David Herold (David Herold)

David Herold

David Herold and a group of co-conspirators had originally plotted to kidnap Lincoln, but later planned to kill him, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William H. Seward in a bid to help the Confederacy’s cause. On the night of April 14, 1865, Herold guided Lewis Powell to Seward’s house. Inside, Powell attempted to kill Seward, severely wounding him and other members of his household. The ensuing commotion frightened Herold and he rode off, leaving Powell to fend for himself. He then met with Booth outside of Washington, D.C., and they proceeded to Surrattsville, Maryland (now Clinton, Maryland) where they picked up weapons that Mary Surratt had left earlier for them at her property. Another conspirator, George Atzerodt, was supposed to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson, but never made the attempt. It was at this point that John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theater. When Booth jumped onto the stage of the Ford’s theater, he broke his fibula.When Booth was first across the bridge into Maryland, he met Herold there. They retrieved their weapons cache and proceeded to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set Booth’s leg. Herold remained with Booth and continually aided him until Union cavalry caught up with them.

David Herold and Booth were trapped by authorities on April 26, 1865, after taking refuge in a barn on the property of Richard Henry Garrett. Herold surrendered, but Booth refused to lay down his arms and was shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett through a crack in the barn wall. He died a few hours later. Corbett was ratified in his actions, as orders to hold fire had not been given. Herold was tried before a military tribunal. As he had already admitted his involvement in the assassination conspiracy, the only defense his lawyer Frederick Stone (February 7, 1820 – October 17, 1899) could offer was that David was feeble-minded and under undue influence from Booth. His defense being unsuccessful, Herold was convicted and sentenced to death. He was hanged in Washington City on July 7, 1865. On February 15, 1869, David’s mother and 5 of his sisters interred his remains in Congressional Cemetery ( Washington, D. C. ) in an unmarked grave, next to the grave of his father Adam. The gravestone memorializing David now present in Congressional Cemetery was placed there in July 1917, at the time of the burial of his sister Mary Alice ( Herold ) Nelson (October 16, 1837 – July 1, 1917) in the cemetery. Mary Alice was the wife of Frederick Massena Nelson (January 1827 – May 11, 1909) of Pomonkey, Charles County, Maryland.

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Born

  • June, 16, 1842
  • USA
  • Maryland

Died

  • July, 07, 1865
  • USA
  • Washington D.C.

Cause of Death

  • hanging

Cemetery

  • Congressional Cemetery
  • Washington D.C.
  • USA

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