The Associated Press reported in a dispatch June 23, 1864, that the Confederates had been firing upon horse-drawn hospital wagons evacuating the wounded to waiting steamers off the Virginia coast. Union forces reported that “the Rebels pay no respect to our hospital flags; and on Thursday last they fired upon one of our hospital trains from a battery stationed near Petersburg, (Virginia), killing and wounding several horses.” The AP account said no one aboard the hospital wagons was wounded in that and other incidents as Union troops took aim at Petersburg 150 years ago in the Civil War. AP reported thousands upon thousands of bloodied men being evacuated, along with rebel prisoners like a Confederate lieutenant who had lost an arm in the fighting. Meanwhile, AP reported, artillery duels continued unabated for days near Petersburg. “The city is full of lofty shade trees, and the steeples of the churches are the only prominent objects on which to take effective range. The effects of the shooting have not yet been ascertained, aside from the burning of some of the buildings,” AP’s correspondent wrote in June 1864.
Posts Tagged With: confederates
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee wrote this week 150 years ago in the Civil War to the president of the Confederacy as his battered army continued its recovery from defeat at Gettysburg. Both North and South had experienced heavy bloodletting in the fight and were bidding to regroup after what would turn out to be the pivotal battle of the war. In a letter dated July 31, 1863, Lee told Confederate President Jefferson Davis that the adverse turn of events at Gettysburg for the South cannot be blamed on anyone but himself. “No blame can be attached to the army for its failure to accomplish what was projected by me, nor should it be censured for the unreasonable expectations of the public. I am alone to blame, in perhaps expecting too much of its prowess & valour,” Lee wrote Davis. In the same letter, Lee added: “Our loss has been heavy, that of the enemy’s proportionally so.” And he concluded that his plan could have worked if all the elements of his war strategy had come together as expected: I still think if all things could have worked together it would have been accomplished.” Many letters were going back and forth between Davis and Lee at this point in the war, with Davis at the time promising to rapidly furnish more fighters for the badly depleted Army of Northern Virginia.
In April 1865, the Civil War ended for most Americans; however, the War and its various aspects continue to capture the interest and imagination of many Americans, who are fascinated by the conflict.
One of the big mysteries remaining is “what happened to the Confederate treasury” or “Confederate gold” that went missing during and after the American Civil War. For years, treasure hunters and historians have tried to solve this mystery, without too much luck.
Millions of dollars in gold was said to have been lost during and after the Civil War – buried by individual plantation owners and others, and even by the confederate government, to keep it out of the hands of the “damn Yankees.” In fact, $30 million dollars may have been buried outside of Savannah, Georgia, hidden for the day when the “South would rise again,” or so that the Union would not gain possession of it. Some of it just “went missing.”
One version of the story tells how Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, was attending church in Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday, April 2, 1865, when he learned that Lee’s defensive line at Petersburg had been broken and the evacuation of Richmond was imminent. President Davis pleaded with General Lee to form defense lines for just one more day. He then informed his cabinet that Richmond was to be evacuated and they would take the Confederate treasury with them. Lee advised Davis that he had until 8 p.m. to load the gold, valuables, and cabinet members onto two trains that would travel south on the only line still open. Confederate officials boarded the first train, while the second train carried a “special cargo” comprised of gold ingots, gold double eagle coins, silver coins, silver bricks and Mexican silver dollars.
When the train tracks ended, Davis and his staff traveled south on horseback. The treasure, placed into containers once used for sugar, coffee, flour, and ammunition, was loaded into in wagons for the trip to the old US Mint in Charlotte, North Carolina. However, somewhere in Wilkes County, Georgia, the wagon train was bushwhacked by stragglers from the Federal and Confederate armies, who had heard of the treasure. Residents of Wilkes County who witnessed the event said that the bushwhackers waded knee-deep in gold and silver coinage before loading it in all kinds of bags and sacks and riding away.
The belief that Confederate gold is buried in Wilkes County has persisted since the end of the war. However, searches conducted throughout the years have found nothing of value there.
Some of the Confederate treasures reportedly buried in light of Union take over were:
$30 Million in gold buried outside of Savannah, Georgia, a hub of minting, trading, and gold mining before it fell to Union forces. The rumor is that the gold was buried under the name of a confederate general between two false generals in a cemetery.
