Edward P. Doherty is one of the unheralded heroes of Irish American history, the man who captured Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth.
He was fiercely and proudly Irish, enlisting in the Irish Brigade during the Civil War.
He was born September 26, 1838 in Wickham, Canada East, to immigrant parents from County Sligo.
He came to New York in 1860 and was living there when the American Civil War broke out. He enlisted in a 90-day militia unit and was assigned as a Private to Company A of the 71st New York Volunteers on April 20, 1861. He was assigned to Colonel Ambrose Burnside's 2nd Brigade in Brigadier General David Hunter's 2nd Division, he was captured by the Confederates during the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the American Civil War which took place on July 21, 1861, near Manassas, VA. While a prisoner, he made a daring escape. Ultimately, the 71st Regiment, along with Doherty, mustered out on Aug 9, 1861.