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Title: The Great North-Western Conspiracy in All Its Startling Details
Author: Ayer, I. Windslow
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By I. Winslow Ayer, M.D.

_The Plot to plunder and burn Chicago--Release of all Rebel
prisoners--Seizure of arsenals--Raids from Canada--Plot to burn New
York--Piracy on the Lakes--Parts for the Sons of Liberty--Trial of
Chicago conspirators--Inside views of the Temples of the Sons of
Liberty--Names of prominent members._


[Illustration: I. WINSLOW AYER, M.D.]


The trial before the Military Commission in Cincinnati, just concluded,
was in many respects one of the most remarkable events of the war. The
investigation has elicited testimony of the most startling character,
showing conclusively to the minds of all reasonable men who have given
to it careful, earnest attention that there was a most formidable,
deep and well arranged conspiracy, which, but for timely discovery and
judicious action, would have resulted most disastrously, not only to the
particular cities and towns specified and doomed to destruction, but to
the whole country. None can contemplate the danger through which we
have passed without a shudder and without a recognition of the hand of
a merciful Providence who has guided our beloved country in its darkest
hours and who has crowned our struggles for liberty and union with
glorious victory.

To have proclaimed to the public, even a few short months ago, that
a scheme had been concocted in Richmond, of so vast and formidable a
character, so insidious in its operations, so complete in its details
that it had found favor and support in all the great cities and towns in
Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Iowa, and sections of other
States that scarcely a village was exempt from its corruption, that it
numbered in its ranks more traitors in the aggregate than the number of
brave men in the combined armies of the gallant Grant and Sherman,
and that all who had thus united recognised but one common cause--the
destruction of our country, the defeat and humiliation of our people,
and the triumph of the Rebellion--the author of such a proclamation
would have been written down a madman or a fool, by most persons in the
community; and yet the developments before the military tribunal have
established the fact, to the eternal infamy of all who were leagued in
the conspiracy.

As the trial opened, and the charges if the indictment were made
public, all sympathisers with the conspiracy affected to disbelieve its
existence, and raised their eyes and hands to Heaven, in pious horror,
and prayed that _justice_ might be meted out to the accused, who were,
they claimed, the best of citizens, the most devout Christians, the most
zealous patriots, the most earnest advocates of law and order, and that
their accusers might be shunned of all good men forever. To this prayer
the accused will scarce utter the response, Amen! Even some good,
careful, honest Union men, astonished at the startling revelations,
refused, for a time, to believe that there was any truth in the
allegations against the prisoners; by degrees, however, as corroborative
evidence accumulated, the truth was forced upon their minds, and there
are now few persons of ordinary intelligence and candor, who have not
been able to discover that "there was something in it, after all," and
that we have been Providentially saved a most terrible disaster.

But the investigation has been lengthy, and the reports in the
newspapers have been brief and irregular, and few, comparatively, there
are who have heard or read all of even the more important testimony,
or appreciate fully the vast magnitude of the conspiracy; and there are
many who having read only the indictment, have conceived the idea that
if the charges therein alleged are true, the crime was confined to a
few desperate and wicked men in Chicago alone, and that, therefore, it
possessed but a local interest. Such a conclusion is wholly groundless.
The history of this conspiracy is of the most vital interest for the
people of every State in the Union, for had the conspirators not
been foiled at a most opportune moment, their plans would have been
successful in every particular, and once in operation they could not
have been frustrated by any force we could have arrayed against them;
and who shall say that had the savage hordes of Jeff. Davis then been
turned loose upon an unarmed community, to carry desolation and ruin as
they should sweep over our fair States, that to-day the Southern rebels
would be, as they now are, in their last extremity--that victory would
now be perched upon our banners wherever our noble pioneers of freedom
advance, and that our brave boys of the Potomac would now be reposing
from, their labors in the halls of the rebel capitol! Those who, upon
investigation, fail to recognise the magnitude, the sagacity, the
completeness of this Northwestern Conspiracy, and realise its immense
importance to the rebel chieftains at the South, corroborated as the
evidence before the Commission has been by incidents of almost daily
occurrence for many months, have not learned to read correctly the
history of the Great Southern Rebellion. If an idea ever entered
the heads of malcontents at the North to establish a Northwestern
Confederacy, it was speedily chased away by the more promising schemes
of the arch traitor late of Richmond. It is to collect facts already
elicited, and to give further information, and with a hope of aiding
the cause of the Union so sacred and dear to us all, that the writer
has yielded to the oft-repeated requests of his friends to present a
connected and concise history of the Northwestern Conspiracy.




The signal potency of secret organizations at the South prior to the
secession of States, and indeed the only really effective machinery
by which an attempt at disunion by the people could have been made
to appear possible, early in the great struggle engaged the earnest
attention of the Southern leaders. Knowing as they did that had the
question of secession been primarily an open one, for free discussion,
that the masses of the people would have rejected the proposition with
deserved scorn and indignation, and hung the ambitious adventurers
who dared propose the sacrilege. They realized the importance of
establishing the order in the North. The leaders saw with delight the
working of secret organizations, where men were sworn to secrecy, and
drawn onward step by step, till they reached the very brink of the
fearful precipice. Thus did the people fasten upon themselves and each
other the shackles of slavery, which they have since so unwillingly
worn. The doctrine of State sovereignty proclaimed by John C. Calhoun,
and which, together with its apostles, Jackson well knew how to receive,
had been instilled into the minds of the people of the States, which
since their admission into the Union had been at war with destiny, and
in the hope of securing perpetuity of their peculiar institutions, they
attempted the dissolution of the Union. Truly gratifying it must have
been to the extremists in those States to have watched the gathering
clouds, and to listen to the low murmuring thunder which presaged the
coming storm, and well they knew how fearful would be its fury, but
blinded to the inevitable result, they were confident of ultimate
success, when they should have so far disseminated the Calhoun poison
at the North, as to have made oath-bound slaves in such numbers as would
paralyze the efforts of Union men, and render it necessary to recall our
armies from the field to suppress insurrection at home, and to change
the theatre of the war to Northern soil. None knew the importance of
introducing the machinery of secret political organizations better than
Davis himself, for he had not forgotten the Charleston Convention, the
working of the secret orders then, and subsequent events had of course
confirmed him in the opinion that a divided North would not be a
formidable adversary, and that he was warranted in the firm belief that
his wish to be "let alone" would be realised. With these views, shrewd
and sagacious men established themselves early in Missouri, Kentucky,
Indiana, Illinois and other States, and put the machinery in motion.
The order sprung up in various sections of the country, and treason
flourished well, as poisonous plants often show the greatest vitality.
This plan was a success. Men high in rank and station--men from every
profession and walk in life, embraced the principles of the order,
and soon it could boast of legislators, judges of the higher courts,
clergymen, doctors, lawyers, merchants and men from every avocation.
Judge Bullitt, from the Supreme bench in Kentucky, Judge Morris of the
Circuit Court of Illinois, Judd and Robinson, lawyers and candidates for
the highest State offices, Col. Walker, agent of the State of Indiana,
editors of the daily press, and men high in official station, and in
the confidence of the people, ex-Governors of States and disaffected
politicians, all seized upon this new element of power and with various
motives, the chief of which was self agrandisement at any cost, even at
the cost of our National existence--entered with zeal upon the work of
disseminating the doctrines, and extending the organization throughout
the North and West.

The leaders gratified by success, courted the support of the
organizations they fostered till the candidates for the highest offices
in the State and Nation felt certain of obtaining election, were they
but in favor with the secret orders they aided in establishing.
While the leaders were men of cunning, many of them of intellect and
education, the rank and file was made up of different material. It not
being necessary by the tenets of the order that they should _think_ at
all, brains were at a discount--muscle only was required--beings
who would fall into line at the word of command and follow on to an
undertaking, however desperate and criminal, without asking or thinking,
or caring for the purpose to be attained; beings who could be put in
harness and led or driven wherever and whenever it might suit their
masters. Men from the lowest walks of life were preferred. In the lower
strata of the order, social distinction was waived by the leaders,
and the lowest wretch in the order was placed on a level with judges,
merchants and politicians, at least within the hall of meeting, thus
offering inducements potent enough to make the lodge room a place of
interest and pleasure, and thus the organization thrived.

It became known of course that secret organizations of a most dangerous
class were in existence, and their fruits were easily recognized. Our
brave boys in the army were often importuned by letters, to desert their
posts and to betray their flag. Union men were subject to annoyances
that became unendurable, soldiers wives and families were grossly
insulted, soldiers visiting their homes upon furloughs were often
assaulted or murdered, quarrels upon petty pretexts were incited,
neighbors arrayed against each other, dwellings burned by incendiaries,
unoffending union men murdered, military secrets of greatest importance
betrayed, libels of the most gross and malicious character by such
papers as the Chicago Times, and by such men as Wilbur F. Story, its
editor, till at length a voice came to us from the army in the field,
which was often echoed, begging Union citizens at home, by their love
of the Union, by the love they bore their own families, to protect
the absent soldiers' wives, mothers, sisters and firesides from the
Copperheads who remained at home; they would meet the enemy at the
front, they would march fearlessly to the cannon's belching throat, and
meet death or mutilation upon the field of battle for their Country's
cause; not for themselves did they know fear or care for danger, but
when the tidings came to them from home, when after toilsome marches,
hunger and fatigue, or suffering from wounds received in desperate
engagements, when resting a brief hour, and their eyes fell upon
missives from home, from wives who bade them go and fight for freedom,
and return not with shame upon their brows, when tender thoughts of
home, of children and every "loved spot" that they had left behind, came
crowding to their minds, who shall say that they were wanting in heroism
if their faces became pale, their lips trembled and the tears dimmed
their eyes, as they read of wrongs and insults endured from Copperheads
at home, or of plots and acts by cowardly traitors to aid the common
enemy; and when their entreaty comes to us to strike down the deadly foe
at home and give protection to the helpless, let him blush with shame to
call himself a man, let him never claim to be an American citizen, never
claim protection of our Country's flag, let him close his ears to the
sound of rejoicing for final and complete victory, let him only hold
companionship with cowards and with culprits, and hide himself from
the light of day who will turn a deaf ear to the soldiers' prayer.
Copperheads who have withheld their sympathy and their efforts for our
country in its days of darkness and of peril, should and will be known
of men in all future time; their lives will be blighted, their names
will be a reproach and a by-word, their children will blush for their
parents, and the name of Benedict Arnold will no longer be the synonym
of treason and betrayal--his name will be rescued from the infamy each
passing year of the existence of our country has heaped upon it, and the
Copperheads of the present day will receive the anathemas of all coming
generations, till their very names shall be a curse too horrid for
mortals to apply, and thenceforth be only echoed in the lowest depths of

By Providential discovery of the existence of the Order of Sons of
Liberty in Chicago, and the utmost vigilance, prudence, perseverance,
patience, promptness and daring, the aims, designs and acts of this
Order, of the American Knights and kindred organizations have been
brought to light, its every evil purpose and plan laid before the
Government, and the pet institution of Jeff. Davis has been turned
inside out, so that "he who runs may read;" the curtain has been raised
and the light of noonday has been let in, discovering to the public the
horrid creation of traitors in our very midst--people who breathe the
very air we do, who enjoy the same blessings and privileges, aye, and
perhaps sit at the same tables. The friends and sympathizers of these
traitors have sought to cast obloquy and distrust upon the statements of
those who have successfully broken up the great conspiracy, and perjury
has sought to blacken their reputations, but in vain. _Truth will

The list of names of the members of the Sons of Liberty have been
obtained and preserved, and will be valuable for reference hereafter.

As the reader passes down South Clark street, at the corner of Monroe,
he will notice upon the right a large building of peculiar structure,
and, now bearing the name "Invincible Club Hall." It was here the
temples of the Sons of Liberty, or, as they were then called, the
"American Knights," held their secret sessions, going stealthily up the
stairs singly or in groups of two or three, to avoid observation, and
when once inside the hall they were guarded by an outside sentinel,
whose duty it was to apprise them of danger and to guard against its
approach to the "temple"; but let not the fault-finding Sons blame their
Tyler now for any neglect of duty; once under the ban of suspicion
he has proved himself as staunch a rebel and traitor as Jeff. Davis
himself, and is entitled to all the consideration of a "devilish good
fellow." But within a year, more or less, the "temple" of the _Illini_,
as it was called, removed from Clark street to the large building upon
the corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets, known as "McCormick's
Block." Every Thursday evening prior to the eighth of November 1864, the
windows of the hall in the fifth story gave evidence that the hall
was occupied, but further than this evidence was not for the observer,
however curious he might be, unless, perchance, he was a member of "the
Order." Clambering up the long nights of stairs that lead to the hall,
on a Thursday evening, the party in quest of discovery would be not
a little surprised at the class of men he would notice upon the march
upward; he would involuntarily button up his pockets and keep as far
distant from his fellow travelers as possible, for a more God-forsaken
looking class of vagabonds never before entered a respectable building,
and it is a matter of some doubt whether so many graceless scoundrels
were ever before convened in one building in Chicago, not excepting
the Armory when the police have been unusually active and vigilant.
Occasionally a fine looking man would brush hastily by you, as if afraid
to be discovered and recognised--not in the least conscience-stricken,
perhaps, for his purposes and intentions. Should the gas-light show to
you the comely features of the Grand Senior Obadiah Jackson, Jr. Esq.,
on his pilgrimage upward, you would scarcely be willing to believe that
he was the presiding genius of the room in the upper regions, and bound
to dispense light and wisdom to the motley crowd who would so soon be
filling the hall with fumes of cheap tobacco and the poorest quality of
whiskey, mingled with the fragrance of onions, borne by gentle zephyrs
from yonder open vestibule. Yonder comes L.A. Doolittle, Esq., a lawyer
of some distinction and a justice of the peace; he wears a look of
wisdom, and you can read upon his face that he is certain that the
"despot Lincoln," and "Lincoln's hirelings," and "Lincoln's bastiles"
are all going under together beneath the wheels of the triumphal car
drawn by the opposition party, with Vallandigham as the leader. But we
will not try to find any great number of fine looking men in very close
proximity to the hall. Arriving on the fifth floor, and proceeding to
a door upon which you find the sign of the "American Protestant
Association," your friends casting furtive glances around and behind
them, disappear by the door and are lost to view; one by one, like stars
upon the approach of dawn, our constellation vanishes. You open the
door, but your curiosity is not repaid; the seedy friends who preceded
you but an instant are lost to sight--presto! the room is as vacant as
a last year's robin's nest, and observation detects a hole of six inches
in diameter in a door in one side of the room; you try the door, but
it is fast, and you may leave if you wish, but the idea of a Copperhead
crawling through a hole six inches in diameter will haunt your dreams
that night.



The event of the American revolution burst upon the world as the most
startling era in the history of nations. Monarchical Europe had long
envied the proud career and inevitable destiny of these States,
which had been shaken as the brightest jewels from the British Crown.
Monarchs, Emperors, Queens, lords, princes and diplomats, who wield the
sceptre of dominion, could not conceal the joy afforded them by a
scene, which executed, promised the speedy extinguishment of the leading
national power on the globe, and the final demolition of the only altar
of liberty upon which the fires of freedom had continued bright.

The event created the more joy, because it was attributable partly to
the efforts so strenuously put forth for many preceding years by the
combined enemies of American Independence, to poison the American
mind and breed disunion in the ranks of a free, industrious and honest
yeomanry, with a view to the ultimate dissolution of the bonds of the

These enemies, however, for some time anterior to the development of the
fruit of their labors, had begun to despair of the cause in which they
had engaged, and it is possible that the scheme of American wreck
and ruin upon their part had been permanently abandoned, hence their
immediate demonstrations of joy at the triumph of their cause of

But seeds sown, however barren the soil, seldom fail of some growth,
and subsequent to the presidential election of 1860, the great American
rebellion became transparent to both friend and foe. To enumerate and
examine in detail the different phases of the programme of artificial
causes which precipitated defiance of the General Government, and gave
origin to the chronic disorder of the people of different sections upon
the subject of their government, would occupy more space than has been
allotted this brief narrative, which is more especially intended to
embrace a readable compilation of the later movements of the enemies of
the Government to crown the Confederate cause with success, through the
bloody implement of Conspiracy and Revolution in the Northern States.

Having alluded to the prominent part occupied by foreign hostile powers
in the general scheme of Conspiracy against the Federal Government, a
brief allusion to the part executed by the native born American will not
be out of place.

The cheek tingles with the blush of shame, when alas, it _must_ be said
that the pride of the American has been humbled by his too faithful
adherence to the grand original compact of treason, even after the
second most potent auxiliary to the plan had been tenderly touched
with the wickedness of the scheme, and had withdrawn in dismay at the
approach of the enactment of crime so revolting.

All things material and tangible have their bases and starting points,
so too, had the Southern Rebellion its foundation stone laid deep and
solid in the minds of the people by John C. Calhoun, the first great
Supreme Commander of the germ from whence sprung the various elements of
treason, which have entered into the composition of the powers seeking
the destruction of the Federal Government. As for the doctrine of State
Rights as expounded by Calhoun, it is carried beyond the Virginia and
Kentucky resolutions of '98, to that point which renders it destructive
of the end for which it is claimed to be enunciated.

It has been sought to carry the doctrine to that extremity beyond the
exercise of its own reserved powers, which must inevitably bring it in
collision with the legitimate operation of the powers delegated to the
General Government.

With this extreme, hence fallacious, doctrine of State Rights thus
firmly imbedded in the hearts and heads of a zealous people, rendering
them, upon conscientious principles, the ready tools of ambitious
leaders, filled with lust for power and place, it should not be a matter
of so much surprise, that, after years of uninterrupted and persistent
education and training of the generations in their order, that the year
of 1860 found the continent trembling beneath the crack of musketry, the
tread of horse, and the roar of cannon.

As among the more important means used by designing men in aid of
the scheme of rebellion, and the ultimate establishment of a separate
government in the South, the nucleus of which was to be the cotton
states, secret organizations, assuming different names and traditions
in different localities in the South were established, having for
their special mission in the meantime the privacy of the plot, and the
education of the people to that indispensable standard of treason which
would eventually lead them to avow their principles at the point of the

These organizations, in point of antiquity, are traced to a time not
long anterior to the nullification of South Carolina in 1832, which was
so promptly suppressed by General Jackson, then President of the United
States. Some of them, however, claim even greater antiquity, and point
with affected pride to the historical period of the American colonial
revolution against the taxation and tyranny of England, as the date of
their origin. Whatever may be the facts as to the precise date of the
existence, respectively, of these disreputable cables, laid to undermine
the greatness and glory of the National Union, cemented as it is by the
blood of the sires and sages of the Revolution, is unimportant to the
purpose of the author, while the great living fact that they have been
the most deadly weapon in the hands of the enemy is corroborated by the
eventful history of the union of these States.

Prior to the breaking out of the rebellion in 1861, these various
organizations, being the van-guards in the general conspiracy against
the integrity and perpetuity of the Federal Government, had not been
introduced, to any great extent, in the non-slaveholding states, and in
consequence thereof had little or no tangibility north of the compromise
of 1820, familiarly known as Mason and Dixon's line. South of this line,
however, they had long been standing institutions in every city,
town, hamlet, villa and populated district throughout all of the late
so-called Confederate States of America; vying the Palmetto in rankness
of growth, and rivaling the rattlesnake in deadness of poison, until
at length, gorged with their own baneful offspring, and pale with the
sickness of their own stomachs, the child of secession was born unto
them as a curse and reproach to the Southern people and the generations
to follow them forever.

On the 17th of April, 1861, the report of the gun fired upon Fort Sumter
was heard by every member of these secret conclaves in the South, and
was the signal for the opening of the outer gates of every temple of
treason in the land.

From that inauspicious moment forward to the present, no mask has hid
from the scorn of the Christian world treason's hideous visage, but that
blear-eyed monster, armed with every weapon of iniquity which devilish
invention could devise, has alternately, with rage and despair, rushed
to and fro across the continent, spilling the blood of innocence.

When, upon the occurrence of the Presidential election in 1860, it was
found that the kernel planted by Calhoun had been fostered to maturity
by secret organization, the blood and treasure of seven states was at
once staked upon the fearful result, and the disruption of the Republic
and the erection of a slave-driving despotism upon the ruins solemnly
declared. In the outset, it was thought by leading political minds at
the North, that but little sincerity could be attached to the assertion
of independence by the Southern people. But as time elapsed and the
contest grew more formidable and bloody, Northern men began by degrees
to comprehend the magnitude of a chronic conspiracy which had cost the
life-long labors of its ablest advocates to prepare. And though the
hosts enlisted in the execution of this conspiracy for a time won the
prestige of victors upon fields of blood, knowledge of their sincerity
of purpose and the extent of their carefully collected resources at
length came to every loyal man in the country, and vigorous measures,
corresponding to the necessity, were at once devised, the effects of
which are now seen in the capture of Richmond and the surrender of Lee.

Earlier than this date in the progress of the struggle, however, it
became manifest that the wheel of fortune would eventually turn against
the cause of the South in consequence of her comparative weakness to
contend against a power so amply provided with the material of war as
the government at Washington. Then it was that the project of enlarging
the area of the rebellion, first fell upon the Southern mind as
indispensable to their cause, now fast becoming desperate in the
extreme. Hurried raids into border northern states gave to the prowess
of southern arms but momentary _eclat_, and little or no enduring
strength was added to the stability of the Richmond government, beyond
the plunder obtained in the line of march. On the contrary, these raids,
instead of being evidence of the power of the South to maintain the
standard of independence, were looked upon by the military chieftains
of the North, without apprehension further than the demoralization,
consequent upon the particular neighborhoods and districts thus invaded.
In fact each recurring raid gave additional grounds for the confident
belief on the part of the North, that the downfall of the rebellion was
but a question of time, much sooner to be solved than many people of
both sections supposed. These symptoms of the distress of the cause
meantime did not escape the sagacity of the leaders of the rebellion,
and as an expedient remedy, the plan of secretly organizing traitors
in the northern states was determined upon as early as 1862, by the
political representatives and agents of the confederate states, the
attempt, character and success of which project will be the subject of
the next chapter.



As above intimated, early in 1862 the Richmond Government foresaw the
necessity of bringing to its aid the hitherto comparatively dormant
resources of treason in the Northern States, and the enlargement of the
arena of the Rebellion. Raids having ominously failed in their design to
arouse the lethargic spirits of Northern sympathizers and advocates,
to rush to the standard of the misguided South, it was immediately
determined to prolong the war, at least, to the date of the next
Presidential election, and then through the agencies of secret
organization and equipment, seize upon the excitement of the people in
a hotly contested election, to force a rebellion against the
administration elect in the North, as had been done in the South in

The executive part of this object was at once given into the hands of
such trustworthy men, both North and South, as were deemed suitable
to the enterprise, and the work of secret political organization was
vigorously begun in Northern Missouri and Kentucky, from thence it
gradually spread, until it was firmly rooted in the political tenets of
the minority party in the States of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, New
York, and portions of other adjoining States.

