A few years ago, I went and saw the musical, The Civil War, at Ford’s Theatre. It was a very entertaining and moving production. There are several times throughout the show where you hear quotations from historic individuals involved in the Civil War. Quotations from Abraham Lincoln are, appropriately, quite prevalent. Each time we heard the words of Lincoln, the stage would go dark and a light inside the Presidential Box would brighten. The first time I saw this, I got shivers. It was very moving to hear the words of our 16th President echoing forth from the box where he was shot. I expect many others who witnessed the play found this to be quite moving.
In truth though, that is not the box where Lincoln was shot. That specific box was destroyed long ago. Ford’s Theatre, as beautiful as it is, is a complete reconstruction except for its exterior walls. It was recreated to appears as it did in 1865 by a group of experts and historians in the 1960’s. While they thoroughly documented their work in this book, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some pictures of the inside of Ford’s when it was being rebuilt in the ’60’s: