Skip to Main Content

Grave of Charles Forbes.

Grave of Lincoln's Unwitting Attendant

Field review by the editors.

Washington, DC

Charles Forbes is a cautionary tale for future generations of bouncers and bodyguards. He served as a messenger and personal attendant in the Lincoln White House, and accompanied the Lincolns to Ford's Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. With patrolman John F. Parker missing in action, Forbes was the lone member of the President's contingent keeping watch outside the presidential box.

A little after 10 o'clock prominent actor John Wilkes Booth approached Forbes and handed him a letter or a calling card. Forbes let Booth enter, unwittingly altering the course of American history and securing himself an undesired place in it.

Forbes died in 1895, and in 1983 the Lincoln Group of Washington had his plot marked. The epitaph states that Forbes went to the theatre with the Lincolns that evening, but spares him the indignity of mentioning that he let Booth in.

[Grave report by Kurt Deion]

Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Also see: Congressional Cemetery

Grave of Lincoln's Unwitting Attendant

Congressional Cemetery

1801 E St. SE, Washington, DC
Walk into the cemetery at the intersection of Potomac Ave. SE and E St. SE. At the first cross path turn left. Cross the next cross path. You'll see a line of cenotaphs over the the left. Forbes' tombstone is just south of that line, about three rows before you reach it, on the left.
Daylight daily; gated after hours. Office M-F 9-5. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Push-Ma-Ta-HaPush-Ma-Ta-Ha, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
Unmarked Grave of a Lincoln ConspiratorUnmarked Grave of a Lincoln Conspirator, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
Father of the Gerrymander GraveFather of the Gerrymander Grave, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Bob Dole's Grave, Arlington, VA - 5 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in DC

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in DC.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

DC Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bloodstained Tomb of Nina Craigmiles, Cleveland, Tennessee (Apr 8-14, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings