11:00 PM, April 14, Ford’s Theater, Washington DC: The nation is in shock as the life of our great president, Abraham Lincoln hangs by a thread. This eve, as Mr. Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd attended a theatrical production at Ford’s Theater, a cowardly assassin, the actor and well-known Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth, forced entry into Mr. Lincoln’s private theater box and shot the great man once through the head. Mr. Lincoln was taken to a neighboring home for treatment and, though his condition is grave, the President is a strong man and clings to life.
The actor seemingly timed his plot to coincide with the play, choosing a moment of great hilarity to fire in the hopes the sound of laughter would mask the sound of his weapon. Major Henry Rathbone, a young army officer who was in attendance with Mr. Lincoln attempted to subdue Booth, but was stabbed grievously in the arm by the villain. Booth then leapt from the President’s box onto the stage, and exclaimed, “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” a Latin phrase meaning, “Thus always to tyrants,” also uttered by Marcus Brutus upon his assassination of Julius Caesar and the motto of the state of Virginia. Booth appeared to have injured his leg, but was able to make his escape on horseback. At the moment, there is no word as to where Mr. Lincoln’s police body guard, one John Frederick Parker was at the time of the attack. It is believed he left the premises and was found drinking at a nearby pub, but fears of a larger plot swirl.
Just two minutes later, Secretary of State William Seward was also attacked while abed in his Washington home. An attacker gained entry to the Secretary of State’s house through deception, claiming he was there to deliver medicine. Once inside, the villain shot Seward’s son Assistant Secretary of State Frederick W. Seward, then savagely attacked the elder Seward who was caught both unawares and enfeebled with illness. This did not stop the cowardly assassin from repeatedly stabbing the man as he rose from sleep. Fortunately, Seward’s younger sun Augustus, an Army officer, and his attendant, Sgt. George Robinson, were able to fend off the assassin.
While the identity of Seward’s attacker remains unknown, suspicions point to John Surratt, a confederate spy from Southern Maryland and well-known associate of Mr. Booth. Washington rests uneasily this evening, both in concern for the health of President Lincoln, and fear that these are just the first shots of a larger plot. A manhunt is underway, and Vice-President Andrew Johnson has been accorded additional guards for fear that he may also be a target.
Today, these United States, so recently divided, come together in prayer for a miraculous recovery for our beloved president, Mr. Abraham Lincoln.