I Held Lincoln

A Union Sailor's Journey Home

Richard E Quest

The story of Lt. Benjamin Loring, who escaped from a Confederate prison camp to regain his freedom, and after returning home, witnessed the assassination of President Lincoln at Ford's Theater.
Publication date:
May 2018
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Illustration :
15 illustrations
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612349497

Dimensions : 230 X 150 mm
This book is available
ISBN : 9781640124516

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
This book is available


• The untold story of Lt. Benjamin Loring's capture and escape from a Confederate prison camp
• Provides detail into a little known Confederate prison camp (Camp Groce) during the last days of the Civil War, as well as a few details about the events at Ford's Theater
• Quest uses information from Lt. Loring's recently discovered private journal
• Lt. Loring was one of the few men who carried a dying President Lincoln across the street to the Peterson House after the president's assassination

Lieutenant Benjamin Loring lived the life of an everyman Civil War soldier. He commanded no armies; he devised no grand strategies. Lt. Loring was a soldier who just wanted to return home, where he awaited the biggest story of his life. In I Held Lincoln: A Union Sailor's Journey Home, Richard E. Quest tells the story of Lt. Loring and his noteworthy impact on American history. Covering almost a year of Lt. Loring's service, I Held Lincoln includes the Lieutenant's command of the gunboat Wave, the Battle of the Calcasieu River, the surrender of the ship, and Lt. Loring's capture by the Confederates. He was incarcerated in Camp Groce, a deadly Confederate prison where he endured horrific conditions and abuse. Loring attempted to escape, evading capture for ten arduous days behind enemy lines, only to be recaptured just a few miles from freedom. After his second escape, Lt. Loring finally gained his freedom behind Union lines. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lt. Loring attended Ford's Theater and witnessed one of the single most tragic events in American history: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. After the shot rang out, Lt. Loring climbed up the presidential box where he assisted the dying president and helped carry him across the street to the Peterson House. Using a recently discovered private journal of Lt. Loring, Quest tells this astonishing lost story, giving insight into a little-known Confederate prison camp during the last days of the Civil War, along with providing much-deserved recognition to a man whose journey has been overlooked and lost to American history.