President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on this day, April 14, in 1865, five days after General Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, thus ending the bloodiest war in American history.
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When the President breathed his last early the next morning, Secretary of Defense Edwin M. Stanton is reported to have said at the bedside vigil, “He now belongs to the ages.”
Thomas “Boston” Corbett
Vice President Andrew Johnson was also targeted on the 14th, but not attacked, and Secretary of State William Seward was severely wounded in a separate attack. Secretary Stanton directed a manhunt that ended 12 days later when the Cavalry trapped Booth in a barn. He was shot by a Union soldier, Thomas “Boston” Corbett, and died the next morning.
Booth’s co-conspirators were later tried and hung.
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