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The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft Hardcover – March 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press; First Edition edition (March 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807133965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807133965
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward Steers, Jr., is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on the life and death of Abraham Lincoln, including The Escape and Capture of John Wilkes Booth and Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President. He lives in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

Harold Holzer is the author or coauthor of 31 books and 400 articles on the political culture of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era. In 2005, he received a Lincoln Prize for his book Lincoln at Cooper Union and performed "Lincoln Seen and Heard" with actor Sam Waterston, broadcast live on television from the White House. He lives in New York, where he is senior vice president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christian Schlect VINE VOICE on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A concise and useful report on the handling of the prisoners charged with conspiring to kill Abraham Lincoln. It is divided into two parts: (1) general descriptions of the actual conspiracy and of the low key career of John Frederick Hartranft and (2) a reproduction of the actual prison letterbook (a dry daily log) maintained by General Hartranft, the man responsible for the custody of those held for the presidential murder.

This book would be a good purchase for anyone deeply interested in the handling of the Lincoln conspirators while incarcerated by the U.S. army and/or the career of John Frederick Hartranft.

Many other readily available books give a broader and more complete view of the assassination conspiracy and resulting trial. In this regard, I would recommend books by James Swanson.

While the authors' introduction points to the relevance of the highly competent and professional work by General Hartranft to present day events such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, I think the point is stretched.

The scrupulous attention given in 1865 by the U.S. army and General Hartfranft to the proper care of those accused of the highest profile crime (killing the President) is not analogous, then or now, to the handling of ordinary prisoners of war. As I recall, run of the mill Civil War prisoners, both North and South, had a plenty rough time of it.

A suggestion for a future edition: "principals" is the correct word, not "principles" on page 34.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James J. Ayala on December 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very informative book on the incarceration of the Lincoln conspirators from shortly after their arrest and trial to eventual execution for some and prison sentences for others. A very thorough log was kept by BVT General John Frederick Hartranft, the man charged with the care of the conspirators. He logged every single day of their lives even down to interesting details such how they were made to bathe themselves in view of the guards and how some of the males were unable to change underwear due to the ball and chains attached to their legs. A very interesting read for Assassination buffs.
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