Much dissimilarity existed in the operative structure and formation of
the various organizations, from time to time thus instituted. To give
the public a full and complete description of these organizations, would
be foreign to the writer's time, space and purpose, but in order that
some record of their character may be made, a general description of
each in its order in point of time, with a reference to the features in
which radical dissimilarities appear, would seem indispensible to the
poor perfection sought to be obtained by the author of these sketches.

Upon the discovery by Southern leaders that their cause must fail unless
"fire in the rear" was at once instigated in the North, the Order of the
Knights of the Golden Circle, an old Southern institution, was infused
with life, and began its pilgrimage Northward, one additional creed
having been ingrafted upon it.

It will be remembered that this Order was originally composed of the
wealthiest planters, merchants and professional men of the South, and
had for its sole object the inculcation of treason against the United
States. It was simply an institution to educate the Southern mind to the
required standard of rebellion. But when the Order was introduced into
the North, it was found feasible to give it a double capacity, first
that of an educational capacity, and second that of an incendiary
capacity, which comprised the destruction of government property, and
the houses and property of leading loyal citizens of the North, known
to be strong advocates of the suppression of the rebellion. But this
organization in name and cardinal purpose was short-lived, its career
having subserved but a meagre benefit to the South, in a practical point
of view. The damage it did was principally confined to the burning of
United States transports on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and the
moulding of the crude opinions of its members, which served as a solid
foundation for the establishment of the Order of American Knights, which
immediately succeeded its dissolution.

Like all institutions of iniquity, the sun of the Order of Knights of
the Golden Circle went down in blood, but was the signal for the advent
of an Order better calculated to meet the ends of its design.

It had been seen upon experiment that the Golden Circle had been
successful beyond the most sanguine expectations of its instigators, and
as the necessity of Northern revolution to insure the certain success of
the Confederacy daily became more apparent to the rebels, both North
and South, the Order of the American Knights was inaugurated--the
executioner of that fell purpose. Its sun arose to its meridian with the
suddenness of a meteor, doomed to flash across the canopy and burst in
scattering atoms.

The Order of American Knights was erected upon the dissolved fragments
of the Order of the Knights of the Golden Circle, which Order, in name,
was abandoned for the additional reason that the suspicions of the
Government had begun to be aroused as to the character of its movements.
At the time of the extinction of the Golden Circle, its members were
at once inducted into the Order of American Knights, so that this Order
obtained much primary advantage, in point of numerical strength, over
its predecessor, for the Golden Circle had already insidiously crept
into the very hearts of several Northern cities and states. The American
Knights being composed in the outset wholly of men who from experience
had discovered whatever defectiveness may have been chargeable upon the
Golden Circle, it was sought in the new Order to remedy the evils of the
old Order.

With this in view, looking over the former and later phases of the
Golden Circle as it had existed in the North and South, respectively,
it was agreed to give the new Order still another capacity, and what
was called the military branch or department was added, the incendiary
capacity of the old Order being merged into this new military

We have seen that there had been in the North an Order mainly of
educational capacity, contemplating revolution so soon as the public
mind could be put in readiness for such an event, but now for the first
time we find an Order prepared in its organic structure, to speedily
collect together the elements of revolution and set them in motion. Such
a concern was the Order of American Knights. True, the rise of the Order
created a momentary excitement in political circles, as yet unaccustomed
to dealing with the stern problems of Northern revolution by resort to
arms. But, by the admirable adjustment of the administrative powers
of the Order, into degrees, sub-degrees and departments of degrees and
sub-degrees, the leaders were enabled to give to each adventurer in
quest of the hidden mysteries of the so-called impartial maxims of
genuine Democracy--that Democracy which _boasts of having permeated
through every fibre and artery of our political, commercial and social
systems_, a comfortable and genial sphere in which he was left to
operate upon his good behavior.

Upon this ingenious plan the vast body and mass of the Order simply
held the relation of probationary membership, until they were rendered
competent through the educational capacity of the society, to advance
into full fellowship with its diabolical design. A glance at this
organization will suffice to show the shrewdness of the transient and
local agents of the Confederacy, in their formation of an Order, having
for its mission the attainment of so many incidental objects, without in
the meantime subjecting themselves to the dangers of collision in their
machinery. Accordingly, the Order was composed of three general degrees,
viz.: First, the Temple Degree, second, the Grand Council Degree, and
third, the Supreme Council Degree.

The first or Temple Degree, resembled the county organization of a
State, and held the same relation to the second or Grand Council
Degree (which was the state organization of the Order,) that our county
government holds to our State government, and it was always sought to
establish this first or Temple Degree at each county seat in a State, as
expeditiously as possible, that the second or Grand Council Degree could
the sooner be fully represented, and begin its State management of
the Order. In other chapters the writer has made a passing, though
sufficient allusion to the internal workings of these Temples, and
doubtless the initiated reader, in different sections, will
recognize the facts we have already and are further about to state,
notwithstanding the "_obligation_" the author is supposed to have
subscribed to, not to reveal the existence of the Order and its secrets,
under _penalty of "suffering a shameful death."_

The process usually followed in instituting the Temple Degree, was to
send missionaries with authority, into the districts proposed to be
organized, who called together such of the "unterrified" leaders as were
known to be "_sound_ on Jeff. Davis' goose," before whom the design
and object of the Order was confidentially laid for their approval or
rejection, by a majority vote. It is important to recollect that the
record does not afford an instance where a majority of those assembled
for this purpose, rejected the Order as inconsistent with their
political views. On the contrary, it was everywhere received by the
politicians, both great and small, as "_just the thing they had been
looking for_." These politicians were then left to "manage their own
local affairs" concerning the Order, "subject only to the constitution"
of _Jeff. Davis_. Generally, several meetings and some discussion
enabled these empyrics to determine plans of strategy to screen
themselves, by "_covering the tracks in the sand_," a remark frequently
heard from members.


"All whom we arrested wore the same general wolfish aspect."--From the
testimony of Brig. Gen. B.J. Sweet.]

The plan in most cases adopted, was to familiarize a sufficient number
of the _elect_, with a grossly immoral and treasonable pamphlet, called
the "Ritual of the Order," to enable them to officer the Temple, and
"induct" any number of "candidates" _supposed_ to be "in waiting in the
ante-room, into the sublime," but in fact dark and dubious "mysteries of
the Order."

After one or more squads of these "candidates in" anxious and breathless
"waiting" had been inducted, (meanwhile staring like stuck pigs at every
object and officer which met their eyes,) in addition to the regular
officers of the Temple already installed, it was considered that
enough official and canvassing material had been acquired, and the more
prominent politicians, not officers of the Temple, deemed it prudent
to absent themselves from most of the weekly meetings. Again, it was an
illusion of these leaders, to put forward the most irresponsible persons
at their command, as the mouth-pieces and official representatives of
the Order, to the end that if detected, the theory of _crazy, powerless
fools_, could be wielded upon public sentiment by an undisturbed
partisan press, to save the scheme from thorough investigation and
development by the authorities.

In evidence of the fact of these illusions, L.A. Doolittle lectures the
Temple in Chicago on the "purposes and plans of the Order," (but who
by the way, was not so "insane on the subject" as the men who put him
forward have sought to show him to be,) and prominent politicians,
not before known to be members of the fraternity, appear prior to
semi-annual elections as candidates for representatives in the Grand

It was duly announced, also, that an extra session of the Supreme
Council had been convened in the city of New York, charged with the
special business of revising the ritual, changing the signs, passwords,
grips, and giving to the Order a new name. Pursuant to announcement,
Charles W. Patten made his appearance in the Temple with the rituals and
paraphernalia of the new Order of the Sons of Liberty--the result of the
proceedings of the late Supreme Council.

This obscure individual, with fame limited to the dusty walls of the
Invincible Club Rooms and the traitor's dungeon at Camp Douglas, upon
his appearance in the Temple, assigned two chief reasons for the recent
action of the Supreme Council. First and most important was, the obvious
inadequacy of the Order of American Knights to subserve the purpose
for which it was instituted, in consequence of the subordination of the
military to the civil department. And, second, the disclosure in
St. Louis had rendered the Order liable to intrusion by spies, an
embarrassment to be avoided only by alteration of signs, grips,
passwords, and name. We were then informed that we were Sons of Liberty
(a sensible man would have said sons of the devil, if he had dared to
have spoken the truth), and earnestly exhorted to exercise the utmost
caution in adhering to the new rules and instructions of the Supreme
Council. It is not a little amusing to witness the homeopathic doses
of modern democracy, carefully administered to the rank and file of the
northern people through the medium of these Orders.

In the first place, the Golden Circle edifies the "stranger advancing in
dark, devious ways" with lessons upon the doctrine of state sovereignty,
and admonishes him to "follow the straight and narrow path which is
paved with gems and pearls, and bordered with perennial flowers whose
perfumes all his senses will entrance," all of which is received by the
sincere candidate with every mark of approval. We next find the American
Knights embracing its members in the bedazzling folds of military lace
to be used when in arms against the Government. A splendid spectacle of
the doctrines of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Douglas! And to cap
the miserable climax, men boasting of the Democracy of their fathers in
a line of lineal descent for generations back, are required to subscribe
to the doctrine of the subordination of the civil to the military
authority by the tenets of the Sons of Liberty.

This astonishing feature of the Sons of Liberty, as contradistinguished
from the Orders which preceded it, at first met with murmurs of
disfavor, but the dissatisfaction was principally among men who
ultimately acted the _nobler part_, and as the tide of treason rolled
up to sustain this measure "for the good of the Order," all such were
submerged and lost sight of, except by the evil eye set upon them as

Without offering his advice, the writer would respectfully ask the
_true_ Democrat, who may yet, from the temptations of firmly-rooted
prejudices, incline to the belief that this organization was purely
democratic in the Andrew Jackson acceptation of that term, how the above
statement of principles comports with his notions of the doctrines of
the party with which he has hitherto seen fit to fellowship?

Is it not clearly to be seen that this Order meditated the establishment
of a government more despotic in its character than history furnishes
any example of? A government with three degrees or departments, each
oath-bound and a profound secret to the other, moving in their appointed
spheres, and the civil departments of which were secondary, in point of
power, to the military departments!

Let no man, of whatever political persuasion he may be, flatter himself
for a moment that such a government could be Republican in its nature.

Having now traced, with perhaps a tedious hand, the rise and fall of two
political Orders, ranking among the most powerful instruments of crime
and public wrong of their day, the writer bids their unmourned remains
farewell, to pass to the consideration in the succeeding chapter, of
the desperate career and final explosion of the Order of the Sons of
Liberty--a solemn warning to the American people forever.

To save the Goudys, Caulfields, Adams, Edwards, Duncans, Wickershams,
Cuttings, and Kimberlys, the Morrises, Walshes, Jacksons, Pattens,
Gearys, and Doolittles were put forward because they were eager for the
fray, and possessed the temerity to brave the danger of Union bullets.

We have now seen how the Temple or First Degree was instituted in
counties; how the various elements of treason were collected together
and detailed for their special service of educating the ignorant,
manufacturing materials and munitions of war, and devising plots to
burn, plunder, and pillage unsuspecting cities; how each member was
singled out according to his fitness for certain duties, which he
performed without their character coming even to his fellow members
of the same degree; and how the brained leaders of these institutions
retired to the back ground to elude the vigilance of the ministers of
the law, and "adjust the wires" that were to check to-day, and to-morrow
precipitate the conspiracy.

The Grand Council, or Second Degree, was established in every State
where the Temple Degree had obtained any strength and character as
to numbers. This Degree resembled the State in its governmental
organization, and bore the same relation to the Supreme Council or
Third Degree that the State governments of the Federal Union bear to the
government at Washington. The Order having a military department, these
Grand Councils, in council assembled, adopted the militia and other
statute laws of the particular State, with such revisions, exceptions
and additional laws as were deemed essential to the successful operation
of the Order.

