The Capture of John Wilkes Booth


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 13, 1865

The May 13, 1865 edition of Harper's Weekly featured the new president Andrew Johnson, who took office with the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  We have posted the newspaper below.  Click on the thumbnails to be taken to a complete, readable version of the page.


President Andrew Johnson

President Andrew Johnson

Confederate Amnesty

Confederate Amnesty

Capture of John Wilkes Booth

Capture of John Wilkes Booth

Death of John Wilkes Booth

Death of John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth Death

Abraham Lincoln's New York Funeral

Confederate Ship "Stonewall"

The Confederate Warship "Stonewall"

Abraham Lincoln Funeral Procession

President Abraham Lincoln's New York Funeral Procession








[MAY 13, 1865.



AFTER eleven days transpired since the death of the President his murderer, JOHN WILKES BOOTH, was discovered in a barn on GARRETT'S farm, near Port Royal, on the Rappahannock. Immediately after the murder Colonel BAKER, of the detective service, set out to find BOOTH's hiding-place. He soon succeeded in capturing ATZEROTH and Dr. MUDGE. It was the latter of these who attended to BOOTH's crippled leg, and a boot with BOOTH'S name in it was found in his possession. A negro was then arrested, who said he had seen BOOTH and another man cross the Potomac in a fishing-boat. Colonel BAKER sent to HANCOCK for twenty-five mounted men to aid him in the pursuit. These were sent under Lieutenant DOUGHERTY, and BAKER placed them under the control of Lieutenant-Colonel E. J. CONGER, and of his cousin, Lieutenant L. B. BAKER, and dispatched them to Belle Plain, with orders to scour the country about Port Royal.

The detectives and cavalrymen left Washington at two P.M. on the 23d of April, and at ten o'clock disembarked at Belle Plain, near Fredericksburg. Here they commenced their inquest, but without any result. The next morning they came to Port Royal ferry and crossed. At Port Royal they found one ROLLINS, a fisherman, who referred them to a negro named Lucas as having driven two men a short distance toward Bowling Green in a wagon. These men perfectly answered the description of BOOTH and his accomplice HAROLD. Some disbanded men, it was learned, belonging to MOSBY'S command, took BOOTH under their protection on the way to Bowling Green. On the 25th BAKER and his party proceeded to Bowling Green, a small court-house town in Caroline County. Here they found the captain of the rebel cavalry, and extorted from him a statement of BOOTH'S hiding-place. It was found that this was at the house of a Mr. GARRETT, which they had passed on their way to Bowling Green.

Returning with the captain for a guide, the

worn-out command halted at GARRETT's gate at two o'clock on the morning of the 26th. The World correspondent gives the following description of the house : " In the pale moonlight, three hundred yards from the main road, to the left, a plain old farm-house looked grayly through its environing locusts. It was worn and whitewashed, and two-storied, and its half-human windows glowered down upon the silent cavalrymen like watching owls which stood as sentries over some horrible secret asleep within. The front of this house looked up the road toward the Rappahannock, but did not face it, and on that side a long Virginia porch protruded, where, in the summer, among the honey-suckles, the humming-bird flew like a visible odor. Nearest the main road, against the pallid gable, a single-storied kitchen stood, and there were three other rooms, one opening upon the porch, one in the kitchen gable, and one in the rear of the farm-house.

"Dimly seen behind, an old barn, high and weather-beaten, faced the roadside gate, for the house itself lay to the left of its own lane; and nestling beneath the barn, a few long corn-cribs lay with a cattle-shed at hand. There was not a swell of the landscape any where in sight. A plain dead level contained all the tenements and structures. A worn fence stretched along the road, broken by two battered gate-posts, and between the road and the house the lane was crossed by a second fence and gate. The farm-house lane, passing the house front, kept straight on to the barn, though a second carriage-track ran up to the porch."

Without noise the house was surrounded, and BAKER went up to the kitchen door on the side and wrapped. An old man in half undress undrew the bolts, and had scarcely opened the door before BAKER had him by the throat with a pistol at his ear, and asked, " Where are the men who stay with you ?" Under the menace of instant death the old man seemed paralyzed, but at BAKER'S order lit a candle. The question was then repeated. "They are gone," replied the old man. Soon a young boy appeared on the stage and told BAKER the men he sought were in the barn. The barn (Continued on Next Page)

Lieutenant Baker.

Colonel Baker.

Colonel Conger.


Sergeant Boston Corbett, the Man who Shot John Wilkes Booth
Colonel Baker and Colonel Conger




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