×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

     

"They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theater, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance

4.5 14
by Anthony S. Pitch
 

See All Formats & Editions

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is a central drama of the American experience. Its impact is felt to this day, and the basic story is known to all. Anthony Pitch’s thrilling account of the Lincoln conspiracy and its aftermath transcends the mere facts of that awful night during which dashing actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head and would-be

Overview

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is a central drama of the American experience. Its impact is felt to this day, and the basic story is known to all. Anthony Pitch’s thrilling account of the Lincoln conspiracy and its aftermath transcends the mere facts of that awful night during which dashing actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head and would-be assassin Lewis Payne butchered Secretary of State William Seward in the bed of his own home. “They Have Killed Papa Dead!” transports the reader to one of the most breathtaking moments in history, and reveals much that is new about the stories, passions, and times of those who shaped this great tragedy.

Virtually every word of Anthony Pitch’s account is based on primary source material: new quotes from previously unpublished diaries, letters and journals – authentic contemporary voices writing with freshness and clarity as eyewitnesses or intimate participants – new images, a new vision and understanding of one of America’s defining moments. With an unwavering fidelity to historical accuracy, Pitch provides new confirmation of threats against the president-elect’s life as he traveled to Washington by train for his first inauguration, and a vivid personal account of John Wilkes Booth being physically restrained from approaching Lincoln at his second inauguration. Perhaps most chillingly, new details come to light about conditions in the special prison where the civilian conspirators accused of participating in the Lincoln assassination endured tortuous conditions in extreme isolation and deprivation, hooded and shackled, before and even during their military trial. Pitch masterfully synthesizes the findings of his prodigious research into a tight, gripping narrative that adds important new insights to our national story.

Editorial Reviews

Michael F. Bishop
Pitch flourishes his discoveries with evident pride, and though they do not alter the outline of a now-familiar story, "They Have Killed Papa Dead!" is a worthy contribution to the vast literature on Lincoln. All who write about the life and death of the 16th president face the challenge of originality, and Pitch by necessity covers old ground, but like any good tour guide he excitedly points out sights along the way. His prose is almost tactile in its evocation of place
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Small details often clog a narrative, but here they fill out the tale of one of the most consequential events of American history-the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. While Pitch (The Burning of Washington) relies somewhat too heavily on hearsay reports of conversations that no one can fully credit, he has mined every resource, read every book, and turned up some documents that had escaped others. More important, he's found new evidence that Lincoln was under genuine threat as early as the eve of his first inauguration, not just after his second one. The result is a fast-moving telling of the multiple plots on Lincoln's life, the implementation of the successful one, its complex aftermath and the way it threw the nation into deep mourning and despair. No reader will come away unmoved, even at this distance, by anguish about the event. The author elicits our feelings for even the plotters in captivity and on the scaffold. A real page-turner about real history. Illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"If not the definitive story of the assassination and the events before and after, then the one that readers should turn to first."— Chicago Sun-Times

"If you're ever in Washington D.C., take a moment to go on a Lincoln assassination walking tour with historian Anthony Pitch. It's not grim, and you'll learn plenty by understanding just how tiny the capital was – and how near the major players were to each other – on the day Lincoln was shot. The next best thing to being there is reading Pitch's 'They Have Killed Papa Dead!': The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance. He writes about the desperate efforts to protect the president, who was always in danger, plus the devastating grief and cruel injustice that came after Lincoln’s death." — Christian Science Monitor
 
"A study of burning focus and intimate depth.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Anthony S. Pitch's "They Have Killed Papa Dead!" is a special book that will surely serve as a benchmark in the vast Lincoln-related lore. . . . Pitch's book is riveting because of exquisitely detailed research, a fast-paced narrative that is evocative in depicting the personalities and places central to understanding Booth's original plan to kidnap the president. . . The reader is kept so close to the details of the events described as to feel more like a close observer than an armchair reader 145 years later. . . . Pitch's masterful and highly readable account is a significant addition to the vast Lincoln record and a fascinating introduction for the lay reader to the complexities of this searing chapter in American history." — H-Net Reviews

"This is an intense, vivid and moving portrayal of a family (and a country) brutally deprived of its leader." — Chicago Tribune

