Sosa-Close Reading: Loyalty to a Leader 4/08

Teacher: Sosa (


In a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 sentences, identify two people in this essay who reacted strongly to President Lincoln’s assassination and describe their reactions.

Loyalty to a Leader
by Erin Adams

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, just five days after U nion
troops defeated the Confederacy in the Civil War. Americans reacted to his death in many
different ways. Two men who reacted to Lincoln’s assassination with determination were
Henry Rathbone and Edwin Stanton.

Major Henry Rathbone was determined not to let Booth flee Ford’s Theater. Chasing
Lincoln’s Killer describes how Rathbone attempted to stop Booth. First, Rathbone “lunged
for Booth, grabbing him by the coat.” The author also states that Rathbone refused to stop
fi ghting Booth even after Booth injured him. Finally, Rathbone shouted to the audience to
“stop that man” as the assassin fled the theater. Although Rathbone worked hard to stop
Booth, Booth was still able to escape.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was also determined to capture Booth. According
to “Tracking an Assassin ,” Stanton questioned “witnesses from the theater” who identifi ed
John Wilkes Booth as Lincoln’s assassin. Additionally, Stanton ordered police officers and
soldiers to guard bridges and search trains for the fugitive. Stanton’s efforts helped capture
Booth and his accomplices.

In conclusion, both Henry Rathbone and Edwin Stanton reacted to Lincoln’s
assassination with determination. Both men worked tirelessly to capture John
Wilkes Booth. Their actions show the respect and admiration they must have had
for their president.


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