This Civil War history traces two movements; one a desperate manhunt and the other, a stately, cross-country funereal process. In early April 1865, Confederate president Jefferson Davis received the telegram that he had been dreading: Robert E. Lee's armies could no longer hold back the Union attack. Left with no options, Davis packed quickly and fled Richmond on a midnigh...more
This book is quite unique in its telling of the events surrounding the death of Abraham Lincoln and his funeral and the chase to find Jefferson Davis.
The book starts with the assassination of Lincoln and then parallels the chase for Davis, and the transporting of Lincoln's body from Washington to Springfield, Illinois.
Swanson highlights the funeral train carrying Lincoln's body, the tow...more
What bugged me, ultimately, was the entirely sympathetic treatment of Da...more
The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is upon us, and the tide of publications and commemorations is rising fast. Since the Civil War essentially kicked off the modern funeral industry, this increasing interest offers many relevant books for us. Award-winning author James Swanson’s previous volume was a gripping account of the escape and capture of John Wilkes Booth. His new book BLOOD...more
I shouldn't have worried. This book was informative, entertaining, and thoroughly readable. The story starts a few days before the Lincoln assassination and follows L...more
This starts with Robert E. Lee's telegrams to Jefferson Davis about his inability to hold defensive lines and his surrender days later at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. The narrative of events ends with Davis's capture on May 10, 1865. A summation of Davis's last years and an analysis of history's memory of the Lincoln and Davis follows. The title is a little "off" since there is not much on the "bloody crimes" and the book is more than the chase for Davis an...more
While most of us know quite a bit about the demeanor and leadership of Lincoln, few of us know about the man behind the legend of D...more
This is the first time I've gotten an idea of how Jefferson Davis saw himself and his cause. After Lee surrendered, Davis thought he's be able to continue the war. It's hard to admit defeat.
I was especially grateful that Swanson included a quote from Lincoln about the suffering of slaves as the epigraph on the chapter detailing Davis's imprisonment. As much as Davis was considered a martyr to the cause, at no point did he suffer from treatment that would have excited the least comment if applied to one of the slaves that he foug...more
Fair amount of detail around Lincoln and I did read a lot of new information about the funeral and associated activities.
The Davis pursuit was another nugget in all of this. Good level of detail on a set of events not often covered in Civil War works.
I like Swanson, and while th...more
From our pages (Nov–Dec/10): "In this sequel to his best seller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln’s Killer, Swanson retraces the final journeys of the two men who led America through the Civil War. In April 1865, as Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train made its way across the North, the defeated Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, fled and was later captured in the South. 'Their dual stories form an American epic, a kind of American Iliad,' writes the author, that in...more
The book does a great job of describing the national mourning that followed Lincoln's death. I dare say more of an out pouring that for any other president - perhaps with the exception of FDR. It took 20 days to get Lincoln bur...more
Lincoln's myth began mere hours after his assasination as hundreds of people clamored to be present at his death bed. The myth increased exponentially as a result of the national mourning that took place in Washington and on the 10 city tour made by his remains and coffin.
Davis' journey took place over the long life he lived after his capture and...more
Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, real people, were talked about in the book. Abraham Lincol...more
Swanson details the events immediately following the shooting of Lincoln, including the chaos at the Peterson house where Lincoln’s body was taken immediately following the attack. From the hysterical and inconsolable Mary Lincoln to the doctors and government officials who came and went throughout the evening, the Peterson house b...more
This is a pop history of a certain type: it takes the train journey of Lincoln's coffin as it wound through the eastern us to Springfield Illinois and highlights the similarities and differences with Davis's stop and start journey southward as the Confederacy failed around him.
|Books,books&B...: Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James Swanson||7||9||Jun 27, 2014 01:36PM|
He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C., including at the United St...more