Chasing Lincoln’s Killer


James L. Swanson

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Dr. Charles A. Leale Character Analysis

A twenty-three-year-old Union Army soldier and doctor, Leale attended the play at Ford’s after hearing that General Grant would attend. He was the first doctor to reach Lincoln after the president was shot. He at first assumed the president was stabbed, but then ascertained that he had been shot in the head and would not recover. He supervised the transportation of the president across the street to the Petersen house and stayed with him until his death, at one point trying to remove the bullet from within the dying man’s skull with the Nelaton probe.
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Dr. Charles A. Leale Character Timeline in Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Charles A. Leale appears in Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Planning, Conspiracy, and the Unexpected Theme Icon
...the president was coming to Ford’s. Meanwhile, a young army surgeon named Dr. Charles A. Leale decided to attend the performance, eager to catch a glimpse of the hero Grant. (full context)
Chapter 4
Survival vs Principles Theme Icon
Dr. Charles Leale rushed to the president’s box, and quickly determined that Major Rathbone was in no immediate... (full context)
The Theatrical and The Real Theme Icon
Survival vs Principles Theme Icon
In Ford’s Theatre, Dr. Leale was considering how to move the president. It would be undignified for Lincoln to die... (full context)
News, Information, and Misinformation Theme Icon
Back at Ford’s, Leale and others carried the unconscious Lincoln out onto the street. Leale demanded that a soldier... (full context)
Chapter 5
News, Information, and Misinformation Theme Icon
...Near the theater, a big angry mob swarmed the street. A crowd watched as Dr. Leale instructed those carrying Lincoln to bring him outside. It was the last time the American... (full context)
News, Information, and Misinformation Theme Icon
At the Petersen house, as other doctors arrived, Leale situated the wounded president in the room of a boarder who was out celebrating the... (full context)