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Department 1

Civil War Era Studies; History


The lead .41-calibre bullet with which John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln on the night of April 14, 1865, was the most lethal gunshot in American history. Only five days earlier, the main field army of the Southern Confederacy had surrendered at Appomattox Court House, and the four dreary years of civil war were yielding to a spring of national rebirth. But by then, the man to whom everyone looked for guidance in reconstructing the nation was dead. [excerpt]

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