$500,000 in Confederate Gold bullion is said to be located in West Central Broward County, allegedly buried by Captain John Riley, who planned to have it shipped to Cuba but was being pursued by Union soldiers, and so he buried it.
$100,000 in Confederate gold went missing in Georgia in 1865, when two wagon trains filled with gold were robbed at Chennault Crossroads in Lincoln County. There are different theories about what happened to the gold. Apparently, it never left the county, and after heavy rains, many gold coins have been found along the road to Chennault Plantation.
Another treasure tale about hidden Confederate gold has the Confederacy moving money to Columbia, Tennessee. By all accounts, $100,000 in gold and silver coins was being transported by wagon in two wooden crates. As the men transporting the money neared Athens, Alabama, the wagon became stuck in a muddy “bog hole.” As they tried to free the wagon, they were warned that Union soldiers were on the way. Afraid that the money would fall into Union hands, the men buried the crates of gold and silver about a half mile west of an old stream crossing, about four miles north of Athens, Alabama in Limestone County. And as the story goes, the coins have never been recovered.
Canada may also hold millions in Confederate gold. Southern spies preparing for a Confederate resurgence after the Civil War are said to have buried millions of dollars in gold at sites across Canada in the 1860s. Canada was an important haven for Confederate operatives during the Civil War, who went on to form the nucleus of a secret society — the Knights of the Golden Circle — that kept the South’s dream of independence alive for decades after the Union army’s victory.
By war’s end, exiled Confederates and Knights of the Golden Circle operating out of Canada had amassed a treasury estimated to be more than $2 million in gold and silver coins. Because of the strict secrecy surrounding the cash reserves and the generations that have passed since the money was buried, no one can for say for sure where the treasure is.
So whether the treasure was squirreled away for the day when the “South would rise again,” or simply hidden or lost, the fact remains there may be a fortune in Confederate gold buried across not only a dozen states in the South, but in Canada as well.
As gunshots ravaged the bodies of tens of thousands of soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg, military doctors responded with a method of treatment that is still the foundation of combat medicine today.
Union Army Maj. Dr. Jonathan Letterman is remembered as the father of battlefield medicine for his Civil War innovations. He realized that organizing the medical corps was a key for any battle.
“For military medicine, in particular, the lessons that Letterman gave us are as true today as they were then,” said retired Lt. Gen. Ronald Ray Blanck, the former surgeon general for the U.S. Army.
Before the war, medical supplies were handled by regular quartermaster wagons, Blanck said, meaning they had to compete with “beans and bullets.”
The situation was so bad that, in some early Civil War battles, the wounded were left on the field for days, subject to the mercy of untrained troops and civilians.
In 1862, Letterman began to create an ambulance corps and three tiers of field hospitals: at the battlefield for simple wound dressing, nearby for emergency surgery and behind the battle lines for long-term care and recovery.
Dale Smith, a professor of military history at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md., said Letterman’s innovations were so successful that Prussian and English observers wrote home to praise the system.
“There’s never been any question that he changed military medicine internationally,” Smith said.
But the Battle of Gettysburg was 150 years ago, and some have wondered how that could possibly be relevant for doctors in Iraq and Afghanistan, said George Wunderlich, director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md.
Wunderlich recalled that about 10 years ago, a military member remarked that it was a shame the Civil War “has nothing to do with what we do today” with battlefield medicine.
But after Wunderlich told him how Civil War doctors resolved problems with transportation, training and even corruption, the man asked Wunderlich if those topics could be turned into a one-day course.
Another man who complained that the Civil War training sessions were “unrealistic” called Wunderlich later after responding to Hurricane Katrina, where moving supplies was slow and difficult and even some cell towers were down.
“He says, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m in 1862 down here and now I get it,'” Wunderlich recalled.
Now, more than 5,500 military members and emergency responders have attended history courses run by the Museum of Civil War Medicine. The classes are designed to get people to think about how decisions get made in combat or crisis, and some are taught on battlefields at Gettysburg and Antietam. The courses include topics such as courage and innovation; artillery and its effects; evacuation; and stress and fatigue.
“Our job is to use history to save the lives of people” today, Wunderlich said.
Some of the lessons are subtle. For example, instead of just inspecting hospitals and his staff, Letterman sat beside Union General George McClellan during pre-battle meetings to better predict where to station ambulances and doctors.
