I’d like to second Hans’s recommendation to read Manhunt — and I feel a more personal connection: The hunt for John Wilkes Booth was concentrated in Southern Maryland, not too far away from where we have our weekend place.
One can take tours of the places where Booth met with his co-conspirators or stayed after his escape from Washington. The church and the site of the tavern where he supposedly met with some of the plotters, the farm where he hid in the woods, and Dr. Mudd’s house. (And just a month ago a run-down house where Booth allegedly visited was for sale for $99,000.) Right across the Potomac River from us in Virginia is where Booth was finally captured and killed.
Here’s how a Washington Post article described a driving tour:
You can drive past old Bryantown Tavern, where Booth met with Confederate agents before the assassination; St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where Mudd is buried and where he first met Booth in 1864; the Zekiah swamp, which the fugitives entered; and Rich Hill, the former home of wealthy Samuel Cox, who sent provisions to Booth and Herold when they hid in a nearby thicket for several days. (Booth and Herold got rid of their horses at the thicket, fearing the animals would hasten their detection by the federal cavalry.)
By obtaining permission, you can enter property now privately owned by a Jesuit retreat and drive past Huckleberry Cottage, former home of Confederate agent Thomas A. Jones; and you can park near the retreat’s bluffs along the Potomac River, which Booth and Herold crossed in a rowboat owned by Jones.