The Civil War

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.03

     challenging words:    assassinate, killing, limping, refused, employee, balcony, successful, during, vice, secretary, kidnap, bullet, actor, exchange, holding, volunteer
     content words:    John Wilkes Booth, Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, General Grant, Samuel Mudd, President Andrew Johnson, New York Cavalry Unit, Vice President Andrew Johnson, Killing Lincoln

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John Wilkes Booth
By Cathy Pearl

1     John Wilkes Booth was an actor during the Civil War. But he isn't remembered for his talent on the stage. Booth will always be known as the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
2     Booth was born May 10, 1838. He came from a family that was strong in the theater. When the Civil War broke out, he promised his mother that he wouldn't volunteer for the army. He did support the South and wanted them to win the war.
3     During the winter of 1864 to 1865, Booth met with several other people. Together, they planned to kidnap the president. They wanted to exchange him for Southern prisoners. Booth tried to kidnap Lincoln several times, but he couldn't do it.
4     So Booth changed his plan. Instead, he would assassinate the president. Other members of the group would attack the vice president, the secretary of state, and General Grant.
5     The night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln was seeing a play with his wife at Ford's Theater. Booth went up to the box and shot Lincoln in the back of the head. He then jumped from the balcony to the stage. He broke his leg. Limping, he escaped the theater.
6     Lincoln would be carried across the street. He would die the next morning. Lincoln was the first president in this country to be assassinated.
7     Outside was a theater employee who was holding Booth's horse for him. The employee had no idea what had happened. He watched Booth ride away.
8     The next day, Booth arrived at the house of Dr. Samuel Mudd. He also did not know what had happened. He set Booth's leg. After going into town, he heard what had happened. He went home and kicked Booth out of his house. Dr. Mudd would later be sent to jail for helping Booth. In 1869, President Andrew Johnson would pardon him.

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The Civil War

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