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Pinkerton's War: The Civil War's Greatest Spy and the Birth of the U.S. Secret Service

Overview

February 22, 1861. Midnight. Allan Pinkerton stands guard on the outer rail of a secret train conveying President Abraham Lincoln to Washington. The trip is a nail-biting affair, fraught with moments of great and harrowing suspense.The train made excellent time traversing the upper corner of Delaware and was about to cross the Maryland state line. Within minutes it would be approaching the muddy, black snake of the Susquehanna River and the treacherous territory of rebel spies and Southern sympathizers. Alone on ...

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Overview

February 22, 1861. Midnight. Allan Pinkerton stands guard on the outer rail of a secret train conveying President Abraham Lincoln to Washington. The trip is a nail-biting affair, fraught with moments of great and harrowing suspense.The train made excellent time traversing the upper corner of Delaware and was about to cross the Maryland state line. Within minutes it would be approaching the muddy, black snake of the Susquehanna River and the treacherous territory of rebel spies and Southern sympathizers. Alone on the caboose's parapet, Pinkerton squinted around the corner, against the wind, to see across the dark wetlands.As the miles clocked by, the pinpricks of firelight in the far distance, dotting a small river town, came into view: Perryman, Maryland—that wasp nest of secessionism—the place where Timothy Webster, Pinkerton's right-hand man, had first learned of the diabolical schemes being formulated in Baltimore. . . .The jerk of the air brakes signaled an imminent stop. Pinkerton braced himself. To cross the river, the locomotive would be forced to pull onto a ferryboat — one of the first extremely dangerous and tenuous stages of the journey. Pinkerton craned his thick neck to see around the rear edge of the sleeper. In the distant night, only blackness stared back at the burly detective.The village of Havre de Grace—now visible on the far side of the Susquehanna—was Timothy Webster's checkpoint. Somewhere along the shadowy banks of the waterway, Webster's lantern would be the all-clear, easing Pinkerton's mind and pointing the way into Baltimore.But no signal came: only the ominous fabric of darkness along the south bank.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762770724
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 876,330
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jay Bonansinga

Jay Bonansinga is the author of the 2004 nonfiction title The Sinking of the Eastland, which was a Chicago Reader “Critics Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. He is also the author of the novels Perfect Victim (2008), Shattered (2007), Twisted (2006), and Frozen (2005), which have been translated into nine different languages. His debut novel The Black Mariah was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as The Writer, Amazing Stories, Grue, Flesh & Blood, Outre, and Cemetery Dance, as well as a number of anthologies. Jay is also an indie filmmaker whose music videos have been in heavy rotation on The Nashville Network and Public Television. His short film City of Men was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, his feature-film debut, Stash (based on his short story of the same title), won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals. Jay has also worked as a screenwriter with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, and Dennis Haysbert (The Unit). The holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife and two sons. He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, as well as the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University.

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