Maunsell Field, assistant secretary of the treasury, told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter that he was sitting in the reading room at the Willard Hotel when a person ran in and announced in a loud tone of voice that the president had just been shot at Ford’s Theatre.

Field rushed to Tenth Street, but found it already crowded with masses of people. He said the individuals he talked to erroneously reported the president had been shot in the breast and the wound might not prove fatal.

It was not until he entered Petersen’s Boardinghouse that he learned the president was shot in the head and a death watch was on.