Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Thursday: Best-selling Lincoln author to visit Fredericksburg

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

James L. Swanson, author of “Manhunt,” will pay a call to Fredericksburg on Thursday evening, and the public is invited.

Swanson, who just penned “Bloody Crimes,” the riveting and heart-rending follow-up to “Manhunt,” will appear at a reception and book signing at the Fredericksburg Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 620 Caroline St.

The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society and William Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, are hosting the 5-to-7 p.m. event.

Please RSVP to (And my apologies to all for the tardiness of this blog post.)

The full title of Swanson’s latest work of history is “Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and The Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse.” It brings alive two of  the biggest news stories of the era, in a well-knit, highly polished page-turner.

The subtitle of his best-selling “Manhunt,” first published in 2006, is “The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer.”

In Newsweek magazine in 2009, novelist Patricia Cornwell judged Swanson’s “Manhunt” and Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” to be the two best nonfiction crime books ever written.

Today, “Manhunt” ranks among the top 10 best-selling works of Civil War history on

It will be reviewed in an upcoming edition of The Free Lance-Star.

Swanson is also the author, with Daniel Weinberg, of “Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution.”

For more information on Swanson and his works, visit the publisher’s website for Swanson via