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True Crime in the Civil War: Cases of Murder, Treason, Counterfeiting, Massacre, Plunder, and Misuse of Power Paperback – Apr 2 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; Stated First Edition edition (April 2 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081171019X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811710190
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,021,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Freelance writer Buhk has pulled many famous--and infamous--Civil War crimes into one excellent volume. . . . Easy to read with occasional humorous turns of phrase; highly recommended."--Karen Sandlin Silverman"Library Journal" (04/12/2012)

About the Author

Tobin T. Buhk is a freelance writer who lives in Jenison, Michigan, and is coauthor with Stephen D. Cohle of Skeletons in the Closet: Tales from the County Morgue (978-1-59102-603-7) and Cause of Death: Forensic Files of a Medical Examiner (978-1-59102-447-7).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa8758d80) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa9523bc4) out of 5 stars Just When You Thought the Civil War Couldn't Get Any Bloodier! July 15 2012
By Mike O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Civil wars are traditionally some of the most savage conflicts fought on or off the battlefield. Tobin Buhk's TRUE CRIME IN THE CIVIL WAR offers up sixteen tales of murder most foul, deadly duels, massacres, arson, riots, banditry, and various other acts of "audacious, brutal, bodacious or bizarre" behavior during the Civil War years.

Many of the events and personalities that roam through the pages of Buhk's book will be familiar to Civil War buffs such as Benjamin 'the Beast' Butler, William Quantrill & the sacking of Lawrence, General Van Dorn's murder, Nathan Bedford Forrest & the Fort Pillow Massacre, the attempted burning of Manhattan, Andersonville's Commandant Henry Wirz, the Booth Conspirators, etc. Other stories such as Sam Upham's counterfeiting scheme, the Walker-Marmaduke duel and the slaughter of the Beckham family aren't as well known.

Buhk did a good job researching the various stories. Over the years many of the events in TRUE CRIME IN THE CIVIL WAR have acquired a layer of half-truths, myths and legends. Buhk uses many first-person reminiscences, documentation and a historian's objectivity to present a comprehensive, fair-minded account of each tale. Likewise, he includes a number of photographs, documents and illustrations that bring the often bloody events to life.

After reading TRUE CRIME IN THE CIVIL WAR, the reader will be in absolute agreement with Buhk's assertion that "Crime did not take a holiday during the Civil War." Recommended.
HASH(0xa86e533c) out of 5 stars Good and entertaining read Sept. 16 2015
By Jenn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good book for history buffs. Adequately researched, and including some off-the-beaten path stories as well as the more famous--and infamous--events, the book held my interest. A serious academic tome it is not, but there is a substantial Endnotes section as well as the bibliography for further reading.

Four stars for the Kindle version, because even though the content itself was just fine, the editing and formatting errors were a little too numerous to ignore, not the least of which was the irritating issue of photo captions appearing on the page following the photo/image.
By Big Al - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So far this is an extremely interesting book. However, I have noticed an error in the chapter: The Lawrence Massacre and the Not-So-Civil War of Quantrill, Anderson, and the James Brothers 1863. It says the counties of Jackson, Cass, Bates, and Vernon are along the Mississippi River. This is impossible. Those counties are on Missouri's western border and the Mississippi is on the eastern border.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa84b8960) out of 5 stars Interesting Civil War events June 17 2012
By Jetpack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like to haunt the free eBook section in History, as Stackpole especially likes to put books up for free at times. So, I grabbed True Crime when I saw it.

It's 4,434 locations long, and the author does a nice job of relaying the events he has included. I have to agree that it's pretty darn hard to know for certain what happened 150 years ago, but he does his best.

Here is a list of the events/people covered:

Castle Thunder - a prison in Richmond
Sam Upham and counterfeiting
Benjamin Butler - probably still hated in New Orleans
Sack of Athens, GA
Feuding generals - one murder and one duel between generals
Detroit draft riot
Murder of the Beckham Family
Lawrence, KS massacre
Murder of Gen. Van Dorn
Fort Pillow Massacre
Plot to Burn Manhattan, NY
Sue Mundy - this one is especially interesting - an invented female bushwacker
Trial of the Lincoln Assassin conspirators
Champ Ferguson's rampage
Temperance Neely and the ex-slave she killed

This is a very well done book, and worth getting. I wonder if over $13, the price at the time of the review is too high, but that is clearly the decision of the readers. Definitely worth considering if you want more information on crimes during the Civil War.
HASH(0xa9e42144) out of 5 stars Good But Writer wanders July 1 2013
By William F Kelsay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Writer doesn't hold on to the reader. Too much emphasis on factual history without emphasising detail that would keep the interest of the reader piqued.