"This is history as it should be written – compelling, gritty and up close & personal. - David Lee Poremba, The Past In Review

"Papa delves into the fevered world of John Wilkes Booth. Possessing the looks of a matinee idol, Lincoln's assassin exerted a Charles Manson-like grip on his co-conspirators. Papa races along through the manhunt, the trials, the executions. A treat for the Lincoln fanatic." — USA Today 

"A meticulously researched narrative of the Lincoln assassination, from the conspiracy and murder through the ensuing manhunt and trial. . . . Pitch turns the tragedy into a great American true-crime story." — Entertainment Weekly

"Pitch's energetic narrative will be highly popular." — Booklist

"No reader will come away unmoved, even at this distance, by anguish about [Lincoln's assassination]. . . . a real page-turner about real history." — Publishers Weekly

“Aches with sadness and pulses with page-turning excitement . . . a perfect storm of a book.” – Harold Holzer, co-chair, U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and winner of a Lincoln Prize 

“So well written and researched that it will add greatly to our knowledge of Lincolniana.” – Dr. Wayne Temple, Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives and author of many books on Lincoln

“What, another book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? What more can be said about the regicide of our greatest President? Actually, Anthony Pitch's beautifully written narrative stands on its own as a splendid contribution to the subject. It is told by an author who has an intimate knowledge of all the sites related to the assassination and the trials that followed.”  – Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586421632
Publisher:
Steerforth Press
Publication date:
12/30/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
255,840
File size:
12 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

"They Have Killed Papa Dead!"

The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage For Vengeance


By Anthony Pitch

Steerforth Press

Copyright © 2008 Anthony S. Pitch
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-58642-163-2



CHAPTER 1

"Lincoln Shall Not Pass through Baltimore Alive"


As President-elect Abraham Lincoln's train prepared to chug noisily out of the Great Western Railroad Depot in Springfield, Illinois, on a cold, wet February 11, 1861, security officials far to the east worked overtime to prevent his assassination. The exhausting railroad journey would take him across half the country before passing through the slave state of Maryland into neighboring Washington, DC, for the inauguration on March 4. Both the state and the nation's capital teemed with slaveholders and Southern sympathizers impatient for secession and political violence. The most extreme wanted Lincoln dead and his supporters terrorized into silence. A Bostonian visiting Baltimore, who had his head shaved for calling Lincoln a gentleman, wrote the president-elect: "It will be madness for you to attempt to reach Washington at any time." But Lincoln had refused to take special precautions, spurning the offer of a Chicagoan to round up others and accompany him as bodyguards, explaining, "There is no immediate necessity for employing the proffered help." Aware of the tensions that threatened the Union and perhaps his own life, Lincoln told the well-wishers at Springfield, "I now leave not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon [George] Washington."

General Winfield Scott, seventy-four, overseeing military defenses in Washington, let slip to a few insiders that the secessionists hoped to kill the president-elect together with anyone in close line of succession and all prominent members of Lincoln's Republican Party, in the hope of decapitating the Union government and opening the way for rule by Southerners. Scott, who at six foot five was the imposing hero of the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, found a letter on his own desk vowing that Lincoln, President James Buchanan, and the general himself would be killed by Inauguration Day. There was open talk of a coup d'état. Some had threatened to block the tally of presidential electoral votes scheduled to take place inside the US Capitol on February 13. Others vowed to disrupt the inauguration less than three weeks later. The capital itself, with a population of sixty-one thousand, was in imminent danger of seizure by Maryland secessionists, who wanted to reclaim land that had once belonged to their state. A virulently anti-government group, the National Volunteers, had recently evolved from a political association into paramilitary units, their ranks swollen with slaveholders and others angered by the plummeting value of slaves and land since Lincoln's election. Many expected that the organization would take the lead in fomenting violent opposition to the incoming administration. Several hundred members had already stormed the headquarters of the victorious Republican Party in downtown Washington the night Lincoln won the election, firing pistols, ransacking the interior, terrorizing the occupants, and inciting arson before police moved in.

