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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. 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.