Summary

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, John Wilkes Booth threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South's defeat. Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln's own blood relics, this book is a fully documented work, but it is also a tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal, an hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters.--From publisher description.


Combining magnificent historical research with a thrilling story, Manhunt describes the hour–by–hour details of the twelve days after Abraham Lincoln's assassination when various factions within the U.S. government – and even some outside it – hunted for the President's killer, John Wilkes Booth. The pursuit of Lincoln's assassins is one of the greatest untold stories in American history. From April 14th to 26th, 1865, the hunt for John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices transfixed, thrilled, and horrified a nation of mourners who watched as this one–time thespian star led the Union army on a wild chase across the swamps of Maryland and into the forests of Virginia. Manhunt is the first book devoted entirely to these twelve, dramatic days between the murder of the president and the capture and death of his killer. The hunt begins with Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, an imperious and fearsome man whom Lincoln called, "Mars, God of War." From a makeshift command center set up just step from the president's death bed, Stanton took control of the government and the manhunt. An hour by hour account of those twelve days told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, Manhunt makes clear why Booth refused to be taken alive and exposes which conspirators, now lost to history, escaped justice and lived to tell the tale.