What We Are Reading Today: Lincoln’s Spies by Douglas C. Waller
A major addition to the history of the Civil War, Lincoln’s Spies is a riveting account of the secret battles waged by Union agents to save a nation, according to a review published on goodreads.com.
Filled with espionage, sabotage, and intrigue, it is also a striking portrait of a shrewd president who valued what his operatives uncovered.
Veteran journalist Douglas Waller, who has written ground-breaking intelligence histories, turns his sights on the shadow war of four secret agents for the North— three men and one woman. From the tense days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861 to the surrender at Appomattox four years later, Waller delivers a fast-paced narrative of the heroes — and scoundrels — who informed Lincoln’s generals of enemy positions.
Famed detective Allan Pinkerton mounted a successful covert operation to slip Lincoln through Baltimore before his inauguration to foil an assassination attempt. But he failed as Gen. George McClellan’s spymaster, delivering faulty intelligence reports that overestimated Confederate strength.
Behind these secret operatives was a president who was an avid consumer of intelligence and a ruthless aficionado of clandestine warfare, willing to take chances to win the war.