Rumors were rife, and some people feared that mobs might make good on threats to burn the city. Residents looking grave moved about in a state of anxiety, heightened by the sound of military drums, uneasy at the presence of so many men in uniform, and alarmed by the great number of strangers who had arrived. Washingtonians became suspiciously watchful, some taking to sleeping within easy reach of loaded firearms. The sense of peril was palpable. "I am afraid that much is kept from the ears of the timid," one woman wailed in a letter to her uncle farming twenty-five miles south of Washington. Anna Maria Thornton, widow of the first architect of the Capitol, repetitively wrote "gloomy" to register the daily mood in her diary. When a salute of thirty-four guns boomed across the city on January 29 to mark the admission of Kansas into the Union, many mistook it for the outbreak of insurrection.

Even though Scott urged his staff to be vigilant, he cautioned against rash provocation, warning, "We are now in such a state that a dogfight might cause the gutters of the capital to run with blood."

Scott scrambled to bolster the defenses and protect public property. Five weeks before the inauguration he warned Secretary of War Joseph Holt of grave dangers to the capital unless more troops arrived. "It is not necessary to be an alarmist to believe that the Federal metropolis will be at the next inauguration — nay, on 13 February, and even much earlier — in great peril, and I am obliged to add that without a considerable augmentation of troops I do not feel that I can guarantee its safety during the next five days."

Intelligence from security agents, spies, informants, and loyalists in almost half the states, even from those in rebellion, confirmed the threat of imminent insurrection and assassination. Word from the latest clandestine meeting of the National Volunteers was that as many as two thousand men devoted to the Confederacy could be relied upon to seize the nation's capital.

Scott could not depend on Washington's militia of about four hundred men, because more than half were suspected of being disloyal and probably would defect to the rebels. The remainder were too inexperienced to be of much use. There were only one hundred policemen, with another twenty-eight Capitol police — recently doubled just for the inauguration — whose commander was ready to join the secessionists the moment neighboring Virginia made good on its threat to secede. John Blake, commissioner of public buildings, appealed to the secretary of war to arm them with muskets and ammunition because Colt pistols would be inadequate "if the building should be attacked by a considerable force." Blake had the Capitol police in a state of "unusual vigilance" to guard against "surprise by evil-disposed persons" lying in wait to sneak into the building. Scott had fewer than five hundred artillerymen, infantry, sappers, and miners, and only 240 marines to deploy. They would be spread thin guarding the city armory and other vulnerable points.

It was a combustible mix ready to ignite. Only a huge influx of loyalist forces, it seemed, could protect against assassination and save the capital from falling to the rebels. But Scott was hamstrung by regional rivalries, aware that he could not recruit help randomly from any state. "No regiment or company can be brought here from a distance without producing hurtful jealousies in this vicinity," he wrote the governor of New York. The sole exception, he noted, was the New York Seventh Infantry Regiment, which had become "somewhat national" and highly respected after escorting the remains of President James Monroe from New York to Richmond, Virginia, and for attending the dedication of a statue of George Washington in Washington. He would have called for ten thousand men to protect the capital if he had the authority, but he knew President James Buchanan would never acquiesce, believing it would ignite even more fury among secessionists in Virginia and Maryland. Scott settled for far fewer, pleading with Secretary of War Holt to transfer to Washington "at once" — or at least several days before the presidential ballot count — artillery batteries from West Point and Fort McHenry, infantrymen temporarily in Texas, and seven companies of volunteers offered by the governor of Maryland. A week later he telegraphed a military barracks in Pennsylvania for the immediate dispatch of forty mounted cavalrymen, with the remainder to follow as soon as possible.

Scott acted boldly. Even though he was aged and infirm, and his glory days long gone, he was still an icon, known by the affectionate nickname Old Fuss and Feathers for his delight in wearing colorful military uniforms. He summoned marines for temporary duty in the city, holding them in readiness to shield the area adjacent to the Capitol from violent street rioters. A day before the counting of electoral college ballots in the House of Representatives, Scott fired off orders for the deployment of specific military units to defend the White House, executive departments, and other public buildings. To safeguard against spies, rebels, or anyone else masquerading as officers acting under his authority, he ordered all general staff officers to attach blue scarves over their uniforms from the right shoulder to the left hip, to authenticate their identities to troops.

