Part 1 of this story can be found here
After having secured Booth a place to stay at Richard Garrett’s farm, the rest of the travelers continued south, parting ways. Jett’s two riding companions were cousins Absalom Ruggles Bainbridge and Mortimer B. Ruggles. Bainbridge had served as a private in the 3rdVirginia Cavalry, before apparently joining Colonel John S. Mosby’s command in the final weeks of the war. Ruggles served through the war as a Lieutenant on the staff of his father, General Daniel Ruggles, before resigning his commission on March 29, 1865 in order to join Mosby. As they left the Garrett Farm, Herold and Bainbridge headed for the home of Joseph Clarke, a friend of Bainbridge’s. Jett and Ruggles rode to Bowling Green, the seat of Caroline
Site of the Star Hotel in Bowling Green, Va. The building was razed in the 1940s, but bricks were salvaged and used in the construction of the real estate office that now occupies the site.
County. Rumors suggested that Jett was courting Izora Gouldman, whose father ran the Star Hotel in Bowling Green. It was there that Jett and Ruggles spent the night of April 24, 1865. The following morning, Herold and Bainbridge arrived at the hotel, picked up Ruggles and the three men rode back to the Garrett Farm where Herold rejoined Booth. Bainbridge and Ruggles left the farm and never saw Booth or Herold again.
For over a week, Union authorities had been scouring the countryside looking for Booth. As Booth and Herold reposed on the Garret Farm, Union cavalry closed in. Willie spent April 25 at the Star Hotel, little knowing that he would not get much sleep that night. Having been tipped off about Willie’s association with Booth, and his whereabouts, a patrol from the 16thNew York Cavalry rode into Bowling Green shortly before midnight. The horsemen surrounded the Star Hotel and then entered the building, bursting into Jett’s room. A frightened Willie acknowledged his
Site of the Garrett Farm along US Route 301 north of Bowling Green, Va.
identity before confiding in one of the officers. “I know who you want; and I will tell you where they can be found.” It was exactly what the authorities wanted to hear and with those words Willie gave up the most hunted man in the country.
Willie guided the cavalry to the Garrett Farm. He was left at the gate to the property, while the cavalry rode in to get Booth and Herold. Herold surrendered, and later hanged for his crimes, but Booth was shot in the Garrett barn. The Union soldiers carried the mortally wounded assassin to the porch of Mr. Garrett’s house. Willie was brought to the scene. While he lay dying, Booth looked up, recognized Willie and asked: “Did that man betray me? Did Jett betray me?” His question went unanswered, but surely he knew the truth. A few minutes later, Lincoln’s assassin expired.
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