“These are the kinds of things that come out from thinking about history,” Blanck said. “The battles are won or lost on the creativity of the medical officer and the support of the commander.”
Wunderlich said the museum also works to dispel many myths about Civil War medicine. The battles and wounds were certainly horrible, but anesthesia using chloroform or ether was involved in more than 95 percent of all major operations, he said.
And while doctors didn’t yet understand exactly what germs were, they had noticed that patients did better when certain folklore was practiced. So while military camps were known for being filthy, hospitals followed strict rules for washing bed sheets and letting in plenty of fresh air and sunlight.
“They didn’t know why, but they knew it worked and they put it to use,” Wunderlich said.
But the biggest benefits of Civil War medicine may have come in the decades after the war, Wunderlich said. The young doctors and medics who had witnessed so much horror and saved so many lives went on to become leaders in many communities, pushing for public health reforms in major cities.
“Those people never stopped practicing medicine,” Wunderlich said. “The benefit to the public was immediate.”
Richard Samuel Kimberlin.
Not one liberal Northern writer has ever mentioned Kimberlin’s plight and only a very few Southern writers have ever attempted to make even a cursory notation of the atrocity visited on his family.The Kimberlin family lived in Blue Springs in 1852 having come from the small town of Texas in Washington County, Kentucky. The father’s name was Samuel Kimberlin Sr. Records indicate that a few years prior to the Civil War he moved his family to Blue Springs, Jackson County, Missouri, bringing his slaves with him. The reason he moved was because he had a contract to haul freight in 1856 from Missouri to the government posts out west. In an 1856 family letter Kimberlin said he had heard of old John Brown but “he did not then molest the freighters, for they were well armed. He sent his jayhawkers into the State of Missouri, where most of his depredations were.” There were five Kimberlin brothers: twenty-one year old Isaiah Jeremiah, eighteen-year-old William Grant, sixteen-year-old Richard Samuel Kimberlin II, fourteen-year-old Robert K, and twelve-year-old Julian N. Below is an image of four of the Kimberlin brothers, likely taken at one of the reunions they hosted. Standing in order starting from the left are Isaiah J. Kimberlin, William G. Kimberlin, Richard S. Kimberlin and Julian N. Kimberlin.
ody border conflict of the Civil War. This month the website officers are proud to present Richard Samuel Kimberlin. Not one liberal Northern writer has ever mentioned Kimberlin’s plight and only a very few Southern writers have ever attempted to make even a cursory notation of the atrocity visited on his family.The Kimberlin family lived in Blue Springs in 1852 having come from the small town of Texas in Washington County, Kentucky. The father’s name was Samuel Kimberlin Sr. Records indicate that a few years prior to the Civil War he moved his family to Blue Springs, Jackson County, Missouri, bringing his slaves with him. The reason he moved was because he had a contract to haul freight in 1856 from Missouri to the government posts out west. In an 1856 family letter Kimberlin said he had heard of old John Brown but “he did not then molest the freighters, for they were well armed. He sent his jayhawkers into the State of Missouri, where most of his depredations were.” There were five Kimberlin brothers: twenty-one year old Isaiah Jeremiah, eighteen-year-old William Grant, sixteen-year-old Richard Samuel Kimberlin II, fourteen-year-old Robert K, and twelve-year-old Julian N. Below is an image of four of the Kimberlin brothers, likely taken at one of the reunions they hosted. Standing in order starting from the left are Isaiah J. Kimberlin, William G. Kimberlin, Richard S. Kimberlin and Julian N. Kimberlin. During the fall of 1862, once the leaves had fallen denying him concealment from roving enemy patrols Quantrill took his company south into Van Buren, Arkansas. With Quantrill’s aid the Southerners along the border had just won three successive victories at the First Battle of Independence, Lone Jack and White Oak Creek besides numerous other skirmishes at Shawneetown, Kansas and Wellington, Missouri. While Quantrill’s company had attached themselves as independent cavalry to Colonel Benjamin Elliott’s Battalion in General John S. Marmaduke’s division Quantrill received leave from his brigade commander General Joseph O. Shelby to travel to Richmond, Virginia to seek a colonel’s commission of partisan rangers. He left his company in command of his adjutant, Lieutenant William Gregg. Before his return to Jackson County in early May 1863 Kansas Jayhawkers and Federal militia wreaked havoc during their barbaric raids and patrols through the Missouri