Caroline County is getting ready to commemorate perhaps the county’s most historic event: the capture of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
Booth was captured and shot on April 26, 1865, on Richard Henry Garrett’s farm off U.S. 301 by a 16th New York Cavalry detachment. He died the following morning.
The county will have events on April 24, 25 and 26 to remember the 150th anniversary of the capture and to honor Lincoln.
“This is a totally unique event for Caroline County,” said Gary Wilson, the county’s director of Economic Development and Tourism.
“The big 150th anniversary seems fitting and proper to acknowledge that the capture occurred here,” he said.
On April 24 there will be a reception and Civil War overview from the National Park Service. The Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile will be at the county’s visitor center.
Then, on Saturday, April 25, there will be a breakfast and bus tour of Booth’s path of flight across Virginia, including the river crossing site in King George County where he crossed the Potomac River from Maryland, and his stops in Port Royal, the Garrett farm and in Bowling Green.
The tour includes stops at the Potomac River, a walking tour on King Street in Port Royal, the Brockenbrough–Peyton House and the Port Royal Portrait Gallery.
There’s a tour at Port Royal’s museum, an interpretive program at the Garrett farm, lunch in Port Royal and then shopping and a visit to the Sidney E. King Arts Center in Bowling Green.
Then, there will be a reception and dinner with Terry Alford, the author of “Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth.”
On Sunday, there will be a “Lunch with Lincoln,” which includes a meal and conversation with Michael Krebs and Debra Ann Miller, who will portray Lincoln and the first lady.
A historic marker along U.S. 301 that notes Booth’s capture may also be replaced that weekend. The previous marker, made in 1937, was stolen last October.
The new one will have the following text on it:
“This is the site of Locust Hill, Richard Henry Garrett’s farm. Early on the morning of 26 April 1865, a 16th New York Cavalry detachment cornered John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, and his co-conspirator, David E. Herold, as the two men slept in Garrett’s tobacco barn.
“Herold gave himself up, but Booth refused to surrender. The barn was set on fire, and Sgt. Boston Corbett shot the assassin, still inside. Booth was laid on the porch of the Garrett house and died about sunrise. The house and barn stood a short distance from this spot.”