A Great Man is Lost
On April 14th, 1865 a tragic event occurred in Washington D.C. The 16th President of the United States was shot and killed by a well- known stage actor, John Wilkes Booth, in the famous Ford’s theatre. This is not only a terrible loss for our country, but also a large threat to our humanity as U.S. citizens.
Abraham Lincoln, Marry Todd Lincoln, Major Henry R. Rathbone, and his wife Clara Harris were attending the theater to see Our American Cousin. They were sitting in the Presidential Box. At about 10:00 p.m., John Wilkes Booth opened the doors to the booth and shot President Lincoln in the back of the head at point-blank range. Lincoln died nine hours later. The bullet was too deeply embedded in his skull to be removed.
Booth then tried to escape, but Major Rathbone grabbed him before he could jump out of the box. Booth quickly turned around and stabbed Rathbone in the chest before leaping out of the box. He then ran out across the stage. The people attending thought this killing was all part of the play. Redbone’s last words were “Catch that man!” Booth fled off into the night on his horse. A Union soldier shot and killed him after refusing to surrender, twelve days after the shooting.
John Wilkes Booth was a member of the south side while Lincoln was on the north and they had different views on slavery. Booth’s original plan was just to capture Lincoln and set all of the south’s prisoners free. But when he found out that Lincoln would be at Ford’s theatre, he decided that his best plan was just to kill him. His plan was carried through and our president has been lost.
Lincoln was not the only one attacked that night. Lewis Powell attacked Secretary of State William H. Seward while he was recovering from a carriage incident. Powell attacked Frederick (Seward’s son) and made him unconscious. Powell then passed by Frederick and went directly for Seward. He was stabbed in the face and neck but survived by the help of his neck brace. Other attacks were planned but the others were not carried out. All of Booth’s gang is being searched for and will eventually be discovered and hung.
Andrew Johnson will take over as president to finish out Lincoln’s term in office. Lincoln’s funeral will be May 4th, 1865 in Springfield, Illinois, his hometown.