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Killing Lincoln

The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
12-minute read
Audio available
Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Killing Lincoln (2011) tells the story behind the assassination of president Abraham Lincoln, which took place in 1865, shortly after the Confederate army had surrendered, effectively putting an end to the US Civil War. Learn all about the conspirators who plotted the killing, what their motives were and the details surrounding the fateful night at Ford’s Theater.

  • History buffs
  • Readers curious about Lincoln’s assassination
  • Civil War fanatics

Bill O’Reilly is best known for his political commentary show, The O’Reilly Factor, on Fox News. He is also the coauthor of a series of historical books, including Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan and Killing Jesus.

Martin Dugard is an American author and journalist. With Bill O’Reilly, he coauthored Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan and Killing Jesus.

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Killing Lincoln

The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Synopsis

Killing Lincoln (2011) tells the story behind the assassination of president Abraham Lincoln, which took place in 1865, shortly after the Confederate army had surrendered, effectively putting an end to the US Civil War. Learn all about the conspirators who plotted the killing, what their motives were and the details surrounding the fateful night at Ford’s Theater.

Key idea 1 of 7

It’s April 1865, the end of American Civil War is in sight, but a conspiracy against President Lincoln looms.

Let’s travel back in time to 1865 and the first days of April. At this time, the United States had been struggling through four violent years of civil war, ever since eleven Southern states had decided to secede and form the Confederacy in an effort to preserve the practice of slavery.

For four bloody years, Confederate and Union forces had been engaged in brutal combat, while the Union president, Abraham Lincoln, continued to hold on to his hopes for reunification.

That April, Lincoln’s hopes seemed about to come true; an end to the bloodshed was finally in sight.

The years of fighting were taking a toll on the dwindling number of soldiers fighting under Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Of the 50,000 men remaining, only 35,000 could still fight, and these men were weary and miserable after months of endless combat.

Meanwhile, Union general Ulysses S. Grant had around 200,000 men at his disposal and a thousand more canons than his Confederate counterpart. So when the Union forces took Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy, it was clear that the war was all but finished.

However, the end of the Civil War was the beginning of the assassination plots against Abraham Lincoln.

There were so many angry Southerners that some people believed it was only a matter of when, not if, the president would be assassinated.

One such Southerner was John Wilkes Booth, who believed that drastic action must be taken if slavery, and the southern way of life, was to be preserved. Booth believed that, if Robert E. Lee failed, it was up to men like him to carry on the fight for the Confederacy.

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