The Last Shot: Essays on Civil War Politics, the Demise of John Wilkes Booth, and the Republican Myth of the Assassinated Lincoln


William L. Richter is a retired businessman turned historian, living in Tucson, Arizona. He has researched and written extensively on the Antebellum South, the Civil War, the Lincoln Assassination, and the Reconstruction. He is the author or co-author of a dozen books and has written over two dozen and a half articles and book reviews in various journals and magazines.

Joseph E. “Rick” Smith III is a researcher and writer in the field of Lincoln Assassination history from Spencerville, Maryland. He is a docent for the Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Maryland, and has traveled in person the numerous byways followed by John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators, where he developed the newest interpretations of the role of the Adams Tavern at Newport, Maryland, as is presented in this current volume. He works as a property manager in Washington, D.C.

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The Last Shot is a compilation of ten essays that deal with subjects and unsolved mysteries surrounding the Civil War. The most controversial is the notion of whether the North intentionally caused the conflict as the only way to abolish slavery. Did they misjudge the Southern response due to years of the South making threats and not carrying them out? Several essays look at John Wilkes Booth, the people who influenced him, and those who aided in his escape after he shot President Abraham Lincoln. Did Booth’s escape route differ from the accepted tale? And did Booth commit suicide at Garrett’s Farm? Finally, the book examines the Republican Party’s successful drive in Congress for political supremacy over the Executive Branch and the Supreme Court, before, during, and after the war.


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