Assassination of President Lincoln
This was the most famous use of a military commission to try civilians in American history. Eight people were suspected of involvement in the plot to assassinate President Lincoln. They were arrested and tried before a military tribunal by order of President Andrew Johnson. The suspects included Samuel Arnold, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Samuel Mudd, Michael O'Laughlen, Lewis Powell, Edmund Spangler, and Mary Surratt. The trial lasted for seven weeks, with 366 witnesses testifying.
All of the defendants were found guilty on June 30. Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt were sentenced to death by hanging; Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O'Laughlen were sentenced to life in prison. Mary Surratt was the first woman executed by the United States government.