A month after Lincoln’s assassination, William Alvin Lloyd arrived in Washington, DC, to press a claim against the federal government for money due him for serving as the president’s spy in the Confederacy. Lloyd claimed that Lincoln personally had issued papers of transit for him to cross into the South, a salary of $200 a month, and a secret commission as Lincoln’s own top-secret spy. The claim convinced Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Judge Advocate General Joseph Holtbut was it true?
For many years Lloyd had been hawking hisSouthern Steamboat and Railroad Guidethroughout Dixie, and it was this thorough familiarity with the South and its peopleand their familiarity with himthat would have given him a good cover when the time came. In July, 1861, and now desperate for cash, Lloyd crossed enemy lines to collect debts owed by advertising clients in the South.
After just a few days in the Confederacy, officials jailed Lloyd for bigamy, not for being a Yankee spy as he later claimed. After bribing his way out, he crisscrossed the Southern states, trying to collect enough money to stay alive.
Between riding the rails he found time to marry plenty of unsuspecting young women only to ditch them a few days later. His behavior drew the attention of Confederate authorities, who nabbed him in Savannah and charged him as a suspected spy. But after nine months, they couldn’t find any incriminating evidence or anyone to testify against him, so they let him go. A free but broken man, Lloyd continued roaming the South, making money however he could. In May 1865, he went to Washington with an extraordinary claim and little else: a few coached witnesses, and a pass to cross the lines signed “A. Lincoln” (the most forged signature in American history), and his own testimony.
So was he really Lincoln’s secret agent or nothing more than a con man? And wasTotten vs. United Statesinspired by Lloyd's claim and which set precedent for espionage lawbased on a monumental fraud? Find out in this completely irresistible and wholly original work.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 3.60(d)|
About the Author
Jane Singer is a Civil War scholar and author of The Confederate Dirty War, on which the History Channel based the two-hour special Civil War Terror. She served both as historical consultant and as primary onscreen narrator for the project. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine, Washington Times, and Chicago Sun-Times. She lives in Venice, California.
John Stewart is the author of Confederate Spies at Large and Jefferson Davis’s Flight from Richmond. The winner of numerous reference book awards, he lives in West Jefferson, North Carolina.
Table of Contents
1 I Was the President's Spy 1
2 My Old Kentucky Home 9
3 Oh, to Be a Minstrel! 22
4 W. Alvin Lloyd, Publisher 36
5 Acolytes and Accomplices 48
6 Escape from New York 58
7 The Memphis Caper 67
8 Of Actresses and Wives 75
9 He Said He Would Hang Me 96
10 Grave Suspicions 130
11 Shot Down Like a Dog 143
12 By Order of President Jefferson Davis 157
13 Leaving Dixie 163
14 Anatomy of a Fraud 170
15 Lay of the Last Minstrel 193
16 Post Lloyd Ergo Propter Lloyd 216