Pine Thicket

"The Instrument of his Punishment"
Bel Alton Newtown Road and Wills Road, Bel Alton, MD 20611

Pine Thicket

History: After assassinating President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth and his conspirator, David A. Herold fled to Charles County, Maryland, where they could find other Confederate sympathizers. After leaving the home of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, Booth found a guide who brought them to home of Samuel Cox on April 16. 

Cox agreed to help them. He sent them to a dense growth of pines a mile from his home and enlisted the help of his brother, Thomas A. Jones, to help them reach the Potomac River, two miles farther west. From there they could cross into Virginia.

For several days, the fugitives cowered in the thicket and were brought food and newspapers as they waited for a chance to continue their journey south. On April 20, Jones saw an opportunity to get the fugitives to the Potomac. After sunset, he led them down to the river.

More to Explore: Anglers and boaters will enjoy a visit to the Sweden Point Marina in Smallwood State Park, which is located just one mile from the main artery of the Potomac River. Sweden Point hosts many bass tournaments. The marina has six boat ramps and piers. The park also offers camping, nature trails, biking, hiking and picnicking.  

Photo Credits:
   1. “John Wilkes Booth Wanted Poster” Courtesy of Library of Congress.