Atzerodt, George Andreas

One of John Wilkes Booth's conspirators, Atzerodt was born in Germany and lived in Maryland. He was supposed to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson but never made the attempt.
Life Span
to
Full name
George Andreas Atzerodt
Place of Birth
Burial Place
Birth Date Certainty
Exact
Death Date Certainty
Exact
Gender
Male
Race
White
Sectional choice
South
Origins
Free State

George Andreas Atzerodt (American National Biography)

Scholarship
[John Wilkes] Booth grew increasingly obsessed with the subjects of slavery and the Confederacy. He recruited two boyhood friends, Michael O'Laughlin and Samuel Arnold, to assist him in kidnapping [President Abraham] Lincoln, which they planned for 20 March [1865]. Lincoln did not appear as expected; the conspirators panicked and fled. Later Booth added David Herold and George Atzerodt to his band, completing it with Lewis Powell, known also as Lewis Payne. By this time Booth had become acquainted with a young rebel, John Surratt, and his mother, Mary Eugenia Surratt, a rebel sympathizer who operated a boardinghouse in Washington, in which the group would meet from time to time.

The kidnapping plot evaporated when the city of Richmond fell and the war ended. Five days later, on 14 April 1865, Booth learned that President Lincoln planned to attend Our American Cousin (starring Laura Keene) at Ford's Theatre. Working quickly, Booth assigned Atzerodt to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson and Payne to kill Secretary of State William Seward while Booth himself murdered Lincoln. Atzerodt lost his nerve and made no attempt on Johnson, but Payne, a young giant, wounded Seward severely, as well as several others who tried to defend him.
Stephen M. Archer, "Booth, John Wilkes," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01210.html.
Date Event
George Atzerodt, failed assassin in the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy, is captured in Maryland
At the War Department, Secretary Stanton announced large rewards for the capture of the Lincoln conspirators
In Washington, John Wilkes Booth's accused fellow plotters are transferred to the Old Penitentiary for trial
In Washington, President Johnson orders a military trial for John Wilkes Booth's accused fellow plotters
In Washington, the officers of the military court for John Wilkes Booth's accused fellow plotters are named
In Washington, membership of the military court for John Wilkes Booth's accused fellow plotters is adjusted
In Washington, the accused Lincoln Assassination plotters all plead not guilty before their military court
In Washington's Old Penitentiary, the taking of evidence in the Lincoln conspiracy trial begins
- In Washington's Old Penitentiary, the taking of evidence in the Lincoln conspiracy trial continues
In Washington's Old Penitentiary, the taking of evidence in the Lincoln conspiracy trial concludes
- In Washington's Old Penitentiary, final arguments are being made in the Lincoln conspiracy trial
In Washington's Old Penitentiary, the Commission in the Lincoln conspiracy trial begin their deliberations
In Washington, President Andrew Johnson approves the sentences passed down to the Lincoln conspirators
In Washington's Old Penitentiary, the Lincoln conspirators are told their fate in their cells
Four condemned Lincoln assassination conspirators, including Mary Surratt, are executed in Washington, D.C.
How to Cite This Page: "Atzerodt, George Andreas," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/5011.