Friday Jul 17, 2020

28 - "Useless! Useless!" - The Flight of John Wilkes Booth


About this episode: 

For John Wilkes Booth, time was ticking down to the moment he knew he would act. At a tavern next to Ford’s Theatre, he asked for a bottle of whiskey and water. While steeling his nerve for what he would soon do, there came a voice from the back of the dark and smoky bar: “You’ll never be the actor your father was!”

Booth smiled, nodded, and said quietly, “When I leave the stage, I will be the most famous man in America.”

In less than an hour, he would be the most wanted man in America. For this episode, we look back over time’s shoulder - from about 10:15 in the evening of April the 14th, 1865 to the sun’s rise on the morning of the 26th. This is the story of selected dramatic events within those fateful thirteen days. And now: the flight, capture, and killing of this democracy’s first presidential assassin.


Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 

John Wilkes Booth

Davey Herold

Samuel Mudd

Edward P. Doherty 

Boston Corbett


Other References From This Episode


Map of John Wilkes Booth route, April 14th - April 26th, 1865



Wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators


Get The Guide:

Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.


Producer: Dan Irving

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