On the night that he was assassinated in Fords Theater, Abraham Lincoln had a confederate five dollar bill in his leather wallet. This is a real oddity for a man who was leading his nation during one if its most difficult periods. Why carry a piece of currency from a belligerent foe?
When United States President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865 the country was still in the midst of a savage civil war. Only 5 days earlier Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his army to the Union forces under Ulysses S Grant, but the war was still raging, even though it was in its dying moments.
Although the cause for the South was lost, a group of men hatched a conspiracy to try and revive the confederate cause. Their plan was to assassinate the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State. With such an attack at the very center of the Norths government, there was a slim possibility that the North would lose confidence, and the South would be reinvigorated to take the fight back to the prevailing Union forces. It was a plan, but one that was never really going to work. Only one would be killed, that was President Lincoln at the hands of John Wilkes Booth.
The truly surprising thing about the assassination was that when the President died, despite the state of civil war, Abraham Lincoln had a Confederate five dollar bill in his wallet, even though Confederate money wasn’t even real money. But how did he come by such a thing, and why did he have it?
No one knows for sure where Abraham Lincoln got his hands on a Confederate five dollar bill, but some have suggested tha he may have got one when he visited Petersburg and Richmond earlier that month. It was believed that he was keeping it as a souvenir. This is the most likely scenario.
Along with a confederate five dollar bill on the body of Abraham Lincoln when he was killed, he also had some other objects. He had a button, pocket knife (would you see a president with one today?), glasses and several newspaper clippings which were favorable to the president.