ON the morning of Sunday, April 23rd, when Booth and Herold had just landed on the Virginia shore, Col. L. C. Baker sent the following note to Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock.
General--I am directed by the Secretary of War to apply to you for a small cavalry force of twenty-five (25) men, well mounted, to be commanded by a reliable and discreet commissioned officer.
Can you furnish them? and if so, will you please direct the officer commanding the squad to report to me with the men at No. 217 Pennsylvania Avenue, opposite Willard's Hotel, at once?1
By four o'clock on the afternoon of the 24th, orders had filtered down through the appropriate channels and at last reached Lieut. Edward P. Doherty as he sat on a bench in Lafayette Park. The Lieutenant belonged to the Sixteenth New York Cavalry, Col. N. B. Switzer commanding. He selected twenty-six men of that regiment--two sergeants, seven corporals, and seventeen privates --and within a half-hour had reported with them to Colonel Baker. Baker thus described what then took place:
. . . I immediately called into my private office two of my detective officers--ColonelConger and Lieutenant Baker--and informed them that I had information that Booth and Harrold [Herold] had crossed the Potomac, at the same time pointing out with a pencil the place on a map where they had crossed, and where I believed they would be found. Lieutenant Dougherty [Doherty], of the Sixteenth New York Cavalry, who commanded this squad, was introduced to Colonel Conger and Lieutenant Baker, with the following remark:-- "You are going in pursuit of the assassins. You have the latest reliable infor