What began as a simple, romantic Friday night outing to the theatre became chaotic after the president sustained a gunshot wound to the head. At 10:15 p.m., a man reportedly snuck into the president and first lady’s private theatre box and shot President Lincoln, leaving him severely injured. Mr. Lincoln is currently in critical condition.
The president and first lady were attending Laura Keene’s performance of “Our American Cousin” when a man gained access into their box which was conveniently positioned above the stage. According to police reports, the man was able to enter by claiming to be a reporter.
What then followed was a gunshot that elicited confusion within the show’s audience. The then unidentified man jumped from the president’s box, shouting “Sic temper tyrannis!”(“Thus ever to tyrants!”-The motto of Virginia). Moments later, President Lincoln could be seen slumped over while Mary Lincoln screamed in horror.
After policemen rushed into the president’s box and carried him out of the theatre, one policeman announced, “the president has been shot.”
The policemen took the president to a house across the street where he remained unconscious. After he was secured and attended to by a doctor, the doctor expressed that he’d been seriously wounded.
“It appears that he may not recover,” announced the doctor.
Police found a single-shot pistol on the floor of the president’s box. They additionally discovered a dagger that the shooter dropped when fleeing the theatre. One man claimed to have seen the suspect jump on a horse and ride away, while Laura Keene claimed to have recognized the shooter. Apparently, he had previously played a role in another play at Ford’s Theatre. His name was John Wilkes Booth.
After further investigation, police found a spur on a man’s boot attached to the flag hanging from President Lincoln’s box. Both the spur and the pistol were later identified as belonging to a renowned actor named John Wilkes Booth.
Along with guarding the house at which Lincoln rested, the army ordered a blockade of all roads leading into and out of the city, as well as shipping traffic. Upon examining President Lincoln, the sergeant major general concluded that because of the bullet that was lodged in the president’s head and the exiting brain matter, he was not expected to live through the night.
The president’s wife, two sons, and entire cabin gathered around his bed as they prepared for the worst. John Wilkes Booth has not yet been detained.