Cover image for Blood on the moon : the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Blood on the moon : the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Steers, Edward, Jr., 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 360 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E457.5 .S788 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is one of the most familiar stories in American history, usually told as a tale of a lone deranged actor who struck from a twisted lust for revenge. Edward Steers reveals that this is not only too simple an explanation: it is completely wrong.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Hurrah! Old Abe Lincoln has been assassinated!" wrote a South Carolina girl in her diary in 1865, giving palpable voice to the intense anti-Lincoln sentiments of the slaveholders and the South in general. This well-argued, often exciting account of an organized Confederate plot behind John Wilkes Booth's murder of the president both finely synthesizes traditional Lincoln assassination scholarship and proposes new proof and twists on already acknowledged possibilities. Steers, an avocational historian who has written several other books on Lincoln and the assassination, has a sharp ear for historical discordance and a novelist's eye for illuminating detail. Carefully filling in background (from Booth's relationship to theater and politics to the fascinating, complicated trial of co-conspirator Mary Surratt) for the nonspecialized reader, Steers gracefully disentangles a clutter of characters, historical details and hypotheses to prove his own conspiracy theory. Much of this material will be new to the common reader a Confederate plot to use yellow fever as a form of biological warfare against the North; the flight to the Vatican of Mary Surratt's son in an effort to escape prosecution after the assassination but Steers never loses his firm grip on his exciting primary narrative. Although he inclines toward purple prose in his more dramatic moments ("The deed was done. The tyrant was killed. Abraham Lincoln could burn in hell. Sic semper tyrannis!"), his theory is forthrightly and convincingly presented. Less a book for professional historians than U.S. history buffs and Lincoln diehards, this engaging expos? makes for provocative reading. 50 b&w illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 A Divided House
1 The Apotheosisp. 11
2 You Are in Dangerp. 16
3 All the World's a Stagep. 27
4 The Black Flag Is Raisedp. 39
5 The South Wants Justicep. 60
Part 2 The Deed
6 The Key Connectionp. 71
7 A Shift in Plansp. 85
8 A Day of Jubilationp. 92
9 Decisionp. 106
10 Sic Semper Tyrannisp. 113
11 The Wound Is Mortalp. 119
12 Surrattsvillep. 135
13 Dr. Muddp. 144
14 Here in Despairp. 155
15 The Roundupp. 166
Part 3 The End
16 Virginia at Last!p. 183
17 The Cavalry Arrivesp. 191
18 Tell Mother I Die for My Countryp. 201
Part 4 The Aftermath
19 To Remove the Stain of Innocent Blood from the Landp. 209
20 The Aftermath: Rewriting Historyp. 231
21 Life after Deathp. 245
22 Goodbye, Father Abrahamp. 268
Notesp. 295
Bibliographyp. 335