President Abraham Lincoln delivers his second inaugural address to a crowd of 50,000 in front of the newly completed U.S. Capitol.
Booth Plots to Kidnap Lincoln
Booth plots to kidnap Lincoln and hold him ransom for Confederate Army prisoners. Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlen and John Surratt conspire with Booth, but their plot isnt carried out.
Civil War Ends
Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrenders at the Appomattox Courthouse and the Civil War ends.
The Day of the Assassination
The day of Lincoln’s assassination is also Good Friday
While picking up his mail at Ford’s Theater, John Wilkes Booth overhears someone saying Lincoln will attend that evening’s performance. He spends the following eight hours gathering supplies and plotting with Powell and Atzerodt.
At the theater, Booth shoots President Lincoln in the head during a performance of “Our American Cousin.” Booth breaks his leg, but escapes by horseback. Lincoln is taken to the Peterson boarding house, across the street, where a death watch begins.
Lewis Powell attacks Secretary of State William Seward in his bed, slashing Seward’s face and cutting a deep gash. Powell escapes out the front door of the house.
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton takes charge of a manhunt for the assassins.
The Day After
Booth, now traveling with David Herold, arrives at Dr. Samuel Mudd’s house in southern Maryland. Mudd, an freind Booth met while scouting escape routes, sets Booth’s broken leg.
President Lincoln is pronounced dead. As word spreads, angry mobs gather in several Northern and occupied Southern cities.
Booth and Herold travel towards the Potomac River. They plan to cross into Virginia and find a safe haven with sympathetic Southerners.
The Nation Grieves
On Easter Sunday, church services are packed with mourners dressed in black. Preachers compare the deaths of Lincoln and Jesus Christ.
Booth and Herold spend the first of five days hiding in a pine thicket, two miles east of the Potomac River in southern Maryland. Searching for the fugitives, Union troops come so close Booth can hear them.
Five Conspirators Arrested
Investigators receive a tip that leads to the arrest of Lewis Powell, Seward’s attacker. The same day, police also arrest Michael O’Laughlen, Edman Spangler, Samuel Arnold and Mary Surratt.
A funeral service is held for Lincoln at the White House. Thousands of Americans line the streets to watch the procession.
Atzerodt Arrested, Booth, and Herold Still At Large
Five days after Lincoln’s death, authorities still have not found Booth. Edwin Stanton offers a $100,000 reward for the fugitives still at large. In northwest Maryland, police arrest George Atzerodt.
Lincoln's Funeral Train Departs
Lincoln’s funeral train departs Washington and travels the country for 12 days while people mourn.
Booth and Herald in Virginia
Booth and Herold finally get to Virginia. Three Confederate soldiers help them cross the Rappahannock River, and the men find shelter in a barn owned by Richard Garrett.
In Maryland, authorities arrest Samuel Mudd, the doctor who set Booth’s broken leg.
Closing in on Booth
Acting on tips, Union troops pursue the fugitives to the Garrett farm.
Herold Surrender, Booth Killed
Soldiers surround the Garrett barn in the early morning hours. Herold surrenders, but Booth refuses and troops light the barn on fire. Booth is shot in the neck, and he dies at sunrise.
Conspirators Stand Trial
Eight defendants stand trial for President Lincoln's murder. Four will be found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The remaining four will serve prison sentences at remote Fort Jefferson, in the Dry Tortugas off of Florida, a Union prison during the Civil War.
Execution day. Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold and George Atzerodt are hanged at the Old Arsenal Prison in Washington, D.C.
John Surratt Captured
A ninth conspirator, fugitive John Surratt, is captured in Alexandria, Egypt. He will be tried but acquitted with a hung jury, and survive another 50 years until 1916.
Michael O’Laughlen dies at Fort Jefferson during a massive outbreak of yellow fever. He had received a life sentence for his role in the conspiracy
Three Conspirators Paroled
President Andrew Johnson paroles Dr. Samuel Mudd , who had been sentenced to a life term in prison.
On March 1, Edmund Spangler is sentenced to six years in prison, and Samuel Arnold is sentenced to life, both paroled by President Johnson.