"...thank God, the Rebel Scout has lived long enough to outgrow many of the prejudices engendered by the war." Though able to write those words in 1905, at the outbreak of the American Civil War, Dickinson College-educated Maryland native, Thomas Conrad was a passionate fighter for the Rebel cause. Working as a scout in the command of J.E.B. Stuart, he fought alongside his Phi Kappa Sigma buddy and life-long friend, Daniel Mountjoy Cloud.
Along the way, he met and ate with Jefferson Davis and was part of a plan (separate from the Booth conspirators) to kidnap Abraham Lincoln. According to Conrad:
"Neither President Davis nor his secretary of war had any knowledge of my contemplated attempt to capture Mr. Lincoln and bring him to Richmond. I consulted only the military secretary of General Bragg, and General Bragg at that time had command of Richmond and its defenses. This military secretary enjoined me, above all things, not to hurt a hair upon Lincoln’s head, or treat him with the slightest indignity."
By chance, one of Conrad's men met up with John Wilkes Booth during his escape and furnished him with one of Conrad's horses, on which Booth rode to the site of his death.
After the war, Conrad was president of what is today Virginia Tech.
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