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

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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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

  • 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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Swanson's book about the manhunt for Booth was a memorable, well-written tale. This one can't hold a candle to it. Perhaps the limitations of his subject matter are the reason for this book's rushed,repetitive and sketchy feel. Still, I found the book fairly interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach middle school and after students thoroughly enjoyed "Chasing Lincoln's Killer," I purchased "Bloody Times" and everyone likes it, too! Both of them are wonderful, historical nonfiction and the ones who read them like them a great deal.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the sequel to Swanson' first book, Manhunt.

In school, we learned about the Civil War and then Reconstruction BUT what happened between those two never came up. "Why not?" is what I want to know because it was so fascinating. I distinctly remember memorizing random facts of battles I had no interest in. Had this book been around then, I think my love for history would have popped up much sooner. My absolute favorite part was the section on Lincoln's funeral--haunting and sobering. I don't think I've ever seen photos or read information quite like that.

Just like the first one, the facts in this book are absolutely amazing! Why isn't this stuff more well-known and thanks, Mr. Swanson, for letting me know this stuff. With that being said, I didn't like this one quite as well as Manhunt. This one dragged a bit in places and I would really have liked to have known more about the manhunt for J. Davis. It seems as if more enthusiasm should have been shown for the capture of Davis (and more written about the cross-dressing story!). This will be a harder read for young people who didn't already have the knowledge about this time period in history.

P.S. If you're a teacher, this would be a great Compare/Contrast lesson-comparing the manhunt of J. Davis and A. Lincoln.
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