After he shot the president, John Wilkes Booth accompanied by his friend and co-conspirator, David Herold, fled through southern Maryland, across the Potomac River and into Dahlgren, Virginia. They managed to avoid capture for nearly two weeks, despite the (then) most intensive manhunt in history. They spent four of those days hiding in this pine thicket. Southern sympathizers kept Booth and Herold supplied with food and the local newspapers.
Booth thought that he was a hero for killing Abraham Lincoln, and that he would receive a hero's welcome when he arrived in Virginia. When he read the newspapers while he was hiding in the woods he discovered that his act was almost universally condemned.
He wrote in his journal,
"After being hunted like a dog through swamps, woods, and last night being chased by gunboats till I was forced to return wet, cold, and starving ...I am here in despair. And why? For doing what Brutus was honored for ...And yet, I, for striking down the greater tyrant than they ever know, am looked upon as a common cutthroat ... I struck for my country and that alone."