countryside. Almost as soon as the Federals learned that Quantrill had gone south Union atrocities increased. Guerrilla Harrison Trow reported: “In mid-winter houses were burned by the hundreds and whole neighborhoods devastated and laid waste.” Another guerrilla, Frank Smith recalled that the winter of 1863 was very severe in Jackson County after Quantrill’s men left. “Redlegs began to dash over the border into Jackson and Cass Counties and rob. They plundered Jackson and Cass Counties, and a great deal of that was conducted by Col. William Penick’s men and the jayhawkers stationed in Independence until Penick’s men came to be known by the name “Penick’s Thieves.” Colonel William Ridgeway Penick was commander of the Fifth Missouri State Militia stationed in Independence. Penick was described as rough and uneducated. He was a radical Unionist who placed a price on the heads of the guerrillas. He stated that the guerrilla problem could be wiped out “if hemp, fire, and gunpowder were freely used.” Penick made it a standard practice to assassinate anyone who was suspected of being in sympathy with the guerrillas. Below is an image of Colonel William Ridgeway Penick. On Friday, October 4, 1862 just across the river in Lexington, Kansas Redlegs burned several houses and killed seven men after plundering what they could carry off. The next night, near Lexington, they rode up to John McPhadon’s house after dark and demanded he accompany them. McPhadon’s two daughters were in the house. Redlegs dragged McPhadon a few yards from his house and murdered him. His “crime” was that he had two sons in the Confederate army. Jayhawkers also raided the newspaper offices of the Lexington Expositor and stole its presses. Another newspaper the Lexington Express had already been closed by military order. From a neighboring county, Willard Mendenhall wrote in his diary, “The Redlegs had killed about fifty men in this neighborhood in the last few days.” Much had changed during the time the guerrillas had been out of the state. Federal authorities began to demand loyalty oaths and security bonds from Southern sympathizers to guarantee their good behavior as well as assessments from suspected Secessionists. Loyalty oaths were an important weapon against Missourians. Anyone with an important job was required to sign an oath. In effect, it demanded the signer to vow to support the Constitution and not to take up arms against the Federal government. If a person was found in arms who had previously taken the oath, he was immediately executed. Missourians were required later to post bonds in conjunction with their oaths. These bonds usually ranged from two thousand to twenty thousand dollars, depending on the property owned by the individual. Yet all it took to revoke the bond and confiscate the money was for a neighbor to accuse the oath taker of disloyalty. On April 23, 1863, the Kansas City Journal announced that the Federal provost marshal general held bonds of “traitors and secessionists” to the amazing sum of twenty million dollars. This government practice was little more than extortion, because people who did not post the requisite loyalty bond were forced from their homes or imprisoned. Once incarcerated, these people had no legal rights, since the Lincoln administration had rescinded most constitutional rights. Corruption was rife in administering the bonds, and many bond funds were seized with little provocation. The bond subterfuge was essentially an artful program of highway robbery. Union Gen. Clinton Fisk remarked on the corrupt provost marshals in his district: “I have the honor to state that it has come to my knowledge that many persons have been arrested and imprisoned for a long time by some of your subordinates upon evidence insufficient to warrant the military authorities restraining citizens of their liberty. Great care should be exercised in the use of arbitrary power confided to provost marshals, and we cannot be too cautious in receiving as truth the statements of apparently good men who seek through the military power the punishment of neighbors for alleged offenses, old grudges, local animosities, and private griefs, to frequently seek adjustment through the military arm of power, much to the scandal and prejudice of honesty and loyalty.” Provisional Governor Hamilton Gamble wired President Lincoln that he had stopped assessments by state militia officers and urged that they not be made by U.S. forces as “great distress is produced.” The Missouri congressional delegation on January 6, 1863, presented the president with a memo asking that the assessments be stopped. Nevertheless, many Union commanders levied assessments because they believed they were a constraint on Southern sympathizers. One Union general who did not condone these assessments was John M. Schofield. He informed the president that in counties along the border Gen. Samuel R. Curtis had confiscated