Regular semi-annual meetings of the Grand Councils were held, convening
respectively on the 22d of August and the 22d of February--the latter,
in sacrilege be it said, being religiously observed as the birthday of

But extra sessions were almost monthly called during the year of 1864,
prior to the election, to take precautionary and other expedient
action upon the continually recurring changes of that eventful year. No
considerable battle was fought in the front, that was not the signal for
the assembling of this council, and no political event of any importance
transpired that did not receive the solemn deliberations of this already
_de facto_ legislative body. Of course no person ever became a member of
this Council who had not first been inducted into the Temple, and then
by his Temple elected as a representative in the Grand Council, the
election for which purpose was held semi-annually as above, and new
representatives took their seats at each regular session.

The Grand Council embraced in its sphere of labors such duties as
experience seemed to dictate, as being necessary to the fulfilment of
the mission of the Order. It provided remedies for unmistakable evils,
and watched with a zealous care and fostering hand, every interest of
treason within the boundaries of its jurisdiction.

The Supreme Council or Third and highest Degree of the Order in
organization, was built after the pattern of the Federal government at
Washington, and wielded a similar general control over the affairs of
the Order, that our National government exerts over the consequences
growing out of the union of the States under one central government.
Here we see how admirably the design to effect Northern rebellion
was conceived. The whole machinery of a government _de facto_, and in
disguise though, it was, with all its branches, both civil and military
in active operation for months and years within the very sound of the
echoing steps of senators in the halls of the Capitol, was indeed a
source of the most serious concern to the authorities, for the safety of
the Republic. But valorous daring, tempered with prudence, was
destined to bring to the light of day this infernal work of years, and
accordingly the city of St. Louis was the scene of the first public
development of the Order of American Knights, early in the spring of
1864, the principal facts of which disclosure the public learned
from the press at the time, hence the writer will only allude in this
connection to the effect created in various Circles of the Order, by the
attempt upon the part of the Government to thwart the perpetration
of the red-handed crimes contemplated by the leaders. When it was
officially announced by Reuben Cassile, presiding Grand Seignior of the
Chicago Temple, then recently removed from the Invincible Club Hall to
McCormick's Building, that disclosures of the Order in St. Louis
had occurred, every countenance was stamped with dismay. The timely
appearance at the Temple, however, of Judge Morris and other leaders,
served to interpose restraint upon any serious apprehensions of
difficulty resulting to the Order.



A new era in the history of secret political orders was opened by the
Sons of Liberty.

As the Presidential election of 1864 approached, the party in the
minority began to appreciate the awkwardness of its attitude upon the
political issues of the day, and appeared determined in its conclusion
to obtain the ascendency in the coming administration, by means of fraud
and force.

The great mass of the party had now become conversant and familiar with
every species of political crime, through secret organization, and it
only remained for the leaders to decide upon a programme, to have it
executed with despatch and fidelity.

Languishing under the lash of chastisement inflicted upon those infamous
enough to aid and abet the cause of dismemberment, mutual hate and
slaughter, National extinction and death, they swore in this Order an
eternal and most dreadful oath of vengeance upon their offenders, and
pledged themselves, under fearful penalties of death, "ever to take up
arms in the cause of the oppressed in their own country, first of all,
against any monarch, prince, potentate, power or government usurped,
and found in arms and waging war against a people or peoples, who had
of their own _free choice_, inaugurated a government for themselves, in
accordance with and founded upon the eternal principles of truth."

Thus, the liveliest form of ancient or modern civilization, in a
republic just rising to the glories of empire, was to be sacrificed
to the mad notion of petty "State Sovereignty," by a sworn band of
desperadoes. How sad when other generations would ask, where is the
Federal Government, to be answered only by poets, who would sing her
elegy, as in the past they have sang that of the lamented Hellas:

   "Ask the Paynim slave,
   Who treads all tearless on her hallowed grave;
   Invoke the spirits of the past, and shed
   The voice of your strong bidding on the dead!
   Lo! from a thousand crumbling tombs they rise--
   The great of old, the powerful and the wise!
   And a sad tale which none but they can tell,
   Falls on the mournful silence like a knell.
   Then mark yon lonely pilgrim bend and weep
   Above the mound where genius lies in sleep.
   And is this all? Alas! we turn in vain,
   And, turning, meet the self-same waste again--
   The same drear wilderness of stern decay;
   Its former pride, the phantom of a day;
   A song of summer-birds within a bower;
   A dream of beauty traced upon a flower;
   A lute whose master-chord has ceased to sound;
   A morning-star struck darkling to the ground."

The thought of the miserable commentary stirs the ire of the patriot
and nerves his arm to daring deeds, in the holy cause of liberty, the
constitution, and his country.

Skulk back into your dark dens of iniquity, you Clement L. Vallandigham,
and you James A. McMaster, and you S. Corning Judd, and you Amos Green,
and you P.C. Wright, (in Fort Lafayette where you ought to be,) before
the wrath of honest people falls upon your wicked heads! Each of you,
with the exception of _you_, Wright, being too infamous for that, even,
have been before the Commission at Cincinnati, and stand before an
outraged people condemned out of your own lips! Dare insult the light
of day with your hideous faces, and be dashed in pieces on the rocks of
public scorn!

But to return to our text, the Sons of Liberty, we find that undaunted
organization in full blast from the time of its official inception in
New York up to the Monday morning of the arrests on the 7th of November

It is now proposed to show, by an allusion to certain prominent facts
occurring during the summer of '64, that the so-called Democratic party
was the mainspring to the great conspiracy that has been attempted in
the North with so much audacity that many men of the best judgment
can scarcely believe it to be a reality. In this we do not wish to be
understood that all men who have heretofore voted the "unterrified"
ticket, have knowingly and willingly given aid and comfort to the
treasonable plans and purposes of their leaders, for our personal
acquaintance among that class of anti-administration men, is sufficient
to enable us to say, with confidence, that many of them are as loyal at
heart as any man who ever breathed the air of an American freeman.

But we mean this, and proclaim the fact in the face of every foe,
that upon the death of that lamented statesman and patriot, Stephen
A. Douglas, the Woods and McMasters of New York, the Seymours of
Connecticut, the Vallandighams and Pendletons of Ohio, the Voorhees and
Dodds of Indiana, the Judds and Greens of Illinois, and others of
like ilk in other States, obtained the chieftainship of the party and
inveigled its too pliable ranks into the prostituting embrace of this
foul conspiracy, to overthrow the government and crown with success the
cause of the confederate arms. It must be readily seen by every honest
man of ordinary intelligence, that such an affair could never have
gained a foothold among our people under a truly loyal condition of the
opposing party. The truthfulness of this assertion is so very forcible
to the candid reader, that illustration or argument in support of it
would be superfluous. However, occasional incidents will serve better to
connect popular leaders with the subject of these sketches, and call to
the minds of participants practical facts.

Brig. Gen. Charles Walsh, some time during the winter of '64 and '65,
received his quantum of a fund, of which we shall hereafter speak, to
purchase arms to be distributed in the 1st Congressional district of
Illinois, comprising the county of Cook, and the scene of the late
Chicago conspiracy, the enactment of which was to be the signal for a
general conflagration of our cities, and thus fulfil the prophecy of
Jeff. Davis, that the grass would grow again, on the streets of the
cities of the North.

Do the leaders of the Invincible Club, among whom are W.C. Goudy, John
Garrick, Malcom McDonald, and Dr. Swayne Wickersham, remember that that
institution was to be the public mouth-piece of the Sons of Liberty, in
an address to the Democracy of Chicago, to have been issued during the
Presidential campaign?

Do they also remember the joint delegation of Invincibles and Sons of
Liberty that received Vallandigham and the Woods of New York, on their
arrival in Chicago to participate in, and mould the proceedings of the
National Democratic Convention?

Do they further remember the remarkable speech made in their Hall during
the Convention, by Capt. Rynders of New York, whom they hissed from the
platform for his bold and fearless expression of loyal sentiments?

Do they remember the motto, "Never worship the setting sun," which
appeared on transparencies, and frequently fell from their own lips,
and was meant as a hit upon those who were supposed to have allied
themselves with treason, because of their belief in its eventual

Do they remember how it was proposed that Charles Walsh, of the Sons of
Liberty, was to negotiate a purchase of the Chicago _Post_, and convert
it to the same villainous purpose of its contemporary, the _Times_?

Have they forgotten the fifty or sixty thousand dollars raised by
subscription to the books of the Club, nominally to be used for
procession and illuminating purposes, but which was used for the
purchase of arms and the importation of butternuts, to engage in the
attack upon Camp Douglas?

Have they forgotten that large sums of this money was obtained under
false pretences--under pretences that it was to be used for ordinary
campaign purposes?

Have they forgotten that through their instrumentality the McClellan
Escorts, then organized in every ward, were officered by Sons of

Have they forgotten the meeting of Invincible Club members and Sons
of Liberty in the sanctum sanctorum of the Chicago _Times_, where
the question of punishing Col. R.M. Hough and Mr. Eddy, in redress of
personal injuries alleged to have been inflicted upon Wilbur F. Story,
was gravely discussed by B.G. Caulfield, O.J. Rose, Alderman Barrett,
S. Remington and others, and where also, large numbers of muskets and
smaller arms were exhibited?

And lastly, have they forgotten that the Sons of Liberty, upon a certain
occasion well known to every Copperhead member of the last Common
Council of the city of Chicago, held themselves in readiness till after
midnight, expecting to be called to the assistance of that, at that
time, treasonable body?

None know the significance of these questions better than the persons
above mentioned, and _others who were on hand about those times_. The
merchants of South Water street in Chicago can now, perhaps, explain
why they were called upon to subscribe so heavily to the books of the
Invincible Club, and the writer would suggest the propriety of these
merchants compelling those who solicited these subscriptions, to deliver
up the arms so purchased, or refund the money to its rightful owners.

It is pretty well understood, we believe, that the Bridgeport Irish,
vote the "_straight ticket_." It is said, also, that James Geary, a
Son of Liberty and "old clothes man" on the corner of Wells and Madison
streets, could "influence hundreds of them by the wave of his hand."
Now this "old clothes man" was empowered to furnish food, raiment and
shelter to all escaped rebel prisoners, and charge the same to the
Sons of Liberty, _alias_ the Invincible Club, which, it is thought,
_sometimes paid such bills_ out of South Water Street money _subscribed
for processions and illuminations_. These facts are the keys to the
revenue plan of the Sons of Liberty.

The complicity of the "_straight ticket_" voters in this scheme is
further shown by the character of their State ticket, headed by Robinson
for Governor, Judd for Lieut. Governor, and Hise of La Salle for
Auditor, each Sons of Liberty, and Judd the Grand Commander of the
State. If, as it would be made to appear, there was no complicity
between the Democracy and the Confederate agents, why did Vallandigham,
the Supreme Commander of an Order having its inception in Richmond,
address the people from every stump in Illinois? If there was no
complicity, why did Vallandigham, on his return from exile, in his
official capacity, with his staff around him, defy the United States
government that had justly banished him--with 80,000 Ohioans at his

If no complicity, why did all the rebels and confederate agents in
Canada come to the Chicago Convention, and why were they here again
at the November election? Copperheads of Chicago and elsewhere, answer
these questions!



