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Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis Hardcover – December 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

New York Times bestselling author ofManhunt James L. Swanson creates anadaptation for young people of his adultbook Bloody Crimes, a suspense-filledthriller that sheds light on two fallen leadersof the North and South. One man, PresidentLincoln, assassinated, on his way to thegrave. Another man, the president of theConfederacy, Jefferson Davis, on the run,soon to be sent to prison. Their actionsforever changed the history of a nation. Onthe morning of April 2, 1865, Davis receiveda telegram from General Robert E. Lee.There is no more time—the Yankees arecoming, it warned. That night Davis fledRichmond, setting off an intense manhuntfor the Confederate president.

Two weeks later, President Lincoln wasassassinated, and the nation was convincedthat Davis was involved in the conspiracy thatled to the crime. Lincoln’s murder, autopsy,and White House funeral transfixed thenation. His final journey began when soldiersplaced his corpse aboard a special trainthat would carry him home to Springfield,Illinois. Along the way, more than a millionAmericans looked upon their martyr’s face,and several million watched the funeral trainroll by. It was the most magnificent funeralpageant in American history.

James L. Swanson captures the rivetingstories of these two influential men as theymade their last journeys through the bloodylandscape of a wounded nation.

About the Author

James Swanson is the Edgar Award-winning author of the New York Times bestsellers Manhunt and its sequel, Bloody Crimes.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061560898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061560897
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James L. Swanson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. He is an attorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Calabrese "Children's Books Examiner" VINE VOICE on January 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I recently devoured Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis by James L. Swanson. It was one of those books I couldn't put down and read in just one day.

The book is a special adaptation for young readers of Swanson's adult book, Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse. (which I definitely want to get my hands on) The book covers in fascinating detail, the events that took place as the Civil War drew to a close, with the focus on two men in particular--Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. Swanson, who is an avid follower of the life and times of Lincoln, recounts the assassination of Lincoln, and his amazing funeral procession--one no young adult has anything to compare to today (perhaps, the closest being the funeral of Michael Jackson?). At the same time he does that, Swanson also weaves together nicely, how Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, fleed Richmond, and continued to believe the Confederate States could still fight. As the nation was convinced Davis was involved in the conspiracy that led to Lincoln's murder, Davis traveled further South, setting off a manhunt for the Confederate president.

I loved how the stories of both men were weaved together, giving one the sense of what was going on during a time without the mass media we have today. You don't hear much about Jefferson Davis these days, which is why it was fascinating to read about him. As Swanson says, "He lost, and history tends to reward winners, not losers. But there must be more to it than that." With historic photos scattered throughout, any young history buff will surely devour the factual information that's aplenty in this riveting read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on June 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author James Swanson has provided young people with a wonderful follow-up to his previous book entitled Chasing Lincoln's Killer. Bloody Times is the young peoples' version of Bloody Crimes which picks up where Chasing Lincoln's Killer left off. People are aware of John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln and the subsequent chase that ensued. Swanson now takes young readers to the care taken to preserve Lincoln's corpse for the return round-about 18 day train ride to Springfield, Illinois for burial. This is also the story of the hunt for Confederate President Jefferson Davis who Union officials were erroneously convinced was behind Lincoln's assassination.

The book's strength is in using a condensed version of his adult version entitled Bloody Crimes with an appropriate vocabulary suitable for younger readers. It would be very beneficial if more authors wrote versions of their books suitable for middle school age students. Swanson's two books entitled Chasing Lincoln's Killer and Bloody Times are excellent ideas for making history interesting reading for younger readers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
On April 2, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled his capital of Richmond, Virginia, determined to keep the armies in the field, and the fighting going. This is the story of Davis's flight, as he watched his armies disintegrate and his hopes for continued conflict ebb away.

But while Davis fled, Union President Abraham Lincoln began his own journey. Having been shot at Ford's Theatre, Lincoln's body was carried across the North, and huge crowds gathered to pay their last respect, and mourn for their leader, and indirectly for all of the men that fell in the recent struggle.

Overall, I found this to be a great book. The author tells the stories of both journeys in an interesting manner, and the way he juxtaposes them really serves to highlight the two men and what they meant then and to posterity, up to this very day. It's a great read. In particular, I liked the story of Lincoln's visit to Richmond, and his reception by the freed slaves; I had never heard about it before, and found it quite touching.

Yep, I really liked this book, and highly recommend it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on February 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
BLOODY TIMES recounts the intertwining stories of the two most prominent figures of the Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The action starts with the northern Union states on the brink of victory over the southern Confederate states. After years of bloodshed and tragedy, the Civil War finally ended, and Lincoln's heavy burden to reunite the country would be lifted. Lincoln's greatest victory would be short-lived, however, as he was assassinated only two weeks after the south surrendered.

Before the assassination, Davis found his world crumbling. After General Robert E. Lee sent notice that his armies had surrendered, Davis decided to gather the south's resources in an attempt to continue the fight. He was loyal to the southern cause and wouldn't fade quietly into the background. When word reached Davis that Lincoln had been murdered, and from the urging of his family, Davis decided to flee further into the south. Little did he know that he was being implicated in Lincoln's assassination.

Thus began two different journeys of two different men. One was honored at each stop with large crowds, flowers and dirges. The other was blacklisted by the people he sought to represent. An elaborate funeral procession spanning numerous states went off without a hitch for Lincoln. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out at each stop to honor their fallen president and created elaborate staging areas to view his body. By the time Lincoln arrived in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, his coffin had traveled 1,645 miles over 13 days and experienced no setbacks.

Davis, on the other hand, experienced setback after setback as he slowly traveled south.
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Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis
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