggles, and Private Willie Jett crossed the Rappahannock River with the fugitives and eventually helped them to find lodging at the home of tobacco farmer Richard Garrett.  Bainbridge left the Garrett farm before Federal troops arrived, surrounded Booth in the barn, and ultimately shot him.

Edited:  More on Bainbridge's encounter with Booth can be found here.

A native of Freedlands, Virginia, Bainbridge later moved to New York City and worked as an interior decorator for A.T. Stewart Dry Goods.

On May 31 1902, the fifty-four year old Absalom Bainbridge died of a stroke at 68 Charles Street, the Manhattam home of a lady friend named Harriet Hotaling.  He was buried in her family plot here on the South Ridge a few days later.

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