Fear of disorder was so great that the House of Representatives had set up a Select Committee in January to report whether any secret organization hostile to the US government existed in the nation's capital, and whether any of its members might include Federal employees in the executive and judicial branches, or staff in the local administration. Testimony from twenty-four individuals, including the mayor of Washington, General Scott, and the most outspoken opponents of the Federal government, confirmed a rumble of political rage so intense that open warfare seemed inevitable in the nation's capital. As Lincoln's train repeatedly stopped before curious, hopeful, and cheering onlookers on its slow journey east, the committee published its mixed findings, declaring that insurgents might attack the Capitol or the District of Columbia if "the surrender should be demanded by a State to which they profess a high degree of allegiance."

There was no mistaking the committee's reference to Maryland, the neighboring border state that had become a powder keg of conflicting political passions. The outcome in Maryland would be key to the future of the nation's capital. And Lincoln's train would have to pass through Maryland to reach Washington. For now, the state that surrounded Washington on the north, east, and south was headed by a beleaguered governor, Thomas Hicks, himself an unabashed slaveholder, though as he told the committee, "I am a Union man, and would live and die in the Union."

Hicks used all the authority of his office to fend off pressure from Maryland secessionists wanting to convene the legislature, where they had the numbers to vote the state out of the Union. Delay, he hoped, would give even zealots time to reflect on their "mad crusade." Disunion, the governor predicted, would make Maryland the battleground between North and South, because Unionists would never allow secessionists to overrun the nation's capital. The consequences for Maryland would be catastrophic, with death and destruction, bankruptcies, ruinous taxes, depreciation of property, and worse — the abolition of slavery. Hicks, like Scott, had overwhelming evidence that the ultimate goal of secessionists was to remove Maryland from the Union so that it could absorb the national capital. It would then seek international recognition for the entire Confederacy. "The plan contemplates forcible opposition to Mr. Lincoln's inauguration and consequently civil war upon Maryland soil," the governor warned citizens of his turbulent state. One of his confidential sources, an editor of Washington's Daily National Intelligencer newspaper, told him the insurrectionists hoped to triumph before Lincoln's inauguration.

Though Scott's reinforcements trickled in to defend Washington, Marylanders remained a graver threat to Lincoln's life. Several weeks before the president-elect's train pulled out of Springfield, a distinguished woman walked into the Maryland office of Samuel Felton, president of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad. Dorothea Dix, the pioneer advocate for the mentally ill who would soon take charge of all Union nurses, came to pass on word of treason, murder, and sabotage. She made sure the door was closed before disclosing all she knew from travels in the South of a conspiracy to seize Washington and abort the inauguration — failing which, Lincoln was to be assassinated. Over the next hour she confided that insurgents were conducting military exercises along Felton's and other railroad lines. They planned to cut every rail and other communication link north, east, and west of the capital to prevent Union troops from coming to the rescue.

Felton rushed a confidant overnight to Washington to brief Scott, but with no apparent effect. The general seemed exasperated by President Buchanan's failure to prepare for a military showdown and feared Lincoln might have to be inaugurated in the safety of Philadelphia.

A few days later an elderly man walked up to the keeper of the PW&B bridge over the Back River, six miles east of Baltimore. He too knew of secret plans for sabotage and assassination. Respectable and earnest, he insisted on anonymity and on a promise that officials would not put his life at risk by trying to track down his name or residence. Given the assurance, he told the bridge keeper he wanted Felton to know of a plot to burn the bridge just before Lincoln's train approached it "and in the excitement, to assassinate him." These Baltimore plotters also were targeting other PW&B bridges, including those nearly a mile long over the Bush and Gunpowder rivers, to prevent troops from being transported down for the defense of Washington. The informant said the saboteurs had combustible materials ready to set the bridges alight and were to disguise themselves as blacks for the attack on Lincoln's train.

Felton bought a hundred revolvers to arm the conductors on his trains then hurried to Washington to check with sources to help determine whether Baltimore's police chief, Marshal George Kane, could be trusted to investigate. Was he a Union man? Would he keep the sensitive news to himself? Inexplicably, Felton's contact was poorly informed and vouched for Kane, who was in reality so enamored of the Confederate cause that he would soon incite rioters against Union troops passing through Baltimore and be imprisoned before heading South to join the Confederate army.

