(1844 - 1865)
Home State: Florida
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 2nd Florida Infantry
Raised mostly in Georgia, he was living in Florida by 1859, where his Baptist minister father established a new church at Apopka, FL in 1860. Lewis enlisted at Jasper, FL on 30 May 1861 and mustered as Private, Company I, 2nd Florida Infantry on 13 July 1861, at 17 years old giving his age as 19. He reenlisted 8 May 1862 and received at two month furlough.
The rest of the War
He was ill, in hospital in Richmond, VA, in November 1862. He was in action at Fredericksburg, VA in December. He was wounded in the right wrist at Gettysburg, PA on 2 July 1862 and captured there. He worked in hospitals as a prisoner, escaping from one in Baltimore on 7 September 1863. He headed south and joined with Mosby's Raiders on 1 October 1863, and served with them until deserting in January 1865.
After the War
As a "civilian refugee" he took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States at Alexandria, VA under the name of Lewis Payne or Paine. In February or early March 1865 he met with John Wilkes Booth in Baltimore, and became part of the plot to kidnap (later assassinate) President Lincoln. On the night of 14 April 1865, as Booth was killing the President, Powell attacked Secretary of State William Steward in his home in Washington DC seriously injuring him, his sons Frederick and Augustus, Army nurse Sgt. George F. Robinson, and State Department messenger Emerick Hansell. Lewis was captured 17 April, convicted of conspiracy, attempted murder, and murder on 30 June, and executed by hanging at the Washington Arsenal on 7 July 1865.
References & notes
Basic information from State of Florida1, which lists him as Lewis P. Powell. His photograph from one taken while he was a prisoner aboard USS Saugus, by Alexander Gardner (1865).
04/22/1844; Randolph County, AL
07/07/1865 Washington, DC