Abraham Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865. He died the next day. The tragic incident took place only one week after the Confederate armies had started surrendering to the Union armies.
Abraham Lincoln was the President of the United States of America during the American Civil War. This war started right after his presidency when the southern states decided that they didn’t agree with Lincoln’s policies and separated from USA.
These states formed a government of their own called the Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln and the government of USA which had the support of the northern states believed that the southern states had no right to break away from the Union.
This led to a war between the two sides. Many people who supported the south didn’t like Abraham Lincoln. One of these was John Wilkes Booth who first planned to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln but when that didn’t work, he decided to shoot the President.
On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln went to the Ford Theater in Washington D.C. with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. They went to watch a play called Our American Cousin. A policeman was tasked with guarding the President but he went away, thinking there could be no danger to the President in the theater.
While the President was watching the play, John Wilkes Booth entered his box and shot him in his head while standing behind him. Abraham Lincoln’s guest, Major Henry Rathbone was also present in the box at the time. He tried to capture Booth but Booth stabbed him. He then jumped from the box and escaped from the theater.
John Wilkes Booth had shot Abraham Lincoln in the head. And although many doctors were urgently summoned to help him, the wound was very serious. On April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln died.
John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, was a famous American stage actor. He had acted in stage plays throughout USA but when the American Civil War started, he became a staunch supporter of the Confederate cause.
When Abraham Lincoln was re-elected as the President, Booth was angry. He thought that Abraham Lincoln was responsible for the Civil War and believed that by killing him, he could end the Civil War.
So he hatched a plan to kill not just Abraham Lincoln but also the Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson. Although William H. Seward and Andrew Jackson remained safe, the attempt on President Abraham Lincoln’s life proved successful.
President Abraham Lincoln was very popular in all Union states. So people were very sad and angry on his death. After shooting the President, John Wilkes Booth escaped on a horse and reached northern Virginia 12 days later. He was tracked down by Union soldiers and when he refused to surrender, a Union soldier shot and killed him. Many other people who were a part of the assassination conspiracy were also hanged.
Read about the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Wikipedia
American Experience: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln