Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln’s Killer, written by James L. Swanson, is a book that records the twelve day manhunt for Lincoln’s killer, John Wilkes Booth. It describes the adversity the detectives and the nation itself had went through while in pursuit to find the beloved, former president’s killer.
The novel consists of a Note To The Reader, a Prologue, fourteen chapters, an Epilogue, Acknowledgments, Bibliography, Notes, and an Index.
Note To The Reader
Swanson Starts by declaring that all events, people, places, and dialogue that had happened in the book are all true. He claims that also the events are so bizarre and vivid that it may seem as if it was not true, but then assures the reader that all of the events happened are true.
The Civil War in the United States had just begun and the atmosphere and praise for Lincoln was at its highest. John Wilkes Booth writes to his mother in disgust and despair about the positive feedback of Lincoln ending the war.
Around the noon, Booth learns that Lincoln and his Wife are coming to Ford theater the day he is coming. Wilkes begins preparing plans to assassinate the President.
At 10:15 P.M., Booth shoots President Lincoln, leaps to the stage, and ends up escaping on a horse designated for runaway. The US Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, orders the manhunt for Wilkes Booth to commence.
At about 4:00 A.M., Booth seeks treatment for a broken leg at Dr. Samuel Mudd’s. Once the Calvary knows about Wilke’s whereabouts, they head to the Mudd farm. On the same day, Lincoln dies at 7:22 A.M., heartbreaking the nation. Wilkes leaves the office, fear of the detectives catching him. Stanton then orders new troops and detectives to chase Wilkes.
Thomas Jones, a supporter of the Confederacy, hides Booth in an isolated pine thicket for five days, throwing off the hunters. Meanwhile, Booth’s co-conspirator along with other associates, are arrested.
Tens of thousands watch procession to U.S. Capitol, where president Lincoln lies in state. The united States is in a state of paranoia, for there were wild rumours and stories of false sightings of Booth had spread.
Thomas Jones puts Wilkes in a rowboat bound for Virginia by using the Potomac River after hiding him for five days. The pursuit gets larger and crazier, having over a thousand men hunting for Booth in Maryland. Booth ends up getting lost and confused due to the darkness and ends up back in Maryland.
Booth finally ends up in northern Virginia, and the Confederates along with Booth sympathizers guide him to Port Conway, Virginia. Booth then befriends three Confederate, who helped him cross to Port Royal. They then made their way to the Garrett Farm.
Union troops in Washington, D.C. had been notified that they have seen a sighting of Booth in Virginia. The U.S. Navy make their way to Virginia, hoping that they find Lincoln’s killer.
The Sixteenth New York Calvary rides past Booth’s hideout, extending the manhunt. They realized they had made a mistake and passed Booth’s hideout, so they turned back and headed to the Garrett Farm. They know that Booth is at the Garrett Farm, surrounding the farm at midnight.
Booth refuses to surrender to the Calvary, in which they set the barn on fire. Boston Corbett, a Union soldier, then shoots Booth, killing Lincoln’s assassin. Booth then dies a few moments later, at sunrise.
The epilogue consists of what happened to all the people affiliated with Booth, such as his wife Clare and US Secretary of war Edwin Stanton. Also, Swanson debunks any kind of theories that Booth may still be alive.
The bibliography consists of other books and resources that Swanson had used. It is organized in alphabetical order.
Swanson had explained how he used each source, chapter by chapter. It provides extra information for the reader to map out each chapter.
The Index references any key terms, places, and locations with their page number. It is listed in alphabetical order.