Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse (Hardcover)
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 timethe 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.
“With the publication of Bloody Crimes, James L. Swanson emerges as one of America’s greatest historians. Swanson recounts the closing drama of the Civil War with hair-raising precision and the vivid narrative drive of a top-tier novelist. A grand tour de force!”
-Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
“Striking ....Full of vigorous prose and dynamic stories about the period immediately following the end of the Civil War.”
“A haunting masterpiece. James Swanson has written a thrilling book of death and longing, of defeat and resurrection.”
-Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caught and Tell No One
“A brilliant narrative that keeps the reader spellbound from beginning to end. James Swanson’s vivid style and historical accuracy are unsurpassed, and he makes the parallel journeys of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis come magically alive. I wish I had written this book.”
-Edward Steers, Jr., author of Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia
“James Swanson is a giant. With his instant classic Manhunt, and its triumphant follow up Bloody Crimes, Swanson proves beyond all doubt that he is a master of historical true-crime epic.....Bloody Crimes is irresistibly captivating. I highly recommend it.”
-Vincent Bugliosi, Edgar award-winning author of Helter Skelter and Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
“James Swanson has done it again. Bloody Crimes is a moving, evocative trip back in time to the tumultuous spring of 1865. Swanson’s meticulous research and sparkling prose make it an essential companion to his award winning bestseller, Manhunt.”
-Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life