Tall, handsome and charismatic, James Jaquess impressed men and charmed ladies who knew him as a preacher, a college president or colonel of an Illinois regiment. In 1864 he and James Gilmore talked to Jefferson Davis about terms of peace. Lincoln recognised his many abilities and invited Jaquess to serve as one of his personal agents. But after the Civil War ended, this biography reveals, Jaquess' life changed for the worst. He was tried in Kentucky for the death of a woman and failed as a carpetbagger in Arkansas and Mississippi. Then he convinced his family and friends in Indiana and numerous residents of New York to invest in Lawrence-Townley bonds and share in a fortune waiting in England. This venture ended in poverty for him and a sentence in a British prison. When he returned to America for his final years, Jaquess still held the respect of the men of the 73rd Infantry and the affection of the women who knew him as president of their college in Jacksonville. His misadventures having turned his black hair to white, he still possessed the charisma that had led to his national fame.