|March 4, 1865||Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term. Some of the assassination conspirators, including Booth, are present in Washington for the inauguration.|
|March 15, 1865||Booth and other conspirators meet at Gautier's Restaurant at 252 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington to plan the kidnapping of President Lincoln. The plan calls for Lincoln to be taken to Richmond, where he would be held until exchanged for Confederate prisoners-of-war.|
|March 17, 1865||Booth's plan to kidnap Lincoln as he returns from a play at Campbell Hospital on the outskirts of Washington fails when Lincoln changes his plans.|
|April 6, 1865||John Surratt and Sarah Slater, a confederate agent, reach Montreal with a ciphered dispatch from Richmond--most likely one approving a plan to kill Lincoln by blowing up the Executive Mansion.|
|April 7, 1865||Richmond, capital of the the Confederacy, falls to Union troops.|
|April 8, 1865||Booth returns to Washington from New York, where he had met with his Confederate control, and told a friend "What a splendid chance I had to kill the President on the fourth of March [at the inauguration]."|
|April 9, 1865||At Appomattox, General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia, effectively ending the Civil War.|
|April 10, 1865||The Union's capture of Thomas Harney, the Confederate explosives expert assigned the task of mining the Executive Mansion, dooms that Confederate plot.|
|April 11, 1865||Lincoln speaks to a large crowd of ex-slaves and others celebrating the news of the Union victory. Booth, listening to the speech with Louis Weichmann, resolves that it will be "the last speech" the President ever gives.|
|April 13, 1865||Most houses and public buildings in Washington are illuminated by candles. Papers describe the city as "all ablaze with glory."|
|April 14, 1865
|Union troops reoccupy Fort
Carolina, site of the Civil War's first conflict.
While attending a performance of Our American Cousin at the Ford's Theatre, Lincoln is assassinated in the presidential box by John Wilkes Booth. Booth escapes by way of a back door.
Meanwhile, Lewis Powell (alias Lewis Payne), claiming to have medicine for Secretary of State William H. Seward, enters the Secretary's home. Powell assaults the Secretary's son and tries to stab Secretary Seward in his bed. Three people fight Powell off and he flees into the night.
Word of a Confederate conspiracy to assassinate government officials reaches Secretary of War Edwin Stanton as he waits anxiously near Lincoln's deathbed.
|April 15, 1865||Lincoln dies at 7:22 in the
Booth and Herold leave the farm of Dr. Samuel Mudd, where Booth had his broken leg treated and shaved off his mustache.
|April 17, 1865||While soldiers question
the home of Mary Surratt, a man carrying a pickax
knocks on the
The man turns out to be Lewis Powell. The man
claims to be a
laborer, but Mary Surratt denies hiring him and
and her boarders--is arrested.
The same day, authorities tracking down the source of a letter from "Sam" found in Booth's hotel room, arrest Samuel Arnold.
Michael O'Laughlen, a boyhood friend of Booth, is also arrested.
|April 19, 1865||Lincoln's funeral is conducted in the East Room of the White House.|
|April 20, 1865||George Atzerodt, who had
in a hotel occupied by Vice Prsident Johnson on the
14th (and whose
was found to contain weapons and property of Booth),
is captured in his
Secretary of War Stanton offers a $100,000 reward for the capture of Booth, David Herold, and John Surratt.
|April 24, 1865||Authorities arrest Dr. Samuel A. Mudd based on his contact with Booth (treating his broken leg after the assassination and allowing him to stay the night at his farm) and his unsatisfactory answers when questioned.|
|April 25, 1865||Secretary of War Edwin Stanton orders that the heads of the alleged conspirators be kept covered by canvas hoods.|
|April 26, 1865||John Wilkes Booth is shot and killed at Garrett's farm in Virginia. A man found in Booth's company, David E. Herold, is arrested on suspicion of involvement in the conspiracy.|
|April 27, 1865||Alexander Gardner
conspirators as they are imprisoned on the vessels Montauk
(Dr. Samuel Mudd and Mary Surratt, held at the Old
Capitol Prison, are
Lewis Powell attempts to commit suicide by banging his head against a cell wall. His canvas hood is replaced with a padded hood to thwart future similar suicide attempts.
|May 1, 1865||President Andrew Johnson orders that the Lincoln assassination conspirators be tried by a military commission.|
|May 9, 1865||The Military Commission convenes for the first time.|
|May 10, 1865||The conspirators are arraigned before the Military Commission. The Commission also adopts rules that will govern the trial.|
|May 12, 1865||Testimony begins in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy trial at the Old Arsenal Building in Washington.|
|June 1, 1865||The country observes a national day of mourning for Lincoln.|
|June 6, 1865||Major General John Hartranft, concluding that the prisoners are suffering too much from their hoods, orders them removed.|
|June 29, 1865||In secret session, the Commission begins its review of the trial evidence.|
|June 30, 1865||The Military Commission determines its verdicts and sentences. Four conspirators (Herold, Mary Surratt, Powell, and Atzerodt) are sentenced to die, three (O'Laughlen, Arnold, and Mudd) to life terms, and one (Spangler) to a prison term of six years.|
|July 5, 1865||President Johnson approves the verdicts and sentences of the Military Commission.|
|July 6, 1865||Major General Hartranft tells four prisoners that they will be hanged the next day. Lawyers for Mary Surratt prepare a petition for habeas corpus.|
|July 7, 1865||Judge Wylie of the Supreme
the District of Columbia issues the writ of habeas
corpus requested by
Surratt's lawyers. Attorney General Speed and
informed of the writ's issuance. The President
signs an order: "I
hereby declare that the writ of habeas corpus is
suspended in cases
Shortly before 1:30 in the afternoon in the courtyard of the Old Arsenal Building, with George Atzerodt's last words, "May we meet in another world," the trap of the gallows is sprung and Atzerodt, Mary Surratt, Herold, and Powell are hanged.
|August 11, 1865||Louis Weichmann signs an affidavit strongly implicating John Surratt, who fled the country, in the assassination conspiracy.|
August 11, 1867
|John Surratt, after having been captured in Europe, is tried in a civilian court. The jury is unable to reach a verdict in his case and in late August Surratt is released.|
|September 23, 1867||Convicted conspirator Michael O'Laughlen dies in prison.|
|December 6, 1870||John Surratt begins a public lecture tour in which he provides his account of the assassination conspiracy.|
|February 7, 1875||Four years after his release from prison, Edman Spangler dies.|
|June 10, 1883||Convicted conspirator Dr. Samuel A. Mudd dies.|
|September 21, 1906||The last of the convicted conspirators, Samuel Arnold, dies.|
|April 21, 1916||Suspected conspirator John Surratt dies.|
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