This Week in the Civil War - #1071
On Friday night, April 14, 1865 tragedy struck the American nation, when during Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., an assassin—John Wilkes Booth—shot and mortally wounded Abraham Lincoln. Bedlam reigned as Booth jumped from the presidential box to the stage, breaking his leg but successfully escaping into the night. Lincoln was carried from Ford’s Theatre to a private residence and was placed in a rear bedroom. A single bullet had entered the back of the president’s head and lodged near the right eye. After a Union doctor probed for the bullet—most probably doing irreparable damage—doctors pronounced no hope for Lincoln, who died at 7:22 a.m. the following morning. Much of the North openly wept as news of the president’s death spread rapidly.