Southern property “without any form of trial known to any law, either civil or military.” Futhermore, Curtis’s General Order No. 35 ordered his provost marshals to banish people “though no specific act of disloyalty can be proven against them.” Citizens were considered disloyal simply by letting Confederate soldiers drink from their wells or giving forage to their horses. The steps the Federal government took to put down guerrilla warfare were excessive and intolerant. The list when viewed shows the absence of any kind of respect for civil rights, any compassion for innocent civilians, and a complete lack of disregard for the rules of war. Some are as follows: 1. Hang or shoot all suspected guerrillas or Southern sympathizers on the spot without benefit of trial. 2. Seize all property of guerrilla soldiers or suspected guerrilla sympathizers. 3. Burn and destroy homes, livestock, and property of all guerrillas and their sympathizers. 4. Refuse the right to vote or hold civil office for any Southern sympathizers or those who refuse to take a loyalty oath. 5. Level loyalty bonds against Southern sympathizers to guarantee their nonsupport of guerrilla activity, then find excuses to accuse them of disloyalty so their property can be seized and sold for profit. 6. Refuse the right of military pardons or paroles or exchanges of guerrilla soldiers as afforded to regular army soldiers. 7. Seize guerrillas’ relatives for imprisonment or banishment from the state. 8. Deny all guerrillas and their sympathizers Constitutional rights when captured as afforded prisoners of war. 9. Seize suspected disloyal citizens and imprison them without benefit of trial or a reading of the charges brought against them in accordance with constitutional law, thus denying the writ of habeas corpus. 10. Deny Southern sympathizers the right to freedom of religion by forcing compulsory prayers in support of the President of the United States and the Federal government. 11. Force citizens in the vicinity of guerrilla activity that results in destruction of property to pay for repairs and to contribute hard labor to repair destroyed property. 12. Use of noncombatants for human shields while on dangerous military operations not in accordance with the rules of war. A small group of Quantrill’s men remained behind during the winter in order to take care of their families who had been driven from their homes and had their lives devastated. The winter of 1862–63 was unusually cold, and snow covered the ground most of the time. It was a dangerous season for the guerrillas to try to hide. John McBride, a resident and a Union spy, informed Colonel Penick that he could lead Union soldiers to a guerrilla hideout five miles south of Independence. As a result, on February 7 a Federal patrol surrounded a camp of twelve guerrillas in Jackson County and, after a brief skirmish, captured nine of them. The orders from the Union commander were explicit in this matter, and the prisoners were immediately shot. Colonel Penick in Independence put every man he had in the saddle to try to bring Quantrill’s remaining men to bay. He murdered any Southern sympathizers he could find and burned their homes, forcing them to leave the country and drying up the guerrillas’ base of civilian support. While on patrol six miles south of Independence, Penick sought out and killed Wallace Wigginton, a brother to guerrilla George Wigginton. In the aftermath of the killing, the Federals also took the opportunity to steal all the families’ belongings. In late January 1863, Penick sent a patrol from Independence to burn down thirteen houses of Southern sympathizers along with the Baptist church in Oak Grove.Lieutenant Coleman Younger who had remained behind to take care of his mother and younger siblings saw his mother’s home burned down in the middle of winter. The day after the burning of the Younger home the same band of Federals torched the home of Cole Younger’s maternal grandmother, Mary L. “Polly” Fristoe, and that of her neighbor, Mrs. Rucker, both of Brooking Township. In Pleasant Hill Dr. Pleasant Lea, father of guerrilla Joseph and Frank Lea had been arrested, tied to a tree and bayoneted to death. Federals also arrested Moses Kerr, father of guerrilla Nathan Kerr. He was taken to Independence, sent back to his home, but before he could get there, he was tied to a tree and shot to pieces. Three of guerrilla Jim Cummins’ family was killed as well as the eleven-year-old son of Henry Morris. Eighty-year-old Howell Lewis was killed along with David Gregg an uncle of Lieutenant William Gregg shot by Jennison himself. Below is an image of Lieutenant William Gregg. Two other elderly farmers from Blue Springs had been murdered during Quantrill’s absence, seventy-year old Jeptha Crawford and seventy-three year old John Saunders. Both had been arrested and taken from their homes on orders from Colonel Penick. Saunders was taken to