Major Allan Pinkerton Detective Agency

Date:
2010
Medium:
Acrylic on wood
Dimensions:
10 ½ x 12 x 2 ½ inches
Credit Line:
Collection of Lysiane Luong Grooms and the artist

Red Grooms, inspired by a photograph of Antietam taken by Alexander Gardner, a staff photographer under Union General George McClellan, reminds us that behind the strategy of Lincoln and his generals was the working presence of military intelligence. From detectives to civilians, spies were brave individuals who had more secret and solitary jobs than soldiers on the battlefield. Pinkerton (far left, seated) is famous as a pioneer of modern detective techniques, such as “shadowing” and “working undercover,” but he also headed the Union Intelligence Service during the first half of the Civil War. His agency provided President Lincoln with personal security, and he even executed some operations disguised as a Union soldier.