April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln is murdered as he watches a play, My American Cousin.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won:
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, died victim of an assassin's bullet. That assassin was John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer and, by the type of coincidence that would make the modern media salivate, brother of the then-famous Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. There was no need for the modern media frenzy that would accompany such an event today: the murder of Lincoln brought to an end the political innocence of the United States of America with a vengeance that affected every inhabitant of the nation and its frontier territories. It will be the intention of this paper to examine how this particular shooting of a political leader, by no means the first nor the last in American history, achieved that dubious distinction.
As Abraham Lincoln slumped mortally wounded in his box seat at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., the War Between the States had just been resolved in favor of the Northern states fighting for preservation of the Union. Occasional skirmishes by Confederate border raiders in Missouri transitioning from Quantrill's Raiders into Jesse James' outlaw band would still continue. There was a futile battle yet to be fought in Texas, ironically, won by Confederate forces. But, for all strategically practical purposes, the American Civil War had come to an end with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's forces to those of General U.S. ("Unconditional Surrender") Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia on April 9th, less than a week earlier.
The Civil War: St. Augustine wrote in the City of God (...