Independence and shot in front of the house of the Federal commander. Penick’s men then rode to Saunders home and burned it to the ground. Crawford was arrested away from his home then taken back on horseback. He was told to dismount then shot down in cold blood in front of his wife and small children. The Federals then forced Mrs. Crawford and her children from their home and set it ablaze. On November 8, 1862 one of Quantrill’s closest friends, fifty-one year old Samuel Kimberlin Sr. was arrested by Federals from Independence, taken to his barn and hung then the barn burned down around him. Kimberlin had a wife and six children. He had taken no side in rebellion and there were no specific charges against him. Guerrilla Harrison Trow who was with Quantrill at the time described the circumstances surrounding the murder. “Colonel Pennick’s men came from Independence down to Blue Springs and burned houses, killed old men too old to be in the service. On the road from Blue Springs to Independence they killed John Saunders and a man named Kimberlin, both old men, and left them lying in the roadway. If neighbors had not offered their services the hogs would have eaten their bodies. They burned from two to twelve houses and left the families homeless. The murder of peaceful citizens deeply troubled Quantrill. Frank Smith claimed that after these killings the old men of the region were afraid to be seen out in the daylight and young boys also went into hiding. Probably many other Jackson County boys joined the guerrillas out of desperation and self-preservation and because they had little other alternatives.” When Quantrill returned to Jackson County in the spring the five Kimberlin brothers, joined Quantrill. Official records indicate that William G. Kimberlin joined Quantrill’s Brigade as a sergeant in Shank’s Regiment riding in Captain Tuck Hill’s company. Isaiah J. Kimberlin also served in Company D, Shank’s Regiment as a private. At one time he was a Southern spy based in Arkansas. He was captured near Sedalia, Missouri but managed to dig himself out of prison the night before he was to be shot. After Richard Samuel Kimberlin joined Quantrill he joined General Sterling Price as a captain in Company D of the 2nd Missouri Cavalry Regiment in Shelby’s Brigade. He transferred to Stonewall Jackson’s command and remained with him until Jackson’s death. Kimberlin was at Appomattox. Julian N. Kimberlin joined Quantrill in the fall of 1862 and served in Company D, 2nd Missouri Cavalry; in General Shelby’s Brigade and remained with him until the end of the war. Julian said that the family lived about three miles from the Morgan Walker farm where Quantrill first gained notoriety. After the foiled Jayhawker attack on Walker Julian said that he assisted in burying the dead attackers. Julian goes on to say that “My father and four brothers went out early in the defense of the South. I was too young at that time, but remained at the home and did all that I was able to for Quantrill. Father was severely wounded.” He goes on to tell about how his father came home to heal. During the autumn of 1862 his father was tricked by a neighbor named Massey, sent by a Colonel “Pennock” to come to town and sign a paper saying he would not take up arms against the Union. When he did, he was arrested, taken to his own barn and was hanged in front of his wife and the younger children. The home was stripped, as was the barn, then the home, barn and rail fencing was all burned to the ground. Richard Samuel Kimberlin and his brothers decided to remain in Texas after the war and organize Confederate Veteran Camps in the Panhandle of Texas. He also organized three Quantrill men reunions. They were held in Sherman and Clarendon, Texas and Chickasaw, Oklahoma. Kimberlin said that “We ask no praise or credit for doing our duty. We owed it to our homes and to our country, and we are satisfied that no man can truthfully say that we did not `fight a good fight,’ always keeping the faith that we were right. I entertain a sacred respect for those who were honest in their convictions, but we still hold and will die with a death grip of hatred for the men who shed innocent blood and destroyed the home of my sainted father.” Richard Samuel Kimberlin died the first week in December 1932 in Santa Ana, California at the age of 89. Below is an image of of Richard Samuel Kimberlin.Article submitted by Paul R. Petersen– 2009 quantrillguerrillas.com”Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this or copyrighted essay and/or image.” References: Quantrill of Missouri and Quantrill in Texas by Paul R. Petersen.Frank Smith Manuscript in collection of Paul R. Petersen.A True Story of Charles W. Quantrell by Harrison Trow.Jacob Hall Family Papers, Jackson County Historical Society.Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties by the UDC.Confederate Veteran magazine, Vol 20.Kansas City Star Aug, 29, 1920 .
