Other books byThomas J. Craughwell
St. Peter's Bones
How the Relics of the First Pope Were Lost and...
In this fascinating account of the search for the remains of the world's first pope, none other than Peter, the chief apostle of Jesus, Thomas J. Craughwell takes us on one of the most exciting archaeological finds of the twentieth century. In 1448 a team of architects and engineers brought Pope Nicholas V unhappy news: the 1,100-year-old Basilica of St. Peter suffered from so many structural defects that it was beyond repair. The only solution was to pull down the old church--one of the most venerable churches in all of Christiandom--and erect a new basilica on the site. Incredibly, one of the tombs the builders paved over was the resting place of St. Peter. Then in 1939, while reconstructing the grottoes below St. Peter's Basilica, a workman's shovel struck not dirt or rock but open air. After inspecting what could be seen through the hole they'd made in the mausoleum's roof, Pope Pius XII secretly authorized a full-scale excavation. What lay beneath? The answer and the adventure await. In this riveting history, facts, traditions, and faith collide to reveal the investigation, betrayals, and mystery behind St. Peter's burial place.
The Greatest Brigade
How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to...
“The Greatest Brigadeis an exciting journey through the major battles of the civil war alongside the members of the famed Irish Brigade. Well researched, compellingly written, filled with fascinating illustrations, and with a story that holds the reader with a ‘bulldog grip,’ Thomas Craughwell has written a regimental history that deserves to be on every Civil War lover’s bookshelf.” —Jason Emerson, author ofThe Madness of Mary LincolnandLincoln the Inventor The Irish Brigade played a key role in all the major battles including the Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Petersburg, and Appomattox and wasn’t decommissioned until WWI. It was full of larger than life characters and effectively led by a charismatic commander who was court marshaled for revolutionary activity in Ireland and was dismissed to enable him to serve in the war. Some numbers say that this unit lost more than 4,000 soldiers, one of the largest body counts of any brigade, if not the largest.The Greatest Brigadeis a tale of a critical and incredible fighting force, packed with immigrants that helped win the war not only through bravery and war tactics but also by scaring the English out of the war with threats of violence at home. It’s a story every Civil War history buff should know and it is told with the page-turning excitement that has made Craughwell a bestselling history author.
Stealing Lincoln's Body
On the night of the presidential election in 1876, a gang of counterfeiters out of Chicago attempted to steal the entombed embalmed body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. The custodian of the tomb was so shaken by the incident that he willingly dedicated the rest of his life to protecting the president's corpse. In a lively and dramatic narrative, Thomas J. Craughwell returns to this bizarre, and largely forgotten, event with the first book to place the grave robbery in historical context. He takes us through the planning and execution of the crime and the outcome of the investigation. He describes the reactions of Mary Todd Lincoln and Robert Todd Lincoln to the theft—and the peculiar silence of a nation. He follows the unlikely tale of what happened to Lincoln's remains after the attempted robbery, and details the plan devised by the Lincoln Guard of Honor to prevent a similar abominable recurrence. Along the way, Craughwell offers entertaining sidelights on the rise of counterfeiting in America and the establishment of the Secret Service to combat it; the prevalence of grave robberies; the art of nineteenth-century embalming; and the emergence among Irish immigrants of an ambitious middle class—and a criminal underclass. This rousing story of hapless con men, intrepid federal agents, and ordinary Springfield citizens who honored their native son by keeping a valuable, burdensome secret for decades offers a riveting glimpse into late-nineteenth-century America, and underscores that truth really is sometimes stranger than fiction.
The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in History
How Genghis Khan's Mongols Almost Conquered the...
Emerging out of the vast steppe grasslands of Central Asia in the early 1200s, the Mongols, under their ferocious leader, Genghis Khan, quickly carved out an empire that by the late thirteenth century covered almost one-sixth of the Earth’s landmass—from Eastern Europe to the eastern shore of Asia—and encompassed 110 million people. Far larger than the much more famous domains of Alexander the Great and ancient Rome, it has since been surpassed in overall size and reach only by the British Empire. The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in the World recounts the spectacularly rapid expansion and dramatic decline of the Mongol realm, while examining its real, widespread, and enduring influence on countless communities from the Danube River to the Pacific Ocean.