Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse

Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse

by James L. Swanson
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Overview

Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James L. Swanson

In Bloody Crimes, James L. Swanson—the Edgar Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Manhunt—brings to life two epic events of the Civil War era: the thrilling chase to apprehend Confederate president Jefferson Davis in the wake of the Lincoln assassination and the momentous 20 -day funeral that took Abraham Lincoln’s body home to Springfield. A true tale full of fascinating twists and turns, and lavishly illustrated with dozens of rare historical images—some never before seen—Bloody Crimes is a fascinating companion to Swanson’s Manhunt and a riveting true-crime thriller that will electrify civil war buffs, general readers, and everyone in between.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061233784
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

James L. Swanson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. He is an attorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

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Bloody Crimes 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On April 2, 1865, Confederate General Lee sends a telegram to President Jefferson Davis warning him the Yankee armies were heading to Richmond. Davis immediately stopped what he was doing and fled the capital by train. The next day the North took Richmond. Over the next twelve days the Northern military intensely searched for Davis proclaimed a traitor as the Confederacy imploded under the assault. On the evening of April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Lincoln who was attending a play at the Ford Theater in Washington DC; other by co-conspirators assaults failed to kill the intended victims. Lincoln was pronounced dead the next morning while Wilkes fled the city. As the hunt for Wilkes intensified, the funeral process of President Lincoln began on April 19 in DC and from there by train until arriving in Springfield on May 3; millions watched the procession. Davis is called a co-conspirator murderer. Ironically while Lincoln became martyred for the ages; Davis once captured became martyred for the South's Lost Cause. This is a fascinating comparison of the fates of two presidents in April 1865 as James L. Swanson intertwines their stories. The Lincoln segue is very passionate as the grief of mourners watching the train roll by will impact readers. The Davis segue is more exciting, but lacks the emotional intensity of the juxtaposed Lincoln piece. Enhanced by black and white photos, Bloody Crimes is a terrific historical account of two presidents although not as exhilarating as the superb Manhunt for Wilkes. Harriet Klausner
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite's but it certainly held my attention. James has a way of picking a reader out of the real world and showing them a glimpse of the past. If you like the synopsis, I'm sure you'll enjoy the book.
CoachRob More than 1 year ago
James Swanson has written a masterpiece. I was glued to this book on my Nook Color from the first moment I picked it up. Mr. Swanson finely details the events of the Lincoln assassination and the search for Jefferson Davis. I am a history instructor, and was very impressed with how easy of a read that Mr. Swanson's book was to read and follow. Mr. Swanson had me in total awe of every event of those terrible days in 1865. It was absolutely amazing to me the parallel lives that both Lincoln and Jefferson lived. This book is amazing and one that every serious reader of Civil War history should read. It should be required reading in any Civil War history course. Great Job Mr. Swanson. R. Howell Harlingen, Texas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read for history nerds like me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is engaging and informative! I love the way the author tells the stories of Lincoln and Davis the way it occurred-Davis living his life unaware of the fact that Lincoln was dead made this book particularly fascinating to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found "Bloody Crimes" to be an incredibly insightful and great read! Bloody Crimes revealed that the late US President Lincoln and abolitionist "John Brown" shared an similar sentiment regarding ending slavery in the US. The last note "John Brown" would ever write stated, "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood." Often overlooked in his second inaugural address, Lincoln stated, "Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." In the end, slavery in the US ended as John Brown envisioned. With regard to the "Truth vs. Myth' regarding whether or not Jefferson Davis worn a woman's raglan coat, the answer can be found in simply verifying which way the coat he was captured in buttons up. Women's coats are buttoned "right-over-left," while men's costs are buttoned "left-over-right." Besides, what would be the point in "disguising" Jefferson Davis as a "man" when the Union soldiers were looking for a "man." "Bloody Crimes" is a highly recommended read...a must read.
OMOCAM More than 1 year ago
Fascinating subject on several fronts! An excellent follow up to Manhunt! Definitely a must read!
atomsplitter More than 1 year ago
This book is ideal, if you have an interest in every tiny detail of Abraham Lincoln's funeral. I found this book to be quite a drag, almost like Lincoln's endless funeral. The more interesting parts of the book involved the flight of Jefferson Davis. The title of the book sounds like it will be a thriller and it isn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful and easy and exciting reading if you love history and the Civil War era
IlovebooksMO More than 1 year ago
A great read, I love how Mr Swanson tells the two stories as they are unfolding so it felt like everything was continuous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome details on this book
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JesseDC More than 1 year ago
It's a great read but it was also heavy handed going from the funeral train of Abraham Lincoln to the Chase for Jefferson Davis and back again.
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