February 16, 2021

“Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln” – John Fazio

February 16, 2021

More than a hundred books have been written about Lincoln’s assassination, yet one of the few certainties surrounding his death is the fact that little about it is certain. The literature on the subject is replete with errors, theories and guesswork. This comprehensive re-examination of the facts seeks to correct major and minor errors in the record, reconcile differences of opinion, offer explanations for unknowns and evaluate theories. Drawing on hundreds of sources, Fazio covers the prelude to the war, Booth’s accomplices and their roles in the conspiracy, the kidnapping ruse that concealed the intended decapitation of the United States government, the mysteries surrounding key players (Parker, Forbes and Cobb), the assassination itself, the attempted assassinations, Booth’s escape, the death of the president, the pursuit of the fugitives, the death of Booth and the trial and sentencing of his co-conspirators (except John Surratt) and one innocent man. The simple conspiracy theory is rejected by Fazio in favor of the theory that Booth worked with the complicity of the highest levels of the Confederate government and its Secret Service Bureau, whose twofold purpose was retribution and snatching Southern independence from a weakened and chaotic Federal government.

 Fazio, is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its president. He frequently speaks on the war before Roundtables and other groups, has written and published numerous articles on the war and teaches Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution. He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Surratt Society.