Prior to July 1864, the information of the public or the authorities, in
respect to the aims, intents and objects of the organized bands of home
traitors, was very meagre and indefinite, for it was no easy task for
detectives or loyal citizens to enter the portals of the Temples.
True, enough had transpired at the investigations, and before military
commissions in different sections of the country, to awaken a painful
interest and unceasing vigilance on the part of loyal men. So well were
these organizations guarded, that vigilance committees of their members
were appointed with imperative instructions to report the names of all
civic officers and detectives in the employment of the United States and
Provost Marshals, and all persons, by whomsoever employed, who should
attempt to obtain the secrets of the Order. So complete was the
organization, that lists of names were reported and read at the weekly
meetings, and the following day the names and descriptions of such
officers were thoroughly circulated and reported to the brethren in
other cities and towns, and as well might a belled cat hope to invade
the precincts of rats and attain success, as for such a "spotted"
individual to gain access to the Temples of American Knights and Sons
of Liberty. Not a change was made on the police, not an increase
or decrease of Provost guards, not a change of even the location of
artillery in Camp Douglas, no change, however minute of interest to the
rebels, was made but that it was reported and discussed within these
nests and dens of treason.

It was attempted on several occasions by parties of loyal men, to ferret
out and secure the secrets of the Order, but as well might an attempt
have been made to possess the secrets of the Council of Ten, by the
officers of the governments of Europe; it was almost impossible, and yet
the developments upon the recent trials show conclusively, that had the
task not been effected, the most terrible results would have ensued.
With the desire to aid the Government to the extent of individual
ability, it was not strange that when opportunity occurred, whereby
all might be known, and that knowledge applied to the benefit of our
bleeding country, that any loyal man would have availed himself of
it, at any hazard. The writer found such opportunity, and waiving
all personal considerations, undertook the task, trusting in God for
success, and conscious that all good men would approve the motive, and
that if for a time, reproach and calumny should cloud his reputation, or
if perchance the assassin's hand should execute the sworn purpose of
the Order, as the penalty for surrendering them to the hands of our
Government, the time would surely come when the motives and the acts
would find that approval in the hearts of all honest men, as it did in
his own. Confiding the information accidentally obtained to W.H. Rand,
Esq., of Chicago, a gentleman whose patriotism and whose reputation
needs no encomiums, he immediately advised the expediency of conference
with the State Executive, and to the honor of Governor Richard Yates, it
should be said, he fully realized the importance of acquiring reliable
information of the plots of the secret ally of Jeff. Davis. By Governor
Yates an introduction was given to Brig.-Gen. Paine, then in command of
the department, and again full and unqualified approval of the course
thus far taken, was expressed, with the urgent request to follow up
every avenue of information in this direction. Gen. Paine issued an
introduction to Col. B.J. Sweet, whom he declared to be a "model man
and a model officer in every respect," and in whom all confidence in so
commendable a cause might be reposed. How nobly, how wisely and how well
that gallant officer discharged his trust, all who have observed his
course will concede, and that man whose heroism at the memorable battle
of Perryville, and on other battle fields, will ever be held in grateful
remembrance by his countrymen, has added new lustre to his name, and
the hearty benedictions which will ever be invoked for the defender of
Chicago--the noble Col. Sweet--attest the satisfaction and joy of the
people, to know that his services in this most difficult and hazardous
undertaking are appreciated by the General Government, and the star upon
his shoulder will glitter brighter as time wears on, and Copperheads
live only in history, an evidence of how low men may sink in the scale
of morality, and a warning to all future time. For the writer to have
hesitated in a course of duty so plain, and yet so distasteful would
have been criminal, cowardly, and unworthy of an American citizen. The
advantage gained was followed up unremittingly, by day and by night, for
many weary months, regardless of all professional duties and personal
considerations. It was at the outset found highly necessary, if not
indispensable, to have the concurrence of one good, loyal man of marked
qualification--one who was discreet, who had experience upon police
duties, who was prompt, energetic, persevering, patient, fearless,
and withal a strictly honest man, a citizen whose reputation was above
reproach; that man was found; he was Robert Alexander. After brief
consideration, Mr. Alexander gave to the writer his hearty and earnest
concurrence. Nothing was left undone by him that could further
the hazardous undertaking, and personal gratitude for his ready
acquiescence, which we tender to him, will meet with a ready response
in the hearts of all good citizens. It is now Thursday evening in July
1864. We will now ask the reader to go again with us up those long,
tedious flights of stairs to the outer rooms of the "temple" of the Sons
of Liberty in Chicago. We left the room before with the remembrance of
only a hole six inches in diameter for a full sized Copperhead to crawl
through, but we shall have better success this time. Advancing to the
aforesaid door, and giving three distinct raps, the slide, which we find
covers the hole from the inside, is moved up, and a live, full-grown
Copperhead peers through the orifice. "We whisper the word "Peace," or
"Peoria," or whatever the monthly pass-word is, and the door is open,
and we find ourselves within the vestibule of the temple, surrounded by
a little group going through the preliminary exercises of initiation. We
see the candidate and sponsors, with hands uplifted, and listen to the
very poor reading of an officer, from the ritual, and giving the new
comer his first dose of States' sovereignty and secession. This is so
mystified and clouded with high-sounding words that the poor devil nods
at every time the reader stops for breath, or to expectorate tobacco
juice, and the ceremony is concluded, and the candidate, respectable
for the good clothes which he wears this night as a rarity, follows
his conductor to another door, where he hopes for admission, the only
impression on the candidate being, that his right arm is weary from
being elevated so long, and that he is coming rapidly into good
fellowship with men of high judicial standing, who propose to give
Abolitionists and Lincoln particular "hell under the shirt tail." Again
they knock and are challenged by an inside guardian, who lectures the
newly fledged Son, who having nodded sufficiently, is conducted to the
Ancient Brother in the West, so that the _Son_, reversing the order of
nature, begins rising in the West. The "Ancient Brother" is a better
reader, for here we find _brains_ for the first time, as it is the
leaders, as we have already said, who do all the thinking, unless,
perchance, the simple wretches find themselves in Camp Douglas, where
they begin thinking for themselves. While the Ancient Brother is reading
to the attentive comer, now happy in the thought that he has taken
himself in out of the _draft_, let us survey the sanctum sanctorum; but
first let us advance to the centre of the hall, where we find a piece
of dirty oil cloth the size of a door mat, and stepping upon this,
with body erect and turning our back upon the Ancient Brother, we find
ourselves facing the Grand Seignior, who, on our first introduction, is
Judge Morris; we salute, which we do by applying the palm of our right
hand to the lips, then turning the hand to his seigniorship and bringing
our left hand across the breast, which salutation being returned by the
Grand Seignior, who sits upon a raised platform and wields a gavel, we
take seats wherever our sense of cleanliness will permit, and where we
hope there may be no traveling minute messengers conveying ideas from
one man's head to another. On the north side of the room is another
platform and desk, where a guardian sits and addresses the candidate,
who is supposed to lose his way and to be set right by this guardian,
and even if the candidate is thoroughly sober he may be excused for
losing his way, for it is a matter of much doubt whether he was ever in
such a labarynth of words as he has just heard from the Ancient Brother,
who, having given the man some pretty strong obligations, to endorse and
support the policy of Jeff. Davis, together with an intimation that if
he ever exposes any of the secrets, he may expect to suffer all sorts
of penalties, and told him to fancy he had just received an acorn,
the emblem of the order--he now sits down quietly in the pleasant
consciousness that "we have got one more good voter on our side." The
guardian of the North having put the new _Son_ on his way, he appears in
the East, reflecting his effulgence all around. The Grand Seignior now
rises from his seat, drops his gavel and explains the mysteries of the
initiation, giving him another dose of secession, about as much as the
poor fellow can carry; tells him how to challenge a brother, concluding
by giving the grand sign of distress, which is by raising the right hand
and calling out "_Ocoon_" three times, which he says is made up of the
name of _Calhoun_, whose name is mentioned with great reverence. Thus
closes the ceremony of initiation. "Considerations for the good of the
Order" being the next order of business, speeches are made by some of
the older heads to make the new one feel at home. This "feast of reason
and flow of soul" over, other business is transacted, and the temple
is closed, the Grand Seignor occasionally expressing a few words of
caution, saying that but few members must be present at the meetings at
_this_ hall, as the presence of too great numbers will excite suspicion
and lead to arrest. The next weekly meeting similar events occur, but
_new faces_ appear at every meeting, that is to say, the greater number
of members who were present last week are absent this week, and others
take their places. The Chicago _Times_, however, is well represented at
most of the important meetings. There were about two thousand members of
the Sons of Liberty in "good and regular standing" in Chicago alone,
at the time they were let down. By careful arrangements we were able to
have reports from the different temples throughout the most important
points in the Northwest, and carefully noted the chief business and
obtained the list of members, all of which has been as carefully placed
in the hands of the authorities of the War Department, and months ago
much of the information was imparted to Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, in
command of the Northern Department, who was pleased to express his
highest appreciation of the services rendered, and a desire to have
the investigation thoroughly made, that indisputable facts might be
obtained, that truth and justice might be promoted and the interest of
the country thereby protected. So thorough and searching has been the
investigation that _every_ man of any note in this order, in almost
every locality where this moral cancer has existed, is known and may
consider himself in future upon his good behavior. It was the policy of
the Sons of Liberty, which they observed as far as it was possible for
them to do, to obtain positions of trust in the army, upon the police,
in the courts, in railway offices and telegraph stations, in the office
of Provost Marshals, post-offices, departments of government, both local
and general, indeed, so completely did they carry out this plan, that
they made their boasts that they were represented upon all the railroads
running out of Chicago, and it was not an unusual thing for them to
report matters of the various departments just mentioned. One member
of the Chicago Order, as appeared in evidence before the military
commission, traveled over the North wherever he desired, on the pass
of a Provost Marshal in Indiana, his business being to aid in the
organization of Temples in the different sections of the West. So
rapidly did they increase in numbers, that Judge Morris estimated the
number in Illinois alone at 80,000 members.

It was a rule of the organization, that its members should all be well
armed and skilled in the use of weapons. The rapidity of increase in
numbers, rendered them conscious of their strength, and they became
openly defiant and talked treason upon the corners of our streets, and
wherever little groups of people assembled. The mob spirit was excited,
and all were ready for mischief whenever opportunity offered; and while
all were bound to wait submissively till their leaders should give the
signal for revolution, still many were restless and impatient for the
hour to come, and hoped that they would not long have to wait. The
suppression of the Chicago _Times_ was an auspicious moment for them,
and they made capital of it. They were never tired of talking of
Vallandigham, and while that worthy staid in Canada he was very
serviceable to the Order, as John Rogers was of more service to the
church dead than while living. Vallandigham made an excellent martyr and
an accomplished exile, but as an active member at home, old Doolittle,
or Charles W. Patten, or James A. Wilkinson, or J.L. Rock, or Obadiah
Jackson, Jr., Esq., or even Mrs. Morris herself, was worth two just like
him. Why he could not have staid in Canada for the good of the cause, we
cannot understand. What a Mecca was Windsor, and how great was Mahomet,
but alas, when the great, the Hon. Clement Vallandigham relapsed into
the three-cent fourth-class lawyer, in the little one horse city of
Dayton, "what a fall was there my countrymen." No more pilgrimages, no
more dinners with the great exile, no more texts of "arbitrary arrests"
to preach from, that could draw as Val used to draw.

The reception of the news of a victory by the rebels, was always an
occasion of rejoicing among the Sons and Knights, and in the exuberance
of their joy they shouted their treason in all sorts of places, and at
all seasons. They assumed to be peace men, and yet were always ready for
a quarrel. It became evident to all who kept posted in politics, that
there would be a wide division between the different wings of the
Democracy at the coming National Convention, and a most determined
effort was to be made by the Peace faction, to control the action of
the Convention, and long before the assembling of that body, newspaper
strife had commenced between them, and it was hoped, and so it proved,
that like the Kilkenny cats, they devoured each other. With Peace in
their mouths and contention in their hearts, the "unterrified" resolved
upon a great meeting, to be held in Peoria. It was a "big thing."
The Chicago delegation took for the calumet of peace several boxes of
fire-arms, so that if opportunity offered they might conquer a peace.
Whiskey and gunpowder were other elements of that meeting, and as the
escape of gas in petroleum wells, so noisy for a time, finally subsides,
so after the ebullition at Peoria, Brig.-Gen. Walsh, and all the Chicago
delegates, returned home, bringing with them their fire arms, without
breaking bulk, and these weapons were carefully deposited, where they
could instantly be obtained at the time of the uprising.



