After shooting Lincoln in Ford’s Theater, John Wilkes Booth fled south into Virginia with co-conspirator, David Herold, who had been involved in the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward. They hid in a barn on the property of Richard Henry Garrett. Discovered and surrounded by federal troops on the early morning of April 26, 1865, Herold surrendered but Booth refused to leave the barn, prompting the Union soldiers to set it on fire. In this print, Herold is led away by soldiers while Booth can be seen through a cutaway in the structure’s wall. He hobbles on crutches, having broken his leg during his flight, and is armed with a rifle and a pistol. Sergeant Boston Corbett takes aims through the barn doors, firing the shot that will mortally wound the assassin. The man on horseback behind the Union soldiers is Lieutenant Edward Doherty who led the detachment of troops to pursue Booth. He looks surprised as he had not given the order for his men to fire at Booth, as his instructions were to bring him back alive. Colonel LaFayette Baker, the Union spymaster who had discovered the fugitives’ location, was not actually present at the scene, having issued Doherty his orders in Washington. Herold was convicted for his role in the plot to assassinate Lincoln and was hanged on July 7, 1865, with his co-conspirators. Images depicting Lincoln, his assassination, and those convicted of his conspiring to murder him were popular print subjects in the years after Lincoln’s death.
The artist of the print, Feodor Fuchs, was a German-American painter and lithographer who was active in Philadelphia, where he contributed to several Kimmel & Forster prints during the Civil War. By 1876, he had relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Christopher Kimmel was born in Germany around 1850 and after immigrating to the United States, was active in New York City from 1850 to 1876. He was part of Capewell & Kimmel from 1853 to 1860, and then partnered with Thomas Forster in 1865, forming the lithography firm of Kimmel & Forster, which was active until 1871.