November 30, 2011
Contact: Caitlin E. Chamberlain
(207) 441-0501

Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. through the Maine State Archives Presents Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally Book Signing by Maine Author Elizabeth D. Leonard

AUGUSTA, Maine – In recognition of the Civil War Sesquicentennial*, Secretary of State Charlie Summers through the Maine State Archives will be hosting a book signing by Maine author Professor Elizabeth D. Leonard on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM in the Maine State Archives Search Room.  Her latest book, Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally, is the first comprehensive biography of Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt.

Joseph Holt, the stern, brilliant, and deeply committed Unionist from Kentucky, spent the first several months of the American Civil War successfully laboring to maintain Kentucky's loyalty to the Union. He later went on to serve as President Lincoln's judge advocate general. In his capacity as the administration's chief arbiter and enforcer of military law, Holt strove tenaciously, often against strong resistance, to implement Lincoln's wartime policies, including emancipation. After Lincoln's assassination, Holt was responsible for pursuing and bringing to justice everyone involved in John Wilkes Booth's conspiracy. Despite his important role in American history, Joseph Holt has been largely overlooked by historians. Through Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally Professor Leonard brings his fascinating story to light.  ?

Elizabeth D. Leonard is the John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History at Colby College in Waterville.  She has authored several other books, including Lincoln's Avengers: Justice, Revenge, and Reunion after the Civil War.

The book signing, featuring remarks by Professor Leonard, is free and open to the public. Copies of Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally will also be available for purchase. 

*The Maine State Archives has organized the Sesquicentennial Project to mark the 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War.  The project seeks to highlight Maine people who lived during the Civil War.  For more information, please visit