We have already shown that the three degrees in the Sons of Liberty had
each their specific province. The lower strata composed of the rough
material from which the Grand Council was made up by selections or
choice of the brighter and more shining lights,--persons whose political
views were up to the standard of treason, whose qualifications of
intellect, shrewdness, cunning, caution, promptness, and firmness of
purpose fully met the requirements of this degree of the order. The
Supreme Council was composed of the Supreme Commanders--the ruling
spirits of the order. This council was the body, therefore, from which
all important measures must emanate, and the secrecy of their movements,
even from the order below them, except such business as was regularly
transmitted, was quite equal to that of the lower order, from the rest
of the world. Such being the nature and character of this royal degree,
and the fact that an uprising had been determined upon, it will be
seen how essential it was to the Government of the United States, to be
advised of their plans, and the old adage that "where there is a will
there is a way," was not a fallacy in the present case. On or about
the 20th of July, 1863, agreeably to a private notice which had been
extended to the Supreme Council, a meeting of that body was convened
at the Richmond House, Chicago. During that day, as well as on the day
preceding, members of that organization arrived in the city, and among
the notables present on that occasion was Col. Barrett, who was a
Major-General of the Sons of Liberty, in command of the District of
Illinois, but who on the present occasion appeared in another character
of no less moment, that of representative of the Confederate States
Government, and charged with certain important instructions. Among the
members present were Captain Majors, from Canada; Brig.-Gen. Charles
Walsh, of Chicago; Judge Bullitt, of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, who
acted as Chairman; Dr. Bowles, Mr. Swan, Mr. Williams, Mr. Green,
Mr. Piper, Mr. Holloway, H.H. Dodd and James B. Wilson, Auditor of
Washington County, Indiana. The last named person and Mr. Green were
present as members of Dr. Bowles' staff. After considerable discussion
upon minor matters, Major-General Barrett, (commonly called Colonel
Barrett, who had served the Rebel Government with some distinction, and
was a first class rebel), made a formal proposition to unite Illinois,
Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Indiana with the Confederate States,
through the agency of the Sons of Liberty, and as to the other States,
their relations would be an after consideration. The enterprise, he
stated, would be attended with no little expense, and would necessarily
involve extreme caution, prudence and firmness. He added, that the
Southern Confederacy had placed in his hands the snug little sum of two
millions of dollars, which had been captured from a Federal paymaster
on the Red River, in Arkansas, to be applied in furtherance of
this proposition. Captain Majors was also, by his own statement, a
representative of the Rebel Government. It was proposed to distribute
the two millions of dollars through the Grand Commanders of Indiana,
Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois, and that the money was by them to
be distributed through the Major-Generals to the subordinate officers,
according as might be deemed expedient. This money, says Mr. Wilson,
(and we have the best of reasons to credit his statement,) was expended
for arms. Well do we remember that an oral report was submitted one
evening at the Temple of the Illini, by the Grand Seignor presiding,
that the pro rata for Illinois had been so expended, and that the
weapons had been started for their destination, which was Chicago.
These arms consisted of muskets, carbines, pistols, pistol belts and
ammunition. At the Council meeting, of which we have spoken, the whole
subject of revolution was freely discussed, and received the unanimous
support of all present, and a time was named and agreed upon, but not
until after much debate, several dates being named by different parties,
and reasons given for fixing upon each. It was arranged that the Order
in Indiana were to rendezvous at Indianapolis, also at Evansville, New
Albany (opposite Louisville,) and Terra Haute, that they would seize
the arsenal at Indianapolis, and the arms and ammunition would be
distributed among the members. Wilson, before the military commission
in Cincinnati, states that he learned from Dr. Bowles, that it was the
purpose of the Order to free the rebel prisoners at Indianapolis, and
that the same had been agreed upon with respect to other rebel camps, in
other States, on the supposition that they would unite with the Sons of
Liberty, in overturning the Government, and if they were found willing
to do this, arms were to be placed in their hands. At that meeting it
was a matter of discussion in what manner it was feasible to communicate
with Gens. Buckner and Price, in order that they might co-operate, and
have their forces near St. Louis and Louisville. The approach of their
troops to those cities was the favored moment for beginning hostilities
in the North. Mr. Wilson testified that he received a thousand dollars
of the two million fund, but that instead of appropriating it according
to the programme, he used it for buying substitutes, but the rightful
owner can have the same upon call. Maj.-Gen. Barrett, the party having
the fund in trust, has left the country, doubtless for his _health_, and
the thousand dollars is still without an applicant.

At this memorable meeting, as it was the last meeting of this body ever
held in Chicago, it was agreed that at the time of the uprising, friends
(rebels and copperheads) should appear with red and white badges, and
the property of such persons would also be saved from destruction by
displaying from their buildings the Confederate flag. Thus were ample
and definite arrangements made, and as that meeting adjourned it was the
deliberate end and aim of all the persons there assembled (with a single
exception) to effect their objects at all hazards. All who were present,
as well as the rebels then in Richmond, conceded that of all points in
the several States embraced in the proposition with which Col. Barrett
was entrusted, Chicago was by far the most important post, and the one
which, of all others, should first fall. The facility and ease with
which Camp Douglas could be taken, was a matter of remark among the
traitors in every section, and it was understood that communication
could readily be made with the prisoners, as Mrs. Morris, wife of
Judge Morris, and others who were known to be in the interest of
the Confederacy, had never been denied access to the camp, and such
prohibition was scarcely expected, as of course the plans of the
conspirators must be a dead secret from the commander of the post. In
the temples of the Sons of Liberty it was a matter of congratulation
that it was impossible for a detective to obtain their secrets, yet all
this time Col. B.J. Sweet was well acquainted with every move that had
the least importance, for the writer made it an invariable custom
to send dispatches regularly to Col. Sweet, who thus came into full
possession of the plans and designs of the Order, as soon as they were
announced, and hence was at all times in a position that he could not
have been surprised by any assault upon the Camp. The Colonel is at all
times perfectly cool and self-possessed, prudent in the highest degree,
and inflexible in purpose, when once resolved upon a line of action. His
arrangements were made with all celerity and completeness, and though
his little force was quite too small to offer great resistance in case
of surprise had not the facts been known to the commandant, yet the
interior arrangement of the camp, the disposition of his forces, and
above all, the perfect discipline which had ever been maintained by him,
now offered a silent barrier which caused the conspirators to entertain
direful apprehensions, as to the disaster to themselves when they should
make the undertaking, for the movements of the camp were noticed
from the observatories near by, and on one occasion Brig. Gen. Walsh,
accompanied by an attaché of the Chicago _Times_, made a personal visit
to the camp, and being received as gentlemen by the gallant Colonel,
they were able to make certain discoveries of a disagreeable nature.
The greatest precaution, of course, was observed in the transmission of
dispatches by the writer to Col. Sweet, for had it been supposed for a
moment, that the commander of the post was cognizant of their acts, it
would most certainly have precipitated the uprising, as the leaders of
the conspiracy could not hope for so favorable a time again. The camp
was enclosed by only one thickness of inch boards, not over twelve feet
high, and a little force of less than eight hundred men were to guard
some eight or ten thousand prisoners, many of them being the lowest
class of raiders and ruffians.

During the latter part of July, at a meeting of the Sons of Liberty,
Colonel Walker, of Indiana, was present, and in a speech referred to
the recent seizure of arms in Indiana, and said a formal demand had been
made upon Governor Morton of that State for them, and if they were
not forthcoming they (the copperheads) would compel restitution by the
bullet, and said Morton would be assassinated if he refused. At this
time a man named James A. Wilkinson was Grand Seignior of the temple.
The question of supplying our quota to avoid the draft, agitating the
community, it was proposed to resist the draft, and all the members
were required forthwith to arm themselves with firearms, and Charles W.
Patten and Wilkinson both offered to supply all who could not afford to
purchase firearms. Wilkinson was a very efficient member of the order,
and very zealous. Much of his time he passed in the organization of
temples in different sections of country; and it was often stated as
encouragement for the members that the temples were rapidly multiplying,
and being filled with the "best kind" of men. It was earnestly requested
of the members, as the time was short--Judge Morris saying the purposes
of the organization would be fulfilled within the next sixty days--to
bring in as many new members as possible, and the injunction was duly
heeded. The temple in Chicago thrived remarkably, and arrangements were
made by which individuals could initiate members, and the initiated
increased in numbers rapidly.



The approach of the time fixed for the general uprising, witnessed
remarkable and very unusual activity among the members of the Sons of
Liberty, who now saw vividly the complete realization of their
wishes, and were all, rank and file, in obedience to orders, busy with
preparations. Little did the busy bustling city know of the plans and
movements on foot. The same activity in trade, the same hopeful spirit
among Union persons, the same gatherings at amusements, the same busy
hum of industry as ever; nothing gave evidence of the existence of the
terrible plot so soon to culminate, and to destroy by a single blow the
hopes of our people,--to inaugurate a reign of terror as fearful as any
in the history of the war. Citizens met and congratulated each other
upon Union victories, and upon the probable speedy close of the national
strife, and at the firesides of home discussed the terrible ravages of
war, and as they knelt at the family altar, thanked God that our own
city, and our State, and our section of the Union, had thus far been
spared the immediate horrors and desolation which ever mark the theatre
of warfare. Who of all in our fair city, besides the guilty wretches
who were plotting the ruin and slaughter, had even a foreboding of the
trouble so nearly upon them. For rebels in arms to commit cruelties and
barbarities would have been expected, but for the authors of our ruin
to be our very friends and neighbors, persons associated with us in
business avocations, in social relations, and in the enjoyment of the
same general blessings with ourselves, surpassed belief; yet such was
the fact, and the faces that beamed smiles upon us by day, and joined
us in our congratulations for national victories, by night were hideous
with the dark designs and murderous intent. The gunsmiths were busy,
and trade in weapons of all kinds was brisk; revolvers and knives
particularly were articles of demand. So brisk and yet so silently and
secretly, was the arming of individuals carried on, that weeks before
the Convention assembled, but few, if any, of the members of Copperhead
organizations but were well armed, and many had arms with which to
supply other persons who might be less fortunate than themselves. It was
indeed a dark picture to look in upon a group of the Sons of Liberty in
their secure retreats, in the quiet hours of night, cleaning, repairing
and inspecting their muskets and revolvers, moulding bullets, and making
other preparations, and realizing that the mission of these monsters was
the murder of men who dared proclaim and maintain their devotion to the
Union. Upon the streets treason became emboldened, as time rolled on,
and not a few personal collisions occurred from its utterance.

