John Wilkes Booth initially plotted to kidnap President Lincoln early in 1864, in order to trade for ransom and the release of confederate prisoners of war. As a consequence of unfolding events Booth switched gears and a new desperate plan to cripple the union and help the confederacy emerged.
On April 14, 1865 the kidnapping plot emerged as a killing rampage attempt of several high officials in the Federal Government. Booth assigned the assassination of President Lincoln for he alone to relish, deligating the others to his co conspirators.
Lewis Powell was directed to kill Secretary of State Seward. Powell entered Secretary Seward's home at about 10:20 P.M. and Savagely attacked him with a knife. Seward miraculously survived the assassination attempt and remained Secretary of State for the Johnson Presidency.
George Atzerodt's target was Vice President Andrew Johnson, but Atzerodt failed miserably in his assassination attempt, as a result Johnson was never in any real danger.
General Ulysses S. Grant was also selected by Booth for assassination for his part in the Civil War. Fortunately Ulysses Grant and wife Julia Dent Grant changed their initial plans and declined to join the President at Ford's Theater that fateful evening.
Despite Booth's attempts to alter the course of history on behalf of the Confederate South by murdering President Lincoln, Vice President Johnson and General Grant would become the next two Presidents of the United States.
Booth also entered the Presidential box at
about 10:20 in the evening and undetected crept up behind the
President and shot him in the back of the head at point blank
range, with a derringer pistol He then Jumped over the balcony to the stage below, breaking his leg when he landed.
Limping on a broken leg, Booth managed to escape through a back door and rendezvous with Herold. They immediatley headed for Dr. Samuel Mudds farm. Dr. Mudd attended to Booth's broken left leg and allowed the two men to stay the night. They left Mudds farm the next morning and after several days of running and hiding, found their final refuge in Richard Garret's barn.
An intensive military man hunt ensued for twelve days. Booth was finally tracked down, cornered and surrounded by the U.S. Military, Herold surrendered. Booth stayed to fight and met with his fatal demise. Nine assassination Conspirators were subsequently arrested and Eight convicted.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ASSASSINATION TIMELINE
|1865 April 9||General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant ending the American Civil War between the North and South|
|In celebration of the Union victory, Lincoln gives what would be his last Presidential Speech on the front lawn of the White House. Present among the crowd stood would be assassin John Wilkes Booth. Booth A famous theater actor and sympathizer of the south.|
|April 14||President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at the Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head, then fled through a back door of the Theater|
|April 15||John Wilkes Booth and Herold arrive at Dr. Samuel Mudds Home at about four in the morning. Mudd treats booth for a broken leg|
|Abraham Lincoln dies from his gunshot wound to the back of the head at 7:22 in the morning|
|Vice President Andrew Johnson assumes the Presidency upon Lincoln's death|
|April 19||Lincoln's funeral is held in the White House East Room|
|April 26||John Wilkes Booth is hunted and found hiding in old man Garrett's barn with friend David Herold. Herold surrendered to the soldiers but Booth was shot after the barn was set ablaze. Booth died of his wound a few hours later|
|May 1||Newly sworn in President, Andrew Johnson ordered the captured eight conspirators of the assassination of President Lincoln to be tried by a Military Commission|
|May 9||The Military Commission convenes|
|June 30||Edman Spangler was sentenced to six years in prison while Dr. Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O'Laughlen are sentenced to life. Mary Surrat, George Atzerodt, Lewis Powell and David Lee Herold are sentenced to die by hanging|
|July 7||Atzerodt, Powell, Mary Surrat, and Herold were hanged in front of the Old Arsenal Building|