George C. Reed was a young drummer boy in Washington on April 14, 1865. He walked into a saloon that afternoon, and a tall, handsome fellow came up to him and offered him a drink. When he declined, the friendly man said, “Have something; take a cigar.”
When the man and his companions left the bar, Reed asked the barkeep who the man was. He told him he was John Wilkes Booth, one of the Booth family of actors, and he was on a drunk.
Before Reed left, the bartender gave him a couple tickets to that night’s performance at Ford’s.
When Reed saw Booth jump to the stage and shout something, he told his companion,” “That’s Wilkes Booth, the actor, and I think he is on a drunk.”