Crossing the Potomac

Crossing the Potomac (HM2EC)

Location: Newburg, MD 20664 Charles County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 23.867', W 76° 59.392'

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Off into the Darkness

— John Wilkes Booth - Escape of an Assassin —

After assassinating President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice, David A. Herold, fled Washington for Southern Maryland, a hotbed of Confederate sympathizers. Concealed for several days in a pine thicket two miles northeast of here, the pair made their way over rough terrain to the Potomac River on the night of April 20, 1865. Guided by Thomas A. Jones, a Confederate signal agent, they traveled about a mile to the mouth of a small stream where Jones had hidden a rowboat. Before pushing the fugitives off into the darkness, Jones recommended they follow a compass heading that would take them across the river to Mathias Point and downstream to Machodoc Creek and the home of Elizabeth Quesenberry at present-day Dahlgren, Virginia.

The pair did not reach Virginia that night; disoriented, they rowed into Nanjemoy Creek, Maryland, near John J. Hughes home. They spent the next day resting and reached Quesenberry's on their second try. Then they continued south, crossing the Rappahannock River and hiding at the home of Richard Garrett just past Port Royal. Early in the morning of April 26, U.S. troops surrounded the barn where they were hiding. When Booth refused to surrender, Sgt. Boston Corbett shot him in the back of the neck. Soldiers pulled Booth to the farmhouse porch, where he died within a few hours. Herold was captured, tried, convicted, and hanged on July 7 for his role in Lincoln's assassination.
HM NumberHM2EC
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 10:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 326234 N 4251825
Decimal Degrees38.39778333, -76.98986667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 23.867', W 76° 59.392'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 23' 52.02" N, 76° 59' 23.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 11410-11495 Popes Creek Rd, Newburg MD 20664, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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