Our Military Life Blog

Hanging Mary – Week 2

Things in Washington are getting very sticky. Johnny and John Wilkes Booth are in and out with all sorts of plans, and the entire boarding house knows that something is going on, but to what extent they are informed varies. While they continue in their daily lives, each of them get news that will upset them.

Mary Surratt still has no news of her son who is fighting in the war, but Johnny is in and out, leaving her worried. When he leaves a note telling her that he has to leave town for a while, she worries about the plans that they have. When he returns and she confronts him, he confesses his plans. What he tells her leaves her shocked. She knows that she can stop him with one word to the right person, but how can she turn her own son into the authorities, when she is involved as well? Since she has started running errands for Mr. Booth, she is just as culpable as they are, but how much does she really know of their true plans. They claim that they only want to kidnap the President and use him as leverage for a prisoner exchange, but then why the guns?  Nora has received a few letters from her Private Flanagan, but when she gets one from a priest bearing bad news, she is heartbroken. She had dared to hope that there might be a future there, but now that future is dashed. She confesses the whole thing to Mrs. Surratt, who allows her to grieve. Mr. Weichmann continues to hold out hope that Anna might come to like him. Anna on the other hand, is upset about the Southern cause, and can barely be civil to Nora when it comes to anything about the President. When they have a falling out about Mr. Booth, their friendship becomes a bit more strained.

Mary continues to shuffles notes and information for Mr. Booth as she can, but her own doubts are starting to nag at her. She does not feel that she can confess to anyone, including a priest. But now their entire world is about to be turned upside down with one ring of the doorbell..

This week we are reading Chapters 14-27


  1. Mary knows that her son is up to something. Would you have stayed quiet to save someone you loved?
  2. Should Nora have told her father about the young private that was writing to her?
  3. There seem to be some unknown variables so far in the book, how many more twists do you think we will see before the end?