John Wilkes Booth, a famous stage actor, and Confederate sympathizer assassinated Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C on the evening of April 14, 1865.
A pure coincidence or a well-planned conspiracy, the attack occurred only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Northern Virginia, putting an end to the American Civil War.
Lincoln’s death plunged the country into despair. He was the first president to be assassinated. The search for Booth and his accomplices is known to be the largest manhunt in American history to that date.
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The original plan was to kidnap Lincoln
Initially, Booth and his conspirators planned to kidnap Lincoln, however, after Lee’s surrendered, Booth masterminded a plan even more wicked than kidnapping. During Laura Keene’s acclaimed performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., Booth fired a .44-caliber single-shot derringer pistol into the back of Lincoln’s head. The bullet entered his skull behind his left ear. It pierced his brain, and came to rest near the front of the skull. Both orbital plates were fractured.
How did Booth escaped and stay in hiding for so long?
John Wilkes Booth successfully escaped Ford’s Theater alive, along with his accomplice David Herold. They stopped at the Surratt Tavern in Maryland, gathered supplies, went to see Dr. Mudd to treat Booth’s broken. then they sought refuge in forest lands and swamps to Virginia. On one hand, they were actively hunted by the military forces, on the other, they received help from a former Confederate spy operative and by other Confederate sympathizers.
Finally, the authorities found a person who directed them to a Virginia farm where Booth and Herold were hiding out. At the Garrett Farm, Booth was fatally wounded by a sergeant shot Booth in the neck, and Herold surrendered.