April 15, 8AM, Washington, D.C.: President Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States of America, has perished. A great melancholy has descended upon the length and breadth of the nation and church bells are ringing in every steeple both North and South in these only recently reunited states. Mr. Lincoln was shot once through the head last night while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre with his wife, Mary Todd. Mr. Lincoln was attended on site by Charles Leale, a young doctor who was in attendance at the theater until the arrival of Dr. Robert King Stone, an army surgeon and Mr. Lincoln’s personal physician, and though the great man struggled valiantly, he succumbed to his wound at 7:22 this morning. Due to the nature of the injury, it is Dr. Stone’s believe that Mr. Lincoln felt no pain.
Mr. Lincoln’s assassin has been confirmed as the actor John Wilkes Booth. Booth had been seen at Ford’s Theatre earlier on the day of the assassination and the actor performed at Ford’s Theatre frequently. It is believed he used his knowledge of the venue to facilitate his escape. The assassin left his hat, pistol and a single spur from his boot during the flight, and witnesses have confirmed that the hat was, indeed, Mr. Booth’s. Booth’s spur caught in a banner as he leapt from the President’s balcony and it is believed he broke his leg, but was able to flee on horseback. He is believed to have traveled South into Maryland with an accomplice.
At this time, Secretary of State William H. Seward remains unable to attend to his duties, though he is expected to recover from his wounds. His son Frederick, however, is in grave danger with a twice fractured skull and a terrible cut upon his head. Previous conjecture that Seward’s would-be assassin was the Confederate spy John Surratt have proven erroneous, and while the identity of the villain is not yet known, his description and likeness have been recorded so clearly that his capture is nigh a certainty.
Former Vice-President Andrew Johnson has ascended through the Constitution to assume the office of the president. Mr. Johnson was sworn in by the Honorable Salmon P. Chase, Chief-Justice of the United States this morning, and will be retaining all of Mr. Lincoln’s secretaries save the wounded Mr. Seward, whose office has been temporarily granted to Mr. William Hunter, Esq. As the nation begins to grieve, President Johnson has suspended all other business for the day while the conspirators are pursued and the funeral of The Great Emancipator is planned.
Secretary of War Edward Stanton has taken command of the hunt for the assassins and is utilizing every conceivable asset. Steamship service on the Potomac has been suspended to ensnare the assassins and their accomplices. The streets of Washington are under heavy guard, all roads have been thoroughly picketed and the police have been provided horses for their pursuit by Major General Christopher Columbus Auger, who also escorted Mr. Lincoln’s body home to the White House. The plot is believed to have originated in Maryland and as such, telegraphs flashed the tragic news to Baltimore where all cavalry was put upon active duty. The full power for the federal government has been dedicated to preventing the escape of the assassin.
Today, all Americans are united both in mourning and in our desire to see the Villain Booth and his coconspirators brought to justice.