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Pinkerton in the Civil War
Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, may have saved Abraham Lincoln’s life in 1861 by uncovering a plot to assassinate the president-elect in Baltimore, Md. At the detective’s suggestion, Lincoln avoided the threat by secretly slipping through the city at night. A few months later, Pinkerton joined Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s staff as chief intelligence officer. Using the name ‘Major Allen,’ the private detective remained with McClellan until late 1862, catching southern spies and running an espionage network in Confederate territory.

Photo: Library of Congress