American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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John Wilkes Booth - Lincoln Assassination

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Artifacts like Booth`s bullet reveal lesser-known side of Lincoln's murder   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It is the size of a thumbnail, its once-round form now oblong with misshapen edges. This object is the handmade ball of britannia that John Wilkes Booth fired out of his Philadelphia Derringer on April 14, 1865, into the head of President Abraham Lincoln. The bullet that killed the 16th president is among a number of items linked with his murder and autopsy in an exhibition called "Abraham Lincoln: The Final Casualty of the War." The exhibit is running indefinitely, as part of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, at the National Museum of Health & Medicine on the campus of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Museum at Ford's Theater explores the Lincoln assassination
After 10pm on April 14, 1865, one of America's most admired actors, John Wilkes Booth, mortally wounded President Abraham Lincoln. 9 hours later Lincoln died across the street from Ford's Theater at the home of merchant William Petersen. A nation mourned, and Vice President Andrew Johnson, himself one of the missed targets of a vast conspiracy, became the 17th president. The new Ford Theater museum makes it possible to understand Booth's view of Lincoln. Here visitors can see the assassin's derringer, knife, diary, compass, and belongings of his co-conspirators. Also on show are the clothing and boots Lincoln had to Ford's Theater on the night he died.

Manhunt: Chasing Lincoln's Killer -exhibit at the Newseum, Washington
A new exhibit at the Newseum reveals how Lincoln's death and the hunt for his killer John Wilkes Booth also marked a turning point in how news was reported. The exhibit - created with James L. Swanson, author of "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" - features 40 artifacts and documents from his collection. Items include a poster advertising a $100,000 reward for the capture of the assassins; rare newspaper extra editions about the assassination; mourning memorabilia; a decorative flagpole that adorned Lincoln's catafalque, a fragment from actress Laura Keene's dress - stained with Lincoln's blood.

The Last Lincoln Conspirator: John Surratt's Flight From The Gallows
President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, just after Richmond fell to Union forces. Secretary of State William Seward was grievously wounded during an attempt on his life the same evening. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton took charge and launched a massive manhunt for the culprits. By April 26, Booth was dead and 8 conspirators had been rounded up. One purported conspirator could not be found: John Surratt - a Confederate agent involved in courier duty between Richmond and Confederates in Canada. According to his testimony at his 1867 trial, he was in Elmira, N.Y. - while others testified that he had been seen in Washington - on that fatal night.

Ford's Theatre renovation: Lincoln's bloodstained clothes packed up
The goatskin boots that Abraham Lincoln had on that night at Ford's Theatre were worn down at the heels. His long black frock coat was unadorned. Its buttons were of plain gray metal. And most of what he wore in the private box on Good Friday of 1865 comes down to us still stained with his blood. Under police escort the National Park Service transported the assassinated president's clothing and items from the Ford's Theatre museum to a Park Service storage center in Maryland. One by one, Civil War expert Gloria Swift opened the acid-free boxes in which she and others had packed the clothes Lincoln was wearing when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.

Story disputes history books' account of President Lincoln's killer
Historical accounts state that Lincoln`s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was shot to death on April 26, 1865, when he was found hiding out at a farm. But John Henry Stevenson, who claimed to have known Booth since childhood, died believing he lived much longer. He dictated autobiography, which is believed to be authentic by some historians. He wrote that his 1867 `death` was staged after W.G. Pollack, who arranged for his release from prison. Stevenson said Pollack facilitated the release because Stevenson knew Booth`s wife Izola Booth was in possession of a fortune. "Pollack said that if I would help him get the gold, that he would see that I got out of prison."

Hanged for conspiracy in the assassination of President Lincoln
Almost a century and a half ago, on July 7, 1865, Lewis Paine, David Herold, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt were hanged on the grounds of the Washington Arsenal. They had been sentenced to death by a military commission for conspiracy in the assassination of President Lincoln. (The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had been killed by a Union soldier while trying to escape.) Thousands wished to witness the execution. Tickets were issued to about 1,000 people. Alexander Gardner was the only photographer present at the execution. He took a series of pictures; the first shows the empty scaffold and the last shows the four lifeless bodies hanging in midair.

American Brutus: New light on death of Abraham Lincoln and life of John Wilkes Booth
He is perhaps the most glittering villain in American history. When actor John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, it was almost as if a modern president had been murdered by a major celebrity. In "American Brutus," Michael W. Kauffman challenges much of what is the conventional knowledge about Booth and America's first presidential assassination, including how Booth broke his leg; the guilt of Samuel Mudd, who set his leg, and Mary Surratt, in whose boarding house the conspirators met; the role of John Parker, the police officer accused of leaving the presidential box unguarded; and the missing pages in the assassin's diary.