Cutting the Levees Above Lake Providence by Order of General U.S. Grant
Antique illustrations that were published in "Frank Leslie's Scenes and Portraits of the Civil War." Captions: #1: General Lafayette C. Baker. Descriptive text printed below the illustration. #2: Cutting The Levees Near The State Line Of Louisiana And Arkansas, Twenty Miles Above Lake Providence, By Order Of General Grant. #3: Lighthouse Jupiter Inlet, East Coast of Florida. 16 x 11. Circa 1894.
Colonel Lafayette C. Baker: (1826-68) As the head of the Federal Secret Service during the Civil War, he became one of the most feared and hated men in America. At the outbreak of the war, Baker volunteered his services to the U.S. Government, and soon headed south to Manassas, Va. to gather intelligence on Confederate troop concentrations in that area. He was captured but somehow managed to convince President Jefferson Davis and General P.G.T. Beauregard of his Southern sympathies. Released and sent North as a double agent, he betrayed the Confederacy and brought back very valuable information on the Rebel positions and the plans of its leaders. Working outside regular army channels, Baker became a special agent and started a reign of terror against Southern sympathizers, spies, and anyone else he deemed suspicious. He was later appointed head of a secret police force called the National Detectives, and had almost unlimited authority, being only answerable to Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton. In April 1865, he headed the pursuit of the President Lincoln assassins.