John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Parts 1 – 3

For about four and a half days between April 16 – April 21, 1865, John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice, David E. Herold, hid from federal troops in the southern Maryland woods.  Near the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, I undertook a project to reenact, as accurately as possible, this often forgotten part of the assassin’s escape route. My hope was to gain a better understanding of Booth’s conditions and the impact those days in the woods had on his state of mind.  The follow videos are parts of a series I’m calling “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” which documents my endeavor.

I’m very pleased to present the first three parts of the “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” project for your viewing pleasure:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:


As editing of the footage continues, new parts will be uploaded and released here on BoothieBarn.  Stay tuned for much, much more!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Parts 1 – 3

  1. Great going, Dave! Your videos are informative and interesting – thanks so very much for sharing!

  2. William L Richter

    Nice job, Dave!

  3. Good job, Dave! Your dedication is truly amazing. My allergies would have done me in!

    • I had my inhaler with me in case my allergies got real bad and induced my asthma but luckily I never needed to use it.

      And I definitely like the word dedication better than the one many of my friends considered it – lunacy.

  4. Robert Kronenberger

    I found your tapes great. Instead of just reading about booths escape we get to observe what might have occured. I have been trying to locate a rio grande hunting knife like the one you had in the tapes, to add to my replica collection of the assassination. Any ideas where I can obtain one? as always great work. thanks

    • Laurie Verge

      Now you need to take one of the Surratt Society’s 12-hour bus tours over the escape route. They have been sell-outs since 1977. Check out for more information.

      P.S. Hopefully, Dave will soon be in training as one of our narrators — and yes, our narrators talk almost constantly for twelve hours — they do get breaks at Ford’s Surratt House, and the Dr. Mudd museum, however — if they don’t get peppered with questions by the people waiting for the tours.

  5. Great job Dave, I really enjoyed these videos. I was wondering if Booth might have had an advantage on the cold nights as he could have had Herold as a bunkmate. Also, have you thought about trying to do the Potomac crossing in a wooden skiff?

    • Laurie Verge

      I know of at least six of our die-hard assassination nuts (and I can say that because I’m one of them) who have attempted crossing the Potomac. I believe that I’m correct that all tried it in daylight and had great difficulties. Unless one person is a skilled oarsman, the currents on the Potomac can make life difficult. One crew got caught in a storm while attempting to cross and had to bale their way back to shore.

      An additional hazard today is the amount of powerboats and jet skis that can knock you out of the water with their wakes.

      • Laurie Verge

        Don’t know how to correct my spelling above, but please change “bale” to “bail.” We’re talking jettisoning water here, not rolling hay… Sorry.

      • Thanks Laurie, that makes Booth and Herold’s eventual success with a crossing at night more impressive.

  6. Tom K

    I am amazed! FYI Booth didnt have a gym bag.

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