Five days after the surrender, the rejoicing in the north turned to grief. On April 14, as the President and Mrs. Lincoln were viewing a play at Ford’s theater in Washington, John Wilkes Booth, a 26 year old actor slipped into their box and shot the President in the head.
Lincoln died the next morning, and with him, some think, his plans for conciliation “to bind the nations wounds” died with him. We will never know for sure, but what we do know is that reconstruction came at a very costly price for the South.
Booth, who escaped, was trapped near Port Royal, Virginia, on April 26th. It is not clear whether he killed himself or was shot by a Union soldier.