Acting on the flawed opinion, Felton asked Kane to detail a police force to investigate the threat to the bridges. The police chief brusquely dismissed the conspiracy as rumor without foundation. Only then did the railroad president summon Detective Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Chicago-based Pinkerton National Detective Agency, whom he had hired before for an undisclosed "important matter," which led him to admire the investigator's "great skill and resources."

As Lincoln's train halted for the president-elect to greet crowds and give speeches in cities and towns along the meandering route eastward, Pinkerton and a single female and eight male assistants dispersed undercover to penetrate militant bands in Maryland. Pinkerton himself opened a bogus stock brokerage firm in Baltimore, a city of 212,000 residents, under one of his aliases, John H. Hutchinson. His aides, masquerading as rebellious Southerners from Charleston, New Orleans, and Mobile, infiltrated three companies of paramilitary forces drilling along the railroad lines in the guise of citizens preparing for home defense. The detectives reported by code to Pinkerton that two of the three companies were preparing for rebellion, with plans to burn the bridges and march on Washington. One unsuspecting conspirator talked of "about one thousand men in Baltimore well organized and ready for anything." They hoped Lincoln would speak to crowds outdoors, where they "would not be surprised if they killed him." Another Baltimorean told an undercover detective, "If our company would draw lots to see who would kill Lincoln, and the lot should fall on me, I would do it willingly."

From his own sources, meanwhile, Felton had no doubt that "it was made as certain as strong circumstantial and positive evidence could make it that there was a plot to burn the bridges, destroy the road, and murder Mr. Lincoln on his way to Washington." He employed some two hundred armed men to guard the bridges and practice drills along the line between the Susquehanna River and Baltimore, about thirty miles southwest. There they also worked as railroad laborers, painting the bridges with half a dozen layers of whitewash heavily dosed with salt and alum to make them almost fireproof. Felton even arranged for a train to be on standby to transport all the forces to a single location if need be.

Simultaneously, Pinkerton passed himself off as one of the impassioned regulars drawn to Barnum's Hotel in Baltimore, a majestic, seven-story, red-brick landmark, where the swill of liquor amid the noisy camaraderie of political kin led to careless talk about rebellion and armed resistance. Initially he knew only of a plot to blow up Maryland bridges and ferry boats essential to the railroad that had hired him. Then, having won the trust of the would-be saboteurs, he was introduced to the redoubtable Cypriano Ferrandini, one of the apparent ringleaders. Pinkerton was instantly taken by this "fine-looking, intelligent-appearing," and excitable Italian immigrant barber, who supported the South with such fervor that "his eyes fairly glared and glistened and his whole frame quivered" as they sat in the corner of Barr's saloon on South Street. Even the seasoned investigator felt himself pulled by "the influence of this man's strange power." Ten days earlier Ferrandini had testified uncowed before a select committee of the House of Representatives investigating the possible existence of secret organizations hostile to the government. He had predicted bloodshed if volunteer militiamen from northern states tried to pass through Maryland to defend the capital. Now, thinking Pinkerton was a like-minded subversive, the barber volunteered that Lincoln would never be president. He was willing to sacrifice his own life to rid the nation of the president-elect. "Murder of any kind is justifiable and right to save the rights of the Southern people," he declared. "If I alone must do it, I shall. Lincoln shall die in this city."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from "They Have Killed Papa Dead!" by Anthony Pitch. Copyright © 2008 Anthony S. Pitch. Excerpted by permission of Steerforth Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"If not the definitive story of the assassination and the events before and after, then the one that readers should turn to first."— Chicago Sun-Times

"If you're ever in Washington D.C., take a moment to go on a Lincoln assassination walking tour with historian Anthony Pitch. It's not grim, and you'll learn plenty by understanding just how tiny the capital was – and how near the major players were to each other – on the day Lincoln was shot. The next best thing to being there is reading Pitch's 'They Have Killed Papa Dead!': The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance. He writes about the desperate efforts to protect the president, who was always in danger, plus the devastating grief and cruel injustice that came after Lincoln’s death." — Christian Science Monitor
 
