Early in the war, Horatio N. Taft worked as a patent examiner in the Government Patent Office. He and his wife Mary knew the Lincolns well. One of Taft's sons by his first wife, Dr. Charles Sabin Taft, was present at Fords' Theatre when the president was shot. He attended to Lincolns mortal injury and remained at his side until the president died. He later provided his father with a detailed account of the death scene, which is recorded in this diary.