Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, is shot in the head with a .41 caliber Derringer pistol by john Wilkes Booth while attending a performance of the play, "Our American cousins", at Ford's Theater. Lincoln will die in the early hours of the morning from his head wound.
The shooting was part of a plot by a group of southern sympathizers led by Booth to decapitate the Federal government. Secretary of State Seward is wounded in huis home in a knife attack. The Secretary of War is sparedwhen the man assigned to attack him chickens out.
Booth escapes by jumping from the Presidential box onto the stage [breaking a leg] and fleeing the city on a horse. He will not be found for over a week, and is mortally wounded by a Union cavalryman when booth is found hiding in a barn. Of the rest of the conspirators, one escapes to Canada and England. the rest, including his mother, are hanged.
Lincoln presided over the nation during the Southern Secession and civil War. He is remembered for winning that war, and soaring oratory such as the Gettysburg Address. He also suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus, exiled U.S. citizens, and destroyed Federalism. when he was done, the states were largely satrapies.
One unforeseen consequence, from Booth's point of view, was the impact of Lincoln's death on Reconstruction. Almost immediately, William T. Sherman was forced to renounce the terms of surrender he had negotiated with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston., which were based on his discussions with Lincoln and Grant prior to the end of the war. Sherman was required to accept the unconditional surrender of Johnston's army. And the Reconstruction became far harsher than Lincoln intended [the Southerners had something to do with that].
And Lincoln was the first U.S. President murdered while in office. He would not be the last.