Lincoln's Assassination

Bailey Dunkin

April 15, 1865. A tragic day for many. Not even a week after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. The week after the end of the Civil War was supposed to be a joyous event, but with the death of the president many were left confused and mournful.

Planning the Assassination

Booth planned one failed kidnapping and one successful assassination. Booth stayed in the North during the Civil War, even though he was a Confederate sympathizer. He and four others planned to kidnap Lincoln on March 20, 1865. They planned to take Lincoln to Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States, but Lincoln didn't show up at the place where they were going to kidnap him. The Union captured Richmond, Virginia two weeks later. Booth learned that Lincoln would attend Laura Keene’s staging of “Our American Cousin.” He decided that he would kill Lincoln there. Booth had figured out away to murder President Abraham Lincoln.

Executing the Assassination

Booth completed the assassination. Lincoln, his wife Mary, Henry Rathbone; an army officer, and Clara Harris; Rathbone’s fiancé sat in a private box just above the stage. On April 14, 1865, at 10:15 p.m., John Wilkes Booth crept into the box and fired his small hand gun into the back of Lincoln’s head, piercing his brain. Then, Booth stabbed Henry Rathbone before leaping onto the stage, breaking his leg. He shouts “Sic semper tyrannis,” or “Thus ever to tyrants!” which is the Virginia state motto, then quickly hurdled off stage. Booth then escaped from Washington D.C. There was a doctor in the audience named Charles Leale who quickly came to the president’s side. Leale discovered that the president was paralyzed and struggling to breathe. Many people carried Lincoln to a house across the street from the theater. The surgeon general came and gathered that Lincoln couldn’t be saved and would soon be dead. Many people were at Lincoln's bedside at the time of his death. At 7:22 a.m., President Abraham Lincoln died; making Booth's attempts successful.

Mourning the Death

People all over the country mourned the president's death. That morning, the president's body was placed in a short-term coffin, covered in an American flag, and was guided to the White House. There surgeons conducted a complete autopsy. The news of the president’s death spread fast through the country. On April 18, Lincoln’s coffin was transported to the capital. On April 21, his body was placed on a train, then it was transported to Springfield, Illinois, where he grew up, to be buried. president's death. People lined the railroads when the train came by the town that they live in to mourn the President Abraham Lincoln was finally buried on May 4, 1865 next to his son at Oak Ridge Cemetery just outside of Springfield. Many people mourned the president's death.

Catching Booth

It took many weeks for the army to find John Wilkes Booth. Booth and David Herold, his accomplice, were on the run toward Maryland, when they stopped at Samuel Mudd’s home. Mudd, a doctor, treated Booth’s leg. Mudd will later be convicted and sentenced to life in prison. After Booth got treated, he and Herold went to Virginia. On April 26, officials found the two in a farmhouse in Virginia. They set fire to it hoping that the two would flee; to save their lives. David Herold did come out of the burning building, but Booth didn’t. Officials eventually shot him in the neck, because he allegedly . He died hours later. Four of Booth’s accomplices were hung on July 7, 1865. All of the people involved in the assassin were put to justice.
The week that the Civil War ended started out in celebration, but it ended in sorrow. Thankfully the assassination didn't happen sooner, or else the Union might not have won the war. So, I guess you could say that Booth murdering Lincoln was done in vain. We will all remember the great things that President Abraham Lincoln did during the Civil War.
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