Civil War Photo….1865….”City Point, Virginia (vicinity). Medical supply boat Planter at General Hospital wharf on the Appomattox”
Published: August 30, 1861
Under this head an article appears in the London Spectator, of Aug. 17, which is of especial interest, as the journal in which it appears is well known to be American property and under American inspiration. It has a prominent place among the articles on the leading topics of the day, which forms a conspicuous and valuable feature of the Spectator, and will be read with interest by men of all hues in politics on this side of the Atlantic;
Just before the descent of LOPEZ on Cuba, the American papers were full of allusions to an association called the Order of the Lone Star, said to be organized for the purpose of conquering Cuba and Nicaragua. M. SOULE was said to be its President, and the appointment of that individual as Minister to Madrid was regarded by the Court of Spain, as a wilful discourtesy. LOPEZ himself belonged to the society, and it was from the ranks of the Order that WALKER obtained his most ardent recruits. After the failure of WALKER’s first expedition, the rumors of the society died away, and though its members, under the quaint title of “Precipitators,” were supposed to be active in the work of disunion, the society itself, as such, ceased to play any prominent part. The more violent members, however, saw in it a power which might be effectively used, and on the first symptom of the predominance of the Free-Soilers, they organized a new association, under the name of the Knights of the Golden Circle, with new and better defined objects, and an obligation of secrecy. The secret of the Order, however, has been betrayed during the intestine strife raised by disunion in Kentucky, and the revelation exposes a plot which, for audacity, ability and wickedness, has rarely been surpassed in the long history of conspiracy.
The object of the Order may be briefly stated. It is nothing less than to raise an army of 16,000 men for the conquest of Mexico, and the establishment in that vast Territory of a strongly organized monarchy, resting on a basis of slave institutions. The precise mode of accomplishing this object has already been settled. As soon as the internal warfare is over, all members of the Order, under their secret leaders, are to repair to Guanajuato, with the Governor of which province of Mexico, MICHAEL DOBLADO, the Order has concluded a formal treaty. By the provisions of this precious document the Governor is to add 16,000 men of his own, and the entire army is to march forward under his command to the permanent subjugation of the country. Means are found from the revenues of the province, and its State property is “mortgagad” for the payment of the soldiery, at one-eighth above the American rates.
To secure the necessary cohesion, the Order has been organized after this fashion. Every applicant for admission is first sworn to secrecy under the penalty of death, and then the design of the Order is revealed. If he assents to its propriety, and is, moreover, an American born, and a slaveowner, or can produce proof that he is imbued with Southern sentiments, and is a Protestant, he is admitted as a soldier of the Order, and informed of its signs, pass-words, and organization. On the recommendation of the chiefs of the Order he is admitted to the second degree, informed that the stores and ammunition for the Army are collected at Monterey, and acquainted with the names of the officers to whom he is to look for pay. He is also supposed to be on active service, and the President has, we perceive, summoned all Kentuckian members to attend a rendezvous, where they will be drilled and organized by regular instructors, and whence they are, for the present, to control the Kentucky elections in favor of Southern men. If influential enough, he is next admitted to the third degree, the council of the Order, which under the Presidency of Mr. GEORGE BICKLEY, the future monarch, regulates the affairs of the Order, without communication, except through GEORGE BICKLEY, to the other degrees. He swears in this degree to obtain all the neophytes he can, to support his colleagues the Knights of the Columbian Star in all efforts for office, to conquer Mexico and “Southernize” its institutions; to drive all free negroes into Mexico, there to be enslaved, and to reduce the peon population of Mexico to slavery, dividing them as chattels among the members of the Order, and to recognize for the present monarchical institutions, as tending to strong government. Moreover, after the conquest of Mexico, he is to contend for the exclusion of every Roman Catholic from office and from the priesthood, and to support a system of passports enforced by the penalty of death. He again swears to a scheme of government which, from its utter want of resemblance to any American idea, we give entire:
13. The successor to GEORGE BICKLEY must be over thirty years of age, of Southern birth, liberally educated, Knight of the Columbian Star, sound of body and mind, and married, and Protestant. He shall swear to carry out this policy, and to extend Slavery over the whole of Central America if in his power. He shall try to acquire Cuba and control the Gulf of Mexico. No one else will I sustain. But for such a one, who must be proposed by the Cabinet Ministers and elected by all Knights of the Star, or a majority of them, I will sustain here, there, or elsewhere. When the Knights cross the Rio Grande, I will do all I can to send in recruits for the Army, and if I should ever cease to be an active worker for the Star, I will keep secret what I know of the real character of the organization, and I promise never to confer this degree in any other way than in the way I have here received it, and I will forward to GEORGE BICKLEY, or to the Governor-General of this State, the name and fees of every candidate whom I shall initiate as Governor. In witness, I do voluntarily, here and in these presence, sign my name and address.”
