On April, 14 1865 President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a performance of An American
Cousin at Ford’s Theater. President Lincoln died the next morning. The person who had killed Lincoln
was John Wilkes Booth.
A few days before he was killed, Lincoln had told his spouse about a dream he had, he saw a
president shrouded on a catafalque in the east room of the White House. Even after this dream he attended
An American Cousin at Ford’s Theater.
John Wilkes Booth thought the president was determined to destroy the constitution, set aside the
rights reserved to the states, crush civil liberties, and restore monarchy. He saw the confederacy was the
only means to of upholding the values of the founding fathers. He devoted much of late 1864 and early
1865 to a series of plots to abduct Lincoln and use his capture to nullify the Union’s war aims. Every
scheme ending in frustration. After Lee had surrendered to the Army of the Potomac, in the second week
of April, he saw that only the most desperate measures offered any hope of salvaging the Southern Cause.
Shortly before he went into the theater, he stopped at tavern for a drink. While in the bar an
acquaintance jokingly remarked that “he would never be as great as his father,” Booth replied by saying
“When I leave the stage, I will be the most talked about man in America.”
The Atlanta Campaign of 1864
In the spring of 1864, Gen. W. T. Sherman concentrated the Union armies of G. H. Thomas, J. B.
McPherson, and J. M. Schofield around Chattanooga. On May 6 he began to move along the railroad from
Chattanooga to Atlanta. Sherman had two objectives, one was to destroy the army of General J. E.
Johnston and the other was to capture Atlanta. Johnston realizing that he was outnumbered started to
retreat south. Sherman tried a direct assault on Johnston’s forces and was repulsed. Johnston had retreated
back to the south bank of the Chattahoochee river. On July 17, John Bell Hood replaced Johnston as
General. He tried to continue with Johnston’s plan, but failed to stop the advance of Union troops. He
retired to Atlanta, which Sherman soon had under bombardment. On September 1 Hood abandoned
Atlanta, the next day Sherman moved in and burned it.
The Maryland Invasion
A year after the confederate defeat at Gettysburg. Robert E. Lee planned to invade the North
again like he did in the campaigns of Antietam and Gettysburg. He hoped that this would be enough to get
Grant to detach part of his army to protect Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington City, or to have Grant
attach fortifications and risk heavy lose.
Fort Pillow Massacre: An incident that took place in Fort Pillow, Tennessee, April 12, 1864.
Confederate troops commanded by General N. B. Forrest, stormed and captured Fort Pillow on the
Mississippi River. The garrison of black soldiers and Tennessee Unionist held out beyond all possible
hope. The joint committee on the Conduct of War investigated and charged that the Confederates
indiscriminately slaughtered more than 300 black soldiers. General Sherman was ordered to investigate,
but his report was never published.
Battle of Franklin: November 30, 1864, a Civil War engagement in which the Confederate forces
were defeated. After abandoning Atlanta, General Hood reorganized the Confederate army at Lovejoy’s
Station. His hope was too cut off Sherman’s lines of communication.