THE story John Fletcher told should have caused all pursuit of Booth to converge on the roads through the Maryland peninsula; but this was not the immediate result. It was eight o'clock on the morning of April 15 when the first squad, dispatched by the indefatigable Major Richards of the Washington police, appeared at Lloyd's tavern in Surrattsville on the route of Booth's flight. Lloyd, who was well acquainted with all the leading conspirators, had once been a policeman in the Capital and knew some of Richards' men; yet, he failed to mention to them that Booth and Herold had passed his house and had spoken to him during the preceding night. Worse than that, he deliberately sent his former colleagues off on the wrong road, so that they traveled to Piscataway instead of keeping in a southerly direction.1 No soldiers followed Richards' troop for quite some time; Lieutenant Dana, at eleven A.M., was the first to reach Bryantown, where he camped at his leisure all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It was not until Monday the seventeenth that the real pursuit of Booth and Herold started.
The squad that came closest to capturing the fugitives was sent out by Provost Marshal O'Beirne and led by Lieutenant Lovett. Major O'Beirne was one of several who had been told by Stanton to use his own discretion in hunting down the assassins. He immediately moved some of his detectives along the route Booth had taken. One of these officers has left a vivid description of the incident.____________________