Ford's Theatre

Washington, D.C.

In 1833, the First Baptist Church of Washington was built on Tenth Street. The church built a larger structure nearby and sold the old structure to John Ford in 1861 who had plans of turning it into a theatre. Early in 1863, the theatre suffered major damage to fire, but re-opened in August.

The theatre had eight private boxes, four on each side of the stage with two on the upper level and two on the lower. Lincoln attended the theatre often and when he did, he occupied the the two upper boxes on the right side with his wife and guests.

Petersen House

Washington, D.C.

William Petersen immigrated to the United States from Germany and built a three-story brick home on Tenth Street in 1849 across from the First Baptist Church. Petersen was a tailor out of the home, but he and his family also took in boarders as a means of income.

After being shot, Lincoln was brought from Ford's Theatre across the street and laid in the rear bedroom on the first floor. The bed was too small for the lanky president, so he was laid diagonally. Here doctors and the cabinet watched over Lincoln with little to do but wait.

Shortly after the president died and removed from the Petersen house, many attempted to enter it to obtain souvenirs of Lincoln's site of death. Two photographers who were boarders at the house, Henry and Juilus Ulke, entered the room minutes after Lincoln's body was removed and took an eerie photograph of the president's deathbed.

Washington Arsenal

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Arsenal (also known as the Old Washington Penitentiary) served as a prison when it was built in 1836. At the onset of the Civil War, the army began using it to store and distribute military supplies. When room ran out, Lincoln ordered the prisoners to be moved to another and turned it over to the military.

The Arsenal was one of the most secure places in Washington, so the prisoners in Lincoln's assassination, who were under military control, were moved there. The third floor was turned over into a trial room.

After the executions of Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt, their bodies, along with John Wilkes Booth's, were buried at the Arsenal until 1867, when they were moved to a government warehouse.

Booth's place of death

near Bowling Green, Virginia

As John Wilkes Booth and David Herold made their way into the South to escape into "friendly" territory, they stopped at Richard Garrett's farm roughly ten miles north of Bowling Green, Va. A group of troops led by Lieutenant Edward Doherty arrived at Garrett's in the early morning hours of April 26.

The Garretts, who did not know of the men's purpose for needing a place to sleep, led the soldiers to the barn where the two were staying. After Herold agreed to surrender, Booth requested some time. Becoming impatient, a soldier lit hay that had been stacked against the rear wall of the barn. The flames were forcing Booth out when Corporal Boston Corbett fired one shot, striking Booth in the neck. However, Booth did not die instantly; he struggled for a while, much like Lincoln whom he shot twelve days earlier. After struggling to get out the words, "Tell my Mother I die for my country," Booth died at a little past 7 a.m.