All this while that contemptible print, the Chicago _Times_, was
instilling treason into the minds of its readers, and doing all that it
could to embarrass the Government, discourage patriotism, and to give
aid and comfort to the rebels; our victories, with that sheet, were
always unimportant; our cause was unholy; our President a despot; our
Union soldiers were hirelings; our Union-loving citizens were abolition
fanatics; Jeff Davis was a master spirit of the age; his generals the
heroes of the _Times_; and rebel victories were events cheering and hope
giving, as they presaged the close of the war and peace; peace at the
sacrifice of the Union, of national honor, of national dignity and
national interests. Such was the Chicago _Times_ at that period--the
darkest era in our history--and as well might we have looked for
mercy from a hyena, or reason from a ghoul, as in the event of open
insurrection in our city, to have looked to Wilbur F. Story, editor of
the _Times_, to have endeavored to suppress the flames his incendiary
print had for years been fanning into a blaze. And yet, citizens
of Chicago and the West, this same Chicago _Times, now_, after the
occupation of Richmond by our forces, and the surrender of Lee and all
his forces, and the end of the rebellion is at hand, this same Chicago
_Times_ pretends to rejoice in our success, and some days turns a cold
shoulder upon its old friend and patron, who has contributed to its
circulation and prosperity for years--Jeff Davis--and really declares
that his master's cause is hopeless. Most noble Story, most patriotic
Story, most consistent Story! Rather weep with the fallen fortunes of
your masters. Flatter not yourself that the cloak of loyalty, which
you have found it so convenient to fling around you, as our Union
processions come marching along with thundering tread, that they will
believe your conversion sincere and lasting; the cloak is not long
enough to conceal your feet, and Union men will recognize the same
Wilbur F. Story, and none will be so obtuse as not to discover under any
disguise Bottom, the tailor. In the position of that Copperhead print,
the state of mind of the _Times_ man reminds us of an instance of what
may be called poor consolation, A soldier of a division, after the
command had run two days from the scene of an engagement, had thrown
away his gun and accouterments, and alone in the woods sat down and
commenced thinking--the first opportunity he had for doing so. Rolling
up his sleeves, and looking at his legs and general physique, he thus
gave utterance to his feelings: "I am whipped--badly whipped--and
somewhat demoralized, but no man, thank God, can say I'm scattered!" And
so, the Chicago _Times_, though kicked out of respectable society long
ago, continues to print its daily issues, while from the scarcity of
Copperheads all at once, since our recent glorious victories, we infer
that _they_ have been "scattered;" and as snakes cast their skins in
the spring, so the Copperhead _Times_ seems to have cast its own this
season; but though it may appear in more pleasing garb with its present
covering, let none forget that it is the same old Copperhead still.
And the time will come when some enterprising showman will obtain and
exhibit the last issue of that delectable sheet as the acme of treason
and corruption during the war, and as an illustration of what villainy
the mind of man may conceive, when he once turns against his country.

About the period of which we write, say a month prior to the Convention,
informal meetings of the Sons of Liberty were frequent, and large
numbers of the members often went out of the city on excursions,
nominally for pleasure, but really for practice with fire arms. The most
active preparations were made by the Democrats, resident of Chicago, to
be able to accommodate their brethren from abroad, who would attend the
Convention, or who would pay them an earlier visit; for the time of the
uprising, it will be remembered, had been fixed for about the middle of
August. The time assigned arrived, but "all was quiet on the Potomac,"
and along the placid and fragrant Chicago. It was a complete fizzle, but
not from want of harmonious action on the part of the Copperheads of the
Northwest, but to the chagrin of the Rebel government, Gen. Price failed
to make his appearance in the vicinity of St. Louis, or Buckner about
Louisville. The disappointment and vexation of the Sons of Liberty was
great, and it found expression in the peculiar style of oratory and
diction, which Judge Morris had introduced into the Temple. The failure
of the rebels to concur, as had been arranged, was for a time quite
inexplicable and unsatisfactory to the most ultra secesh of the Temple.
It was not easy to communicate with Price and Buckner, and much mystery
and doubt hung over the failure. The leaders were in doubt as to the
wisdom of rising at the Convention, some being in favor and others
adverse to it. It was evident the leaders were not a little embarrassed,
but they finally agreed that a large force of "bone and muscle" should
be on hand in Chicago at the Convention, and if it was found that the
War Democrats should be in the ascendency, and the Peace wing could get
nothing--either platform or candidate--the uprising should occur at that
time, but so confident were the Peace men that they should be able to
have the control of the Convention, that Judge Morris and Brig.-Gen.
Walsh, and other leaders, announced to the members of the _Illini_ their
entire belief that there would be no doubt of the success of the Peace
wing, in that Convention, and if so, no insurrectionary movement would
be expedient; but if the uprising did not occur then, it surely would
at the time of the Presidential election, and in the time which would
elapse between the Convention and the election, the most active and
earnest efforts would be made to strengthen the numbers of the Temples
of the Sons of Liberty, wherever they existed. Judge Morris had
expressed the confident belief that no difficulty would occur at the
Convention, but declared if they (the Copperheads) should meet with any
interference, the most serious results would follow.

The rank and file who had been edified by such men as J.L. Rock, Charles
W. Patten, James A. Wilkinson, L.C. Morrison, L.A. Doolittle, James
Geary, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Dooley, Mr. Frank Adams, City Attorney, and many
others were most impatient, and it was quite probable that a slight
cause of offence with Union men would result in an open riot, that could
not be suppressed till the grand aim of the Order was accomplished.
About this time L.A. Doolittle, who was never tired of expressing his
devotion to the distinguished exile Mr. Vallandigham, announced that
Mr. V., who was Supreme Commander of the whole Order, would honor the
Chicago Temple with a visit during the Convention, but that worthy
could not find time to make the visit. As the excitement of the coming
Convention seized upon the minds of those who were to participate in it,
much speech making was done inside the Temples. At these meetings the
writer particularly noticed two members, who seemed to have fallen into
disfavor by the course which they had seen fit to adopt. One of these
men was Christopher C. Strawn, a young lawyer of this city, of some
education, a very fair order of talents, and who had seemed hitherto
taciturn and reserved. Upon conversation with him we were astonished to
find that he did not approve of the Jeff. Davis principles, and had
no fellowship with any overt act of treason. He had been appointed a
Brigadier-General, on the ground of his supposed ability, but early took
occasion to express himself, in such a manner that his commission was
speedily revoked. Mr. Strawn was, he declares, not in the clique who
favored a revolution. Mr. Strawn was subsequently arrested, but he
was soon released, and freely communicated truthful information to the

During the summer an event truly unfortunate for the Sons of Liberty
took place, it being an exposé in the Chicago _Tribune_ of the signs,
grips, passwords, &c. of the order. This was a cause of great distress
of mind. We remember that at a meeting about the 25th of August (Charles
W. Patten presiding), the expediency of changing the signs, grips, &c.
was considered, inasmuch as it would be unsafe to use them in public,
but the lateness of the day, and the time drawing so near when the
entire forces of the order would be called into requisition, it was
not deemed expedient to undertake any change or modification. At this
meeting Judge Morris made a speech in which he said that a demand had
been made for arms seized in Indiana (as Col. Walker had proposed to
do), and if the demand failed, the revolution would be begun in Indiana
"as sure as there was a God in heaven or an abolitionist in hell."

At a meeting of the Chicago Temple Sons of Liberty, on the eve of the
Convention, we heard for the first time (and that from the mouth of L.A.
Doolittle), a definite plan for the attack of Camp Douglas. Doolittle
told how the camp was situated, and that it was accessible on two sides;
that guns were in position on only one side, and the west side was
referred to by him as being the weakest; he spoke of the common board
fence which formed the enclosure, and of the ease with which the camp
could be taken, and the vast importance of liberating the prisoners
the first thing upon an uprising. The speech of Doolittle was variously
received; many of the members were much interested; others who were in
the higher degrees of the order were vexed beyond measure that Doolittle
should be so stupid as to proclaim, in this public manner, a matter
which really belonged to higher degrees of the organization to decide.
One of the number, James Geary, a second-hand clothes dealer and broker
on Wells street, who will receive further mention by and by, became so
much incensed that he ordered Mr. Doolittle to his seat, declaring, with
an oath, that Doolittle was telling too much.

At a meeting about this time, several of the members spoke upon the
subject of releasing the prisoners at Camp Douglas. A map of Camp
Douglas was exhibited by an individual present, who seemed to be a
soldier. The map was a fine piece of work and had been made by a hand
accustomed to such labor. Upon this map the precise position of the
various departments, headquarters, cannon, &c., were laid down. There
could be no shadow of doubt in the mind of any man not stupefied with
whiskey, and possessed of common sense, that the details of the attack
had been carefully considered by those who were most interested in
leading it on.

It had for some time been the policy of the Sons of Liberty to unite
with the Invincible Democratic Club and the various McClellan escorts in
the city and elsewhere, and seek to become its officers, that in case of
an outbreak it would be far better to be the controlling power, than to
be controlled. This plan worked admirably, and the Democratic Invincible
Club of Chicago became one of the most corrupt organizations outside
the order of Sons of Liberty. Its secretary at one time was Charles W.
Patten, who had been a Grand Seignior of the Chicago Temple, was also
a member of the Grand Council, and had taken a very active part in the
prosperity of the order, and was chairman of the committee to see that
all the Sons of Liberty were armed. One of the officers of the above
named Club was Capt. P.D. Parks, whose devotion to Jeff. Davis and good
whiskey were noticeable features in his character. This Capt. Parks was
captain of the Invincible Club and often made speeches in the Sons of
Liberty Hall.

On Saturday the 26th August (two days prior to the National Democratic
Convention), immense numbers of persons came flocking to Chicago, indeed
at no former time in the history of the city was there such an influx of
strangers; they came in the cars and in wagon trains, and on horseback.
One county alone sent nearly a thousand men. It was a noticeable fact
that almost all persons who came into the city were well armed, and some
of them even brought muskets. Treason was now rampant, and it would not
be difficult, in looking around upon the most unprepossessing groups,
and to hear the language, to fancy one's-self in Charleston, or some
other nest of treason. From all the men who came to the city we did not,
in a single instance, hear one good, hearty expression of Unionism, but
our "Southern brethren and their rights," and this "wicked war," &c.,
&c., were the topics of conversation, and it was safe to set it down,
that this was the Peace wing of that most remarkable bird,--Democracy of

The writer was in close communication with Col. Sweet, commandant at
Camp Douglas, and by aid of our auxiliaries not an item of information
concerning the hostile intentions of the party transpired, that was not
known instantly by Col. Sweet,--special carriers or orderlies conveying
our dispatches. It must not be supposed that our observations were
confined to Chicago. Our channels of communication with the principal
points in the West were unobstructed; our "telegraphic cable" was in
fine working order, and if those wise heads for a moment fancied
that Col. B.J. Sweet might be caught napping, they were the worst
self-deceived men we have ever seen. Col. Sweet proceeded with all
caution and celerity to make his arrangements, and we beg the Colonel
not to regard it as a breach of confidence in us to say, that the guns
were in such a position and so well managed, that had there been
any attempt to have assaulted the camp, there would not have been
able-bodied traitors enough left, to have carried the killed and wounded
to secure retreats. Almost any officer, perhaps, less cool than Col.
Sweet would have blustered about in such a manner as to have rendered
himself not only positively offensive to the citizens, but would have
placed the city under martial law, and doubtless precipitated the very
event it was wise for a time to avert. Col. Sweet was cool, and
managed the matter with the most perfect military ability and skill. He
compelled everybody, friend and foe, to respect him by his dignified,
gentlemanly bearing, and yet there was that about his appearance that
told plainer than words, that while he was courteous, polite, kind and
willing to do all in his power and consistent with his duty to preserve
the peace, yet had an outbreak been begun, of all men in Chicago, rebels
and sympathisers would prefer to get as far as possible from Col. Sweet,
or the reach of his influence. This gallant officer had his men under
such perfect discipline that a simple request, even when the men were
not on duty, was obeyed with the alacrity as if it had been a peremptory
order. The discovery that Col. Sweet was ready for them, which discovery
was early made and duly reported, had much to do with the good order
which prevailed in Chicago during the Convention.



