Group Itineraries
Topics
Group Travel

The Escape Route of John Wilkes Booth

Follow the escape route of John Wilkes Booth, one of history’s most notorious assassins, as he fled from Washington, D.C., and hid for several days in Southern Maryland before being cornered.

Share

Save

Featured Places

Dr. Samuel Mudd House
Dr. Samuel Mudd House
Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Maryland
Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Maryland

Travel through history as you follow the flight of the assassin, John Wilkes Booth

After shooting President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, John Wilkes Booth fled into Southern Maryland and towards Virginia.  His leg broken in a fall at the theater, Booth met up with accomplice David Herold before stopping at the Surratt House and Tavern for supplies and guns stashed there earlier. Booth and Herold then stopped at the farmhouse of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, who splinted the assassin's leg.  They managed to cross the Potomac River into Virginia more than a week later.

 

Day 1:

With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Washington, D.C., turned into the training ground, arsenal, supply depot, and nerve center for the Union cause. Newly formed regiments encamped in every quarter, and streets reverberated under the wheels of cannons. Cattle for meat grazed on the National Mall; sacks of flour, stacked against siege, surrounded the U.S. Treasury. Explore Washington using a historian to re-create Washington City during the 1860s.  Other highlights include: Fort McNair, site of the Matthew Brady Studio, Navy Yard, Fort Stevens, Anderson Cottage – this is now called the Lincoln Cottage/Summer White House, Lincoln & Grant Memorials, Walter Reed Museum, Clara Barton House and the Arlington House & Cemetery.  

Enjoy lunch at Union Station, before starting your afternoon tour at Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site.  Ford’s Theatre and Ford’s Theatre Museum combine a remarkable collection of historic artifacts with a variety of interactive exhibits to tell the story of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. The collection of artifacts includes the derringer that John Wilkes Booth used, as well as a replica of the coat that President Lincoln wore the night he was shot.  Check in to a Maryland hotel and enjoy dinner at an area restaurant.

Day 2:

Start your day at the Surratt House Museum, built in 1852 as a middle-class plantation home.  During the war, it was a safe house for the Confederate underground which flourished in Southern Maryland. It was the country home of Mary Surratt, first woman to be executed by the U.S. government after being found guilty of conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Next, visit the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Home Museum.  Claiming not to know the real identities of his visitors, nor that the president had been assassinated, Dr. Mudd examined Booth's leg, made a splint and had both men retire to an upstairs bedroom.  The house is a two-story, two-part early Victorian frame farmhouse, furnished with family pieces and original pieces from the time period.

The Bryantown Tavern was used by Union pursuers as their headquarters the morning after the assassination. Dr. Mudd later was brought to the 1815 tavern for questioning.  Next, it’s the St. Mary's Church and Cemetery, where Mudd and family are buried; and Port Tobacco, a hot spot for Confederate conspiracy.  Enjoy lunch along the Potomac River at Captain Billy's Crabhouse.  John Wilkes Booth crossed the Potomac River at Pope's Creek during his escape to Virginia. The story follows the escape into Virginia, with narration at Port Royal, where Booth and a small party stopped at the Brockenbrough-Peyton House and then continued south to the Garrett Farm.  Nothing is left of the Garrett Farm where Booth died early on April 26. The site is now the right-of-way of U.S. 301; a state historical marker stands very near the site on the northbound lanes of the highway.  Return to your hotel for the evening.

Day 3:

Explore other sites in Southern Maryland and/or Annapolis.  Possible additions are:
•    Point Lookout State Park - Originally a small resort community, this picturesque site became a Union hospital and then a prison holding captured Confederate soldiers. By June 1864 more than 20,000 prisoners crowded the camp. Terrible conditions led to the deaths of 3,384 men. Cemetery and monuments to the prisoner dead are located near the entrance to the multi-use park. Visitor Center has Civil War exhibits and features walking trails to the prison site.  The park is rumored to be haunted.
•    St. Clement's Island Lighthouse - Lighthouses throughout the Chesapeake Bay were in danger of attack from Confederate regular forces and sympathizers. An attack here on May 19, 1864, didn't damage the lighthouse but ruined its effectiveness by destroying its lens and lamp.
•    Sotterley Plantation - Home to Dr. Walter Hanson Stone Briscoe and three of his sons who served in the Confederate army. A plantation slave, George, later joined the United States Colored Troops and faced one of the Briscoe sons at Petersburg.
•    Annapolis - The U.S. Naval Academy Museum has some Civil War content; the Banneker-Douglass Museum honors African-American heroes Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass; and the General Assembly meeting in the Maryland State House was the first to emancipate its slaves by legislation in 1864.
•    Belair Mansion - Plantation owner George Cooke Ogle and family struggled to survive amid political turmoil and the heavy hand of Union authorities hoping to keep the area's Confederate sympathy in check.
•    Fort Washington Park - This massive 1820s fortification was the only Washington D.C. Potomac River defense early in the war. Living history and monthly artillery demonstrations are offered.
•    Fort Foote - Another of the Federal Potomac River fortifications designed to protect Washington D.C.  It is named to honor Adm. Andrew H. Foote, famous for his actions on the Mississippi River.

 

Featured Places
Photo of a red house
01
Location:
9118 Brandywine Rd
Clinton, MD 20735
Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum
02
Location:
3725 Dr. Samuel Mudd Rd
Waldorf, MD 20601
Point Lookout State Park
03
Location:
11175 Point Lookout Rd
Scotland, MD 20687
Aerial view of St. Clement's Island State Park
04
Location:
38370 Point Breeze Rd
Coltons Point, MD 20626
Sotterley Plantation
05
Location:
44300 Sotterley Ln
Hollywood, MD 20636
Watercolor of the exterior of the Bannekar-Douglass Museum
06
Location:
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401
Maryland State House front exterior view
07
Location:
100 State Cir
Annapolis, MD 21401
Belair Mansion
08
Location:
12207 Tulip Grove Dr
Bowie, MD 20715
Fort Washington
09
Location:
13551 Fort Washington Rd
Fort Washington, MD 20744
Fort Foote Park
10
Location:
8901 Fort Foote Rd
Fort Washington, MD 20744
Browse Featured Places

More

About Group Travel

Naval Air Station Patuxent River
PAX to the MAX!

Enjoy Southern Maryland and test your skills in the cockpit

More

National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Catholic Heritage Tour

Lord Baltimore saw Maryland, named after England's Catholic queen Henrietta Maria, as an opportunity to grant religious freedom to the Catholics who remained in Anglican England.

More

Winter Of Lights
Maryland "Ho Ho Ho" Holiday

The holidays are full of festivities and cheer in Maryland

More

Deep Creek Lake
The Mountains of Maryland

Take a day-trip through the Appalachian Mountains to spectacular Deep Creek Lake

More

Antietam National Battlefield commemorates the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, fought September 17, 1862.
Historic Hamlets & Byways

Explore beautiful Western Maryland

More

This historic seaport is the unofficial center of it all in Baltimore, with museums, shopping and culinary hotspots.
Rails, Sails, Tales & Fishtails

Four-day tour of Baltimore and Annapolis

More

E-newsletter

Sign up now for the official

Maryland e-newsletter

Get updates about top Maryland things to do, travel deals and events.