I was watching the History Channel yesterday while awaiting surgery. They were running a show about the Lincoln assassination. One of the things they mentioned was that there had been a previous assassination attempt against Lincoln in 1862. It was a serious attempt in which somebody shot at Lincoln and put a bullet through the hat he was wearing.
This seemed like a pretty significant event but I had never heard of it before. Did I somehow miss ever hearing of this? Is it common knowledge? Or was it just the History Channel passing on some old myth? Or maybe it was the drugs kicking in earlier than I realized.
August of 1864, not 1862. Lincoln was riding by the Soldiers Home (which was where the Lincolns spent their summers), and somebody shot at him, and shot the hat off his head. You can get descriptions of the incident here:
Here’s a New York Times article from 1887, giving the account of John Nichols about the incident. Nichols was one of the soldiers acting as the president’s bodyguard.
There was also a plot to kill him in 1861, and Nichols mentions two other plots, one to kill him and one to kidnap him.