An immigrant from Germany, Atzerodt joined Booth’s conspiracy to abduct President Lincoln due to his knowledge and skill at ferrying men and supplies across the Potomac. When the kidnapping plot failed, Atzerodt, still hoping to gain financially from his involvement with Booth, was assigned the task of killing Vice President Johnson. He took a room at the Vice President’s hotel, the Kirkwood, on the morning of April 14th. That night, as Booth struck at Ford’s Theatre and Powell attacked Secretary of State Seward in his bedroom, Atzerodt got a drink but failed to act. He wandered around D.C. before making his way to Georgetown the next morning and taking the stage to his cousin’s house in Montgomery County, MD. He was arrested there, brought back to Washington and imprisoned aboard the ironclad monitors, Saugus and Montauk. From there he was transferred to the Old Arsenal Penitentiary. Atzerodt remained imprisoned here during the duration of the trial of the conspirators. George was found guilty by the military commission and executed by hanging on July 7th, 1865.
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