He is then informed that Mexico can provide any amount of means, that funds to the extent of a million of dollars are lying at Matamoras, and two millions more at Monterey; that the Governor of Guanajuato is rapidly organizing his province for the reception of the Order, and that the march of the invading Army will commence on the 6th of October, 1861.
It reads, all this, rather like a dream of some mad slaveholder than a grave and definite project, which, nevertheless, we believe it to be. The Order is already powerful in the South, the alliance with the Governor is sufficiently probable, and the whole plan is strictly in accordance with the views known to be entertained by the most prominent slaveholders. Nor is the execution of the plan so difficult as to create any prima facie suspicion of falsehood. The South is full of men without slaves, with no place in society, and hungry for profitable adventure. They have been accustomed for years to regard the immense republic to their south, with its vast territory, its real and imaginary wealth, its disorganized government, and powerless white population, as a certain and easy prey. The successful annexation of Texas is a proof of what may be accomplished by a few unscrupulous and resolute men, and the laws of the Order tend directly to secure effective cohesion among its members. Quarreling and seduction are absolutely forbidden, every member is responsible for the orphans of those who fall, and societies released from the law are apt to protect themselves by somewhat effective guarantees for their own extra-legal code. The Order has men at command, so numerous that they are said to be objects of terror in Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas, and the bribe offered is of stupendous magnitude. It is nothing less than to bestow on 16,000 men a body of slaves equal to the whole slave population of the South, and slaves, too, more easily controlled than the negro race. To men thirsting for ownership, and convinced that Slavery is lawful, the temptation must be almost irresistible, more especially as every American overratesthe case with which Mexico might be subdued. The pure Spaniards and the landed proprietors, utterly weary of anarchy, would probably bail a strong Government of any sort, while the native and quadroon population have never been able to resist the hated and dreaded “North.” Of the awful increase of human misery which would follow the conquest it is unnecessary to speak. Slavery, as it exists, is bad enough, but the deliberate addition of 3,750,000 people and their children forever to the ranks of a slave population, is a crime from which the imagination itself recoils. It seems from its very magnitude impossible. CORTEZ, however, conquered these people with far inferior means, and there is no evidence that the Mexican peon of to-day is better able to resist a rifleman than his ancestor was to defeat CORTEZ’s heavy armed cavalry. The only element of effective resistance would be the religious fanaticism the laws of the Order are so well adapted to arouse. These laws, however were obviously intended to serve only a tem porary purpose, the exclusion of Catholics being rendered essential by their friendly feeling for Mexico. A priest informed of the design in the confessional would be certain to put the Mexicans on their guard, perhaps cause the arrest of the Governor who is so coolly selling his country. Mexico once conquered, the necessity for the restriction would disappear, and though one of the laws of the Order, an obligation to dissolve all monasteries and open all convents, seems dectated by a real religious dislike, it is difficult to believe that it would endure in spite of the political advantage of tolerance. The whole scheme may be unreal, and the Knights of the Golden Circle as little disposed to fulfill their promises as Masons are to preserve the obligation of Christian brotherhood. But it must not be forgotten that this whatever the truth as to this society, is one of the designs of the South, and that the plan, which thus boldy stated seems incredibly atrocious is part of the permanent policy of the Government which has just won its first battle in front of Manassas Gap. The design, we fear, if the North succumbs, is at once as possible of execution as it is remorselessly wicked in concention
A Central Texas school board is banning the Confederate battle flag from district property and district-sponsored events.
Hays board members voted 5-2 Monday to amend the student code of conduct to ban the flag, which was formerly displayed with the Hays High School Rebel mascot.
The ban also covers any imagery deemed to be racially hostile, offensive or intolerant.
The Confederate anthem has been known to evoke the traditions of proud state and region, but also slavery and prejudice.
Confederate symbolism was also recently banned at another campus – Dixie State College of Utah.
The campus had to remove a statue depicting two Confederate soldiers, one of whom waved a confederate flag.
The flag remains a polarizing image in America, with many northern states associating it with slavery and the great death toll of the Civil War, whereas many southerners it as a point of heritage and pride.