"A study of burning focus and intimate depth.” — Kirkus Reviews

"Anthony S. Pitch's "They Have Killed Papa Dead!" is a special book that will surely serve as a benchmark in the vast Lincoln-related lore. . . . Pitch's book is riveting because of exquisitely detailed research, a fast-paced narrative that is evocative in depicting the personalities and places central to understanding Booth's original plan to kidnap the president. . . The reader is kept so close to the details of the events described as to feel more like a close observer than an armchair reader 145 years later. . . . Pitch's masterful and highly readable account is a significant addition to the vast Lincoln record and a fascinating introduction for the lay reader to the complexities of this searing chapter in American history." — H-Net Reviews

"This is an intense, vivid and moving portrayal of a family (and a country) brutally deprived of its leader." — Chicago Tribune

"This is history as it should be written – compelling, gritty and up close & personal. - David Lee Poremba, The Past In Review

"Papa delves into the fevered world of John Wilkes Booth. Possessing the looks of a matinee idol, Lincoln's assassin exerted a Charles Manson-like grip on his co-conspirators. Papa races along through the manhunt, the trials, the executions. A treat for the Lincoln fanatic." — USA Today 

"A meticulously researched narrative of the Lincoln assassination, from the conspiracy and murder through the ensuing manhunt and trial. . . . Pitch turns the tragedy into a great American true-crime story." — Entertainment Weekly

"Pitch's energetic narrative will be highly popular." — Booklist

"No reader will come away unmoved, even at this distance, by anguish about [Lincoln's assassination]. . . . a real page-turner about real history." — Publishers Weekly

“Aches with sadness and pulses with page-turning excitement . . . a perfect storm of a book.” – Harold Holzer, co-chair, U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and winner of a Lincoln Prize 

“So well written and researched that it will add greatly to our knowledge of Lincolniana.” – Dr. Wayne Temple, Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives and author of many books on Lincoln

“What, another book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? What more can be said about the regicide of our greatest President? Actually, Anthony Pitch's beautifully written narrative stands on its own as a splendid contribution to the subject. It is told by an author who has an intimate knowledge of all the sites related to the assassination and the trials that followed.”  – Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum

Meet the Author

Anthony S. Pitch is the author of a number of books including The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, a selection of the History Book Club and winner of the Arline Custer Memorial Prize and Maryland Historical Society’s annual book award. He has been featured on outlets ranging from NPR to The History Channel to C-Span to Fox News and is a highly sought-after public speaker. A former journalist in England, Africa, and Israel, Pitch has been a broadcast editor for the Associated Press and a senior writer for US News and World Report’s Books division. He lives in a Washington, DC, suburb.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

"They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theater, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
neanderthal78 More than 1 year ago
It's hard for beginners to pinpoint a book (or books) to begin their study. I can't think of anyone in American History that has more books written about them (save Washington and that is a maybe). There are books on every aspect of Lincoln's life, from his years on the prairie to his rise and assassination. Where does one begin? Well I can say that I think anyone interested in the assassination of Lincoln need look no further. I've read many books on the Lincoln assassination and found this book to be my favorite. Pitch had to know that he was entering a market already over saturated with books on Booth, Lincoln, the escape and aftermath so he really had to make this book stand out. And stand out it does. This book is the most comprehensive look at the assassination and the people involved that I've ever found. It's the little details that really separate this book from dry history and make it come to life. Full of newly unearthed material that Pitch spent 9 years mining, it will stand as the benchmark for future works on the subject. There are three really good books on the subject of the assassination. 1st is Blood On the Moon, 2nd is American Brutus, and this book. All three will give you all you need to know about what happened that fateful day in 1865. If you want one to start with, start with this one. I just ordered Pitch's book on the burning of Washington by the British from my local Barns & Nobel and I can't wait to see what he's come up with about that day. Not only does he do Lincoln justice, he gives a great history of DC during the Civil War and beyond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you think you know all there is to know about the Linciln assassination, read.this book anyway--it will prove you wrong. The author's 9 years of research are evident in the painstaking account of events before, during and after the crime. Contemporary accounts give the sense of what it was like to be in Washington D.C. in 1865. This is an excellent book!
JoeColl More than 1 year ago
This book gives you great insight into the tragic assassination of President Lincoln and it's aftermath. The plots, assassination, the escape and chase and finally the trial and executions. It was a book I couldn't put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This filled in alot of the stories and things that other books over looked. Very good source material.