On April 17, 1865, John Deery wrote about the scene in Washington, D.C.:
“Gloom and horror have settled over the community such as I never saw or imagined before. All the government buildings are draped in black, and every face wears an expression of sorrow which tells too plainly the great bereavement which the whole world has experienced.
I saw him distinctly, heard the report of the pistol. The murderer rushed across the stage in the direction of my seat, and if I had a pistol, I could have shot him dead. I am only sorry that I had not.
Mrs. Lincoln screamed. The audience rose in their seats and cried, ” Kill the murderer!” and rushed upon the stage.
Mrs. Lincoln seemed almost crazed, and kept saying, ‘Oh, God, that He had killed me!,” thinking that her husband was already dead.”
Source: Ford’s Theatre files