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True Crime in the Civil War: Cases of Murder, Treason, Counterfeiting, Massacre, Plunder & Abuse Paperback – Feb 16 2012
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True Crime in the Civil War: Cases of Murder, Treason, Counterfeiting, Massacre, Plunder & Abuse
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.