John Wilkes Booth, Port Royal, Virginia

The Garrett Farm In Port Royal, Virginia Where John Wilkes Booth Was Shot By Union Soldiers

Photograph of the Garrett Farm in Port Royal, Virginia.

John Wilkes Booth had planned four separate plots against President Abraham Lincoln. On August 1864, he met with two friends, Samuel Arnold and Michael O’Laughlen, to discuss kidnapping the president and demanding the release of confederate prisoners in exchange for his release. That plan was abandoned since Lincoln did not go to the Ford’s Theatre on the night of the planned kidnapping, due to stormy weather.

Fords Theatre in the 1860s.

John Wilkes Booth was a guest of Lucy Parker, Booth’s girlfriend and the daughter of John Parker Hale, During Lincoln’s Inauguration. Booth was restrained by police for lunging at the President, and he responded that he had simply “stumbled”. Booth later said, “What an excellent chance, if I had wished, to kill the President on Inauguration Day!”

President Lincoln’s second Inauguration at the steps of the U.S. Capital.

On March 1865, John Wilkes Booth met with friends to discuss kidnapping Lincoln at a hospital during a play of, “Still Waters Run Deep”. The second plot was disbanded after President Lincoln stayed home yet again.

John Wilkes Booth decided, after his third failed plot, to kill President Lincoln and to have David Herd kill his cabinet members.

Photograph of John Wilkes Booth’s accomplice, David Herold.

On April 14, 1865, after John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theatre, he spent the next few days trying to escape, with a broken leg from his fall from the balcony of that building.

John Wilkes Booth spent time getting food and supplies from Confederate sympathizers from his trip from Washington, D.C., to the homes of Dr. Mudd and Samuel Cox in the eastern shore of Maryland, to Lucas’s Farm in the Northern Neck of Virginia, and to the Brockenbrough-Peyton Home in Port Royal, where the daughter of the homeowner let John Wilkes Booth, David Herold and three confederate soldiers temporarily stay.

The last home that John Wilkes Booth stayed in before he was found at the Garrett Farm.

However, the homeowner was not present when the party arrived, and they were all were asked to leave upon his return.

The U.S. War Department authorized a $100,000 reward for the capture of John Wilkes Booth, which became the largest manhunt in the history of the United States.

Boston Corbett and Lieutenant Edward P. Doherty were the union calvary soldiers in charge of the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth.

The historical marker in Charles County, which was part of the planned escape route that John Wilkes Booth took to Port Royal, Virginia during the manhunt.

After John Wilkes Booth left the Brockenbrough-Peyton Home he snuck into the nearby Garrett Farm in Port Royal, Virginia, without letting the owner of the farm know of his whereabouts. Union soldiers soon found John Wilkes Booth, hiding in a barn with several animals, within the farm. After a tense stand-off, which involved Union troops setting fire to the barn, the soldiers shot John Wilkes Booth after he failed to surrender.

On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth died, on the porch of the house of the Garrett Farm, a few hours after being shot.

An “Assassin’s End” historical marker was placed at the 150 year anniversary of John Wilkes Booth’s death, after the original sign that was erected in 1937 was stolen in October, 2014.