James L. Swanson
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On the morning of April 2, 1865, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, received a telegram from General Robert E. Lee. There is no more time—the Yankees are coming, it warned. Shortly before midnight, Davis boarded a train from Richmond and fled the capital, setting off an intense and thrilling chase in which Union cavalry hunted the Confederate president.
Two weeks later, President Lincoln was assassinated, and the nation was convinced that Davis was involved in the conspiracy that led to the crime. Lincoln's murder, autopsy, and White House funeral transfixed the nation. His final journey began when soldiers placed his corpse aboard a special train that would carry him home on the 1,600-mile trip to Springfield. Along the way, more than a million Americans looked upon their martyr's face, and several million watched the funeral train roll by. It was the largest and most magnificent funeral pageant in American history.
To the Union, Davis was no longer merely a traitor. He became a murderer, a wanted man with a $100,000 bounty on his head. Davis was hunted down and placed in captivity, the beginning of an intense and dramatic odyssey that would transform him into a martyr of the South's Lost Cause.
The saga that began with Manhunt continues with the suspenseful and electrifying Bloody Crimes. James Swanson masterfully weaves together the stories of two fallen leaders as they made their last expeditions through the bloody landscape of a wounded nation.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
I ordered this iBook because I had so thoroughly enjoyed reading James Swanson's earlier book on the search for President Lincoln's killer, "Manhunt".
In Manhunt Swanson makes heavy use of dialog (taken from courtroom testimony and contemporary newspaper accounts of those who assisted Booth in his efforts to evade capture. The reconstruction of eye-witness conversations draws the reader into the story as if it were happening today.
Bloody Crimes is a much more conventional narrative of the assassination of the President of the United States and the national obsession to honor him in death. In the telling that story is contrasted with the simultaneous events surrounding the flight and eventual capture of the President of the Confederate States of America in the closing days of the Civil War.
The books are quite different in this respect. Manhunt reads like an exciting detective novel, and a real page turner. Bloody Crimes reads like a factual presentation of two sad but defining moments in American history. As such, Bloody Crimes may hold appeal mostly among those with keen interest in Lincoln or Civil War history.
Excellent account of the events surrounding the end of the Civil War. The book makes one want to visit all the places where these occurred.
Excellent book! Enjoyed it from 1st page all the way through to the finish. Detailed accounts about parallel lives on opposite sides of the Union kept my interest the whole way! An 11 on a scale of 1 to 10