ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
April 26, 1865
Union Cavalry Shoots and Kills
Lincoln's Assassin John Wilkes Booth
On this day in 1865, after twelve days on the run, John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin was tracked down and
cornered in a tobacco barn at the Garrett farm in northern Virginia.
The Union troops were under orders to capture Booth alive so the plan was to force Booth out by setting the barn on
fire. As the fire spread and Booth moved around inside the barn, he was shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett. According
to Corbett, he shot because he believed Booth had raised his pistol to shoot.
Booth was not killed instantly. Instead he was shot through the spinal cord and was paralyzed. He was taken to the
porch of Garrett's farmhouse where he died three hours later.