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

Bloody Crimes by James L. Swanson
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's review
Feb 14, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history-civil-war
Read from February 09 to 14, 2012

Swanson deftly picks up from where his book, Manhunt, left us and expertly gives us a day by day view of the USA as it mourned Lincoln and pursued Jeff Davis. Davis had already fled Richmond when Lincoln was killed. He was not the object of interest until after Lincoln's death. Lincoln visited Richmond and was walking its streets shortly after its fall. It would have been like Bush walking around Baghdad. No President has been so close to a warfront. How ironic that he was killed in his city, Washington, after being so exposed in the theater of war. Lots of interesting and strange stories about both men. The Lincoln mourning train was very interesting. They would actually stop in the major cities and debark the casket, parade it through the city, and have it on hand for viewing. In Philadelphia they displayed Lincoln right next to the Liberty Bell. Davis had his own mourning train from New Orleans to Richmond when he died some three decades later. Swanson has a good discussion of the Lost Cause with Davis and the martyring effect of Lincoln as a secular saint. People have been coming into the library looking for Bill O'Reilly's book on Lincoln which has long wait lists, so I immediately recommend Swanson's books as an immediate read. They are meticulously researched and the products of a man with a passion for the subject. Well kept secrets that more folks need to read and enjoy.

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Reading Progress

02/09/2012 page 131
28.0% "Very good-- just like Manhunt."
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