The 1862 Plot to Kidnap Jefferson Davis


The 1862 Plot to Kidnap Jefferson Davis

Victor Vifquain
Edited by Jeffrey H. Smith and Phillip Thomas Tucker

198 pages
Illus., map


December 2005


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Victor Vifquain’s memoir is an engaging, firsthand account of a bold attempt to kidnap the president of the Confederate States of America. Archived for nearly a century, the chronicle of this previously unknown and daring plot has been brought to light by historians Jeffrey H. Smith, Vifquain’s great-great grandson, and Phillip Thomas Tucker in a meticulously edited and annotated volume.
The plot to ride into Richmond and capture Jefferson Davis was concocted by three brash adventurers, who, using pseudonyms from The Three Musketeers, were soon involved in escapades worthy of Dumas's trio. This stunning story provides a fresh perspective on Richmond during the Civil War and a personal account of a scheme devised to bring an early end to the war.

Author Bio

Victor Vifquain (1836–1904) was born in Belgium. His family was among the first European settlers in the Nebraska Territory. Vifquain was awarded the nation’s highest military honor for his valor in the Civil War. Jeffrey H. Smith is a professor of history at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, and is the author of A Frenchman Fights for the Union: Victor Vifquain and the 97th Illinois. Phillip Thomas Tucker is a historian at the Air Force History Office in Washington DC. He is the author of several books on the Civil War, including The Confederacy’s Fighting Chaplain, winner of the Douglas Southall Freeman Award.


"[A] lively account . . . .Worth reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Civil War."—New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter

"[The] story amazes, engages, and provides rare insight into a momentarily lighter side of the Civil War."—Kliatt

"Vifquain’s memoir needed little editing, according to the editors, and indeed it flows very well."—Curled Up With A Good Book

"Recounting an uncelebrated but singular part of American history, The 1862 Plot to Kidnap Jefferson Davis deserves a place in the library of Civil War literature."—International Social Science Review

"Taking cues from fellow Frenchmen Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo, Vifquain tells his story with an air of daring-do that inspires a sense of awe in the reader. . . . Though the plot itself failed, the story is worth telling."—Daily Nebraskan

"An important addition to the already rich selection of Civil War literature."—Nebraska History

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