CONFEDERATE COURIER by Helen Jones Campbell

CONFEDERATE COURIER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Washington, 1867--the scene of lawless chaos in the name of political unity--John Harrison Surratt was on trial for the murder of Abraham Lincoln. Tow years earlier, his mother and three other Southerners had been hanged for the same crime, four more were sentenced to life. Secretary Stanton was still on the warpath, turning Federal halls of justice into a mockery on behalf of his Radical Republican followers. An underground Confederate mail runner during the war, Johnny Surratt had listened to the personable young actor's version of the perennial abduction scheme--""The Enterprise"", Booth called it. Yet, on the day Lincoln was shot, Johnny was miles away in Elmira, New York, and knew nothing of it. Ignorant, too, of his innocent mother's death, he was forced into holding, and then into flight--Canada, England, the Vatican and eventually to Egypt where he was arrested, the promised reward having succeeded. The two month trial repeated once more the show of perjury that had been encouraged in the previous trials, for even Mrs. Surratt was hanged without a majority opinion of guilt. A power struggle between Stanton and President Johnson seemed finally to be at the back of it all. In the end Surratt was acquitted the Washington witch hunt over. Told through the people involved, this lively account of the events leading to the Trial of the Conspirators makes exciting reading--and adds a somewhat inglorious chapter to the annals of Civil War History.

Publisher: St Martins Press