At 10:15 p.m., a single pistol shot was fired inside the presidential box as Mr. Lincoln was sitting in a rocking chair along side his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
The bullet, fired from a Deringer pistol at close range, entered the back of the President's head.
The assassin, later identified as the well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth grappled with one of Lincoln's theater guests, Major Henry Rathbone, then leaped to the stage below. Booth then fled out the back of the theater and escaped on horseback.
One of the eyewitnesses in the theater at the time of the shooting described it as follows..."...a pistol was fired and...Lincoln (was) shot...a second (later) a man vaulted over the ballister of the box saying Sic Semper Tyrannis and adding revenge for the South, ran across the stage with a knife in his right hand."
Mr. William Petersen, who owned a boardinghouse opposite Ford's on 10th Street, offered use of one of his rooms on the 1st floor. Mrs. Mary Lincoln, in a frantic state, followed her husband into the boarding house.
"The Assassination: Death of the President," by Champ Clark, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, VA, 1987.
"We Saw Lincoln Shot: One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts," edited by Timothy S. Good, University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS, 1995.