Title: Pinkerton's War: The Civil War's Greatest Spy and the Birth of the U.S. Secret Service
Author: Jay Bonansinga
Publisher: Lyons Pr
Scottish immigrant Allan Pinkerton is best known for creating the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which gained renown for solving train robberies in the 1850s and battling the labor movement in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. But the central drama of his career, and the focus of this book, was his work as protector of President Abraham Lincoln and head of a network of Union spies (including himself!) who posed as Confederate soldiers and sympathizers in a deadly cat-and-mouse game.
As here told in riveting prose by author Jay Bonansinga, Pinkerton’s politics and abolitionist sympathies drew the attention of supporters of presidential incumbent Abraham Lincoln—and Pinkerton was hired to act as his bodyguard. Pinkerton was asked to organize the U.S. government’s first “Secret Service,” and during the Civil War he managed a network of spies who worked behind confederate lines and tackled espionage at the highest levels in Washington. By war’s end, the agency’s reputation was so well-established that it was often hired by the government to perform many of the same duties today assigned to the Secret Service, the FBI, the CIA and, most recently, the Department of Homeland Security.