The Assassination of President Lincoln.pdf - The...

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The Assassination of President Lincoln On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. Days after the Union had won the Civil War they had lost the leader who had overseen their success. As a war-torn nation mourned, they hunted for his assassin. John Wilkes Booth, a well-known actor, had sided with the South during the Civil War, and wanted to help the Confederacy. His original plan was to kidnap Lincoln and hold him ransom for Confederate prisoners of war. As commander of all Union forces, General Ulysses S. Grant had not allowed prisoners to be exchanged during the war. Booth wanted to take Lincoln to the South and exchange him for thousands of Southern prisoners. He gathered a group of men willing to help him, and they planned their kidnapping. According to their plan, they were going to kidnap Lincoln when he went to see the play Still Waters Run Deep at the Campbell Military Hospital. On March 17, 1865, Booth and his men waited at a nearby restaurant for Lincoln. However, when Lincoln did not go to see the play, Booth was forced to change his plans.
On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. However, Booth believed the war was not over because Confederate General Johnston's army was still fighting William Tecumseh Sherman and the Union Army. Although other Confederate forces remained in the field, the war was effectively over. As prisoners of war were released, there was no longer a need to kidnap the President. On April 11, Booth went to the White House to see Lincoln speak. In his speech the president declared that he wanted blacks to be able to vote, particularly blacks who fought for the Union. Booth did not believe that blacks should have the right to vote, and was outraged at Lincoln. He decided to kill the President.

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