George Valentine Rutherford was born in Rutland, Vermont, and served as a Colonel in the Union Army. On the night of April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre. His body was carried across the street to the Petersen Boarding House. George V. Rutherford notified key cabinet members including Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who came to the bedside of Lincoln as he was dying. The president died at 7:30 am at which time, Stanton asked Rutherford to place “coppers” on Lincoln’s eyes, a common practice at the time. Rutherford later replaced the copper pennies with silver half-dollar coins, after which he commented that what he did was “so small a function in connection with so great a man.” Rutherford then suggested that bells should be rung throughout the city.
George V. Rutherford’s detailed report of the night of Lincoln’s assassination is one of the best first-hand accounts regarding the death of Abraham Lincoln. Rutherford described where the bullet entered the back of Lincoln’s head, and lodged near his “right eye, causing both to protrude to a considerable extent, and to turn black in a very short time.” Shortly after 8 a.m., Rutherford, along with Col. Louis Pelouze of the War Department, was directed to take charge of the body of Lincoln until it was moved. His body was placed in a plain box and transported to the second floor of the White House. Leaning over the coffin, Edwin Stanton, a close friend of the president, wept. Stanton is remembered for his statement upon the death of Lincoln, “Now he belongs to the ages.”
This George V. Rutherford mug is part of our Civil War Series profiling participants in the War Between the States. Thousands of Confederate and Union soldiers fought in battles such as Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. We honor their sacrifices by telling their stories.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.
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