The extraordinary activity of recruiting for the Sons of Liberty, and
the zeal displayed by the master spirit of the Temple was ominous of the
wicked work they might be called upon to perform. James A. Wilkinson,
who was elected Grand Senior, was too young a man in the estimation of
many, and he was about to resign, when Judge Morris remarked, that "age
was not always wisdom" (the truth of which his own career has fully
illustrated,) and by request Wilkinson continued to hold the post. The
old order for arming of members was called up, and all were required to
comply with the condition at once; a particular pattern of revolvers was
specially recommended, and it was ascertained that the members were in
almost every instance, fully armed. A young man named R.T. Semmes, who
was said to be a near relative to the commander of the rebel pirate
Alabama, was appointed to deliver an address before the Order, but this
duty was never complied with in a formal manner, as it was subsequently
thought Judge Morris was better qualified, he being in a higher degree
than Mr. Semmes, to impart such information as the lower degree should
know. Upon an occasion of a special meeting, the Judge made a long
address, in which he stated the number of members of the Order in
Illinois at 80,000 men, saying they were all well drilled and could
be implicitly relied upon, at the right time; members were enjoined to
remember their obligations to sustain the principles of the Order, and
to aid each other. The Judge stated that "we" (the Sons of Liberty,) had
_two full regiments_ all well armed and drilled, in Chicago, and that
a third was forming. Such cheering information was received with great
gratification, and gave a greater impetus to the recruiting for the

The question of the draft agitated the members at each meeting, and all
declared their purpose never to go to the army, either voluntarily or
otherwise, to fight our brethren, "whose cause was just and right," and
a strong attempt was made to array the organization by formal action to
oppose the Government, and those especially who were impatient for the
general uprising, thought it a timely opportunity and ample provocation,
and felt confident that as the South manifested open hostility and
presented a bold and united front instantly upon the firing of the
first gun upon Fort Sumter, so would it be in all the States of the
Northwestern league; they would at once rise, when knowing that
their brethren of Chicago were in arms against the "usurper and his
hirelings;" but these hasty counsels did not prevail, and individuals
were exhorted to take care of themselves if drafted, but on no account
to go to the army.

Not only was there remarkable activity in the Chicago Temple just prior
to the Convention, but in all the States where the order existed. Our
Indiana neighbors often sent their worst Copperheads to the Chicago
Temple to receive instructions in regard to the mode of initiation; and
about this time, a man named Westfall, of Elkhart, Indiana, appeared in
the Temple, and edified the members with most _encouraging_ accounts
of the order in his own State. He was properly qualified as a Grand
Seignor, and no doubt served with that grace and dignity of which his
appearance gave such promise. It is hoped that the citizens of Elkhart
appreciate this gentleman's devotion to "the great cause." Judge T.H.
Marsh was put through a similar course of training, and being possessed
of remarkable dignity, no doubt made an excellent Grand Seignor. If he
was not fit for a good Judge, he was fit for a Son of Liberty. He no
doubt remembers the artist, who by an unlucky daub, spoiled his
picture of an angel, but took fresh courage, declaring it would make an
excellent devil. So the judge may make his own application.

The day of the great Convention at length dawned upon at least a hundred
thousand strangers in Chicago. Every hotel was densely packed from
cellar to garret, private houses were filled to their uttermost
capacity, while hundreds the night before, who could not find any kind
of a shelter, took in plenty of whisky to prevent catching cold,
and laid themselves quietly at rest in the gutters, much to the
consternation of the myriads of rats that infest our streets. These
street sleepers now arose, and shaking themselves, their toilet was
complete. Of all the God-forsaken, shaggy-haired, red-faced, un-shorn,
hard-fisted, blasphemous wretches that have ever congregated, even at
the gallows at Newgate, many of the visitors of the Peace wing of the
Democracy were entitled to the first consideration. Still there was
no collision with the citizens, although the representatives of the
"unterrified" had sworn that there should be no arrests in Chicago
during the Convention. The better class of strangers were War Democrats,
and it was evident they had no fellowship for the ragmuffins of the
Peace wing.

It should here be stated that the Order of the Sons of Liberty had
purchased firearms, carbines, pistols, shot guns and rifles, and at the
time of the Convention had stored in the city of Chicago, arms, for
at least ten thousand men. These arms had been brought here at various
times; some of them had been brought by vessels and others by rail,
and were now safely deposited in four different depots in Chicago, the
locations of which were known only to the Sons themselves. From these
four principal depots one or more boxes of arms were taken on such
occasions as would best serve, and placed in trust with some out-and-out
rebel sympathizer in the different wards, so that at the time of the
general uprising the "faithful" could readily obtain supplies. On one
occasion Brig.-Gen. Walsh applied to H.A. Phelps, on State street, with
a request for him to receive two boxes of muskets, but that man did not
like to incur the risk, whatever his sympathies may have been, and the
arms were not deposited with him.

It was quite apparent, the first day of the Convention, that our
citizens had resolved to act upon the advice of Adjutant-General Fuller,
to let these fellows "have their jaw out," and they did have it out, and
became terrible _bores_.

At an early hour, the temporary building erected for this gathering,
near Michigan Avenue, was crowded to excess, and after beginning their
labors all the speakers, without exception, entertained the audience
and relieved themselves of the most violent denunciations of President
Lincoln, and the policy of the administration. Each speaker vied
with the last in culling from his vocabulary of hard words, terms
sufficiently expressive of their feelings toward the government, but
do as well as they might, even with the aid of the poorest quality of
whiskey and education, evidently of many years among the lowest of the
low, not one of them could out-do the Chicago _Times_. The only parties
who could approximate it were Gov. Harris of Maryland, and Long of Ohio,
who were most decidedly in favor of secession. The differences between
the War Democrats and the Peace men, well nigh ended in personal
violence, and would, but for timely interference of the police. It is
not our purpose to report the doings of the Convention, and an allusion
is only made to call special attention to the elements which made up the
party who gave to General George B. McClellan a nomination which
proved to him the worst punishment that could have been inflicted, and
exhibited him to the world in worse company than he had ever before
mingled. The hostility between the different factions of the party, but
rendered the Peace wing or Sons of Liberty the more united, and more
firmly bent upon the overthrow of the government, as they saw clearly
enough, even before the adjournment, that there was not a shadow of hope
of electing the ticket formed, and the only hope of genuine copperheads
now laid in the election of State officers, and Judge Morris told the
people "if we can but get our Governor and Lieut.-Governor, it is all
we ask for; the order is strong enough in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Missouri, Iowa and Ohio to enable us to take the general government into
our own hands." He added, "as the Washington government had not seen fit
to execute the Constitution and the laws, we will bring them to Illinois
and execute them ourselves."

At the close of the Convention, and the compromise had been made by the
different factions of the party, then came a time for general rejoicing.
In the evening torchlight processions, with lanterns and transparencies
bearing devices and mottos, all expressive of their animosity at the
administration. At the head of one of these processions was Maj.-Gen.
Barrett, the military commander of Illinois. At that very time Barrett
had in his pocket a programme, which had an intimation been received
from Price or Buckner, would have been of fearful import to the citizens
of Chicago. Barrett had at one time lived in Chicago, but for some
months past was a resident of Missouri. He was thoroughly armed, and
well knew the elements that had assembled in the city. Barrett had been
in the rebel service, or rather we should say in _another_ arm of the
service, inasmuch as none in these days, when all men are for the Union,
and it is so easy to be a patriot, will pretend to deny that the Sons of
Liberty were as much an arm of service for Jeff. Davis as his artillery
or infantry. This fellow Barrett, had on one occasion, as appears by
testimony before the Cincinnati military commission, visited Chicago as
an accredited agent of the Davis government, but he was not molested,
and mingled with men of his own stripe, without fear and without
difficulty. It will be interesting by and by, to read of the Chicago
Convention, and the incongruous elements there assembled. But as all
things have an end, so did this remarkable gathering, and dispersed
quietly, never again to meet as the representatives of the American

Of course most of the Roughs of the Peace wing had been induced to come
to Chicago, with the idea that an uprising was imminent, and would no
doubt take place, when they would be able to repay themselves abundantly
from the property of our citizens. It is not strange therefore, that
these half starved, brutal wretches looked with evil eyes upon our
National banks, and hoped till the last that some lucky incident
might occur which would provoke an outbreak, and they would have an
opportunity to pillage our banks, stores and dwellings, but they were
doomed to disappointment, and with surly looks and threats of vengeance,
left the city, resolved at a future day to draw their pay, principle
and interest, from our banks, and we shall, in a future chapter, see
the manifestation of the same spirit, easily recognized as Peace wing



At a meeting of the Sons of Liberty in September, 1864, a plan was
reported, much to the relief of those who had a horror of conscription;
it was arranged that such of the members as might be drafted, should
report within three days to the Grand Senior of the Temple, and they
would be supplied with means to defray their expenses to the southern
part of the State, where they would remain till their services should
be required, and that they would find friends there, strong enough in
numbers, to defy the officers of the law. Such persons were to form
military organizations, and to be drilled and disciplined by rebel
officers sent thither for that express purpose. The "Sons" of Chicago
expressed their extreme regret at the very open and defiant manner of
their brethren in the southern part of the State, and believed that it
would be prejudicial to the prosperity of the Order. Our readers have
not forgotten the Coles county tragedy, the murderers and their victims.
There is not a particle of doubt that those murders were premeditated,
and first the subject of discussion in the temples of the Sons of
Liberty. The assault was made without provocation, and the thirst
for the blood of Union men was the motive for the deed. We have never
advocated or countenanced mob law, but if there was ever a time in the
history of our government in which it was justifiable, it was in the
cases of the Coles county murderers. The times seemed, perhaps, to have
demanded a vigilance committee of citizens, who would administer justice
fast enough to suit the emergency of the cases upon which they might be
called to adjudicate, and having "cleaned out" the murderous scoundrels
in that locality, they might have found a demand for their services
in Chicago. But it is better that the people controlled their just
indignation and left it to time, to punish the infamous wretches who
turned their arms and their all against the country, to whom they
are indebted for all the blessings which they proved themselves to be
utterly incapable of appreciating. It was the boast of the "Sons" that
their numbers embraced many of the officers of our armies, and the names
of several were mentioned, who had sworn that they would never fire or
order their commands to fire upon "our Southern brethren," and it was
added that such officers could serve the cause of this order better in
the field, than in any other manner. As time passed on, the plans of
the villains belonging to the Chicago Temple, or the plans of the
order throughout the State for the attack upon Camp Douglas became more
complete in their details. The policy of obtaining positions for members
upon all the railroads and in telegraph offices, was very popular with
the order, and it was confidently stated, that upon the release of
the prisoners the leaders would at once take full possession of the
railroads and telegraph offices. It was arranged that the attack upon
the camp should be made the night after election, as it now became fully
apparent to all that there was not a shadow of a chance to elect either
National or State ticket by the Copperheads. Fires were to be kindled in
different parts of the city, and these were to be so numerous that they
would necessarily divert the attention of the citizens, while the attack
should be made. Near the camp is a growth of small oaks and other small
wood which offered a fine retreat or hiding place for those who would
attack the camp. The attacking party were to go singly or in groups
which might not attract attention, and when they were in readiness, they
were suddenly to spring forward and commence an assault simultaneously
on three sides of the enclosure. The risk to the invading party was not
considered large, as the whole undertaking would be but the work of a
few moments, and it was confidently believed that some communication
could previously be established with the rebels by their desperate
friends and allies upon the outside; and it is now quite certain that
some intelligence was communicated to the rebels, and well understood
by them, as not long before the election, supposed signals in the way of
rockets, blue lights, &c. were at one time exhibited by a small group of
persons, without any apparent design, which could have been distinctly
seen at camp. Mrs. Morris, who has confessed her complicity with the
rebel sympathizers, was a frequent visitor to the camp, and it was
thought that she might be very useful in conveying letters, messages,
&c. Indeed it was morally certain that there was an understanding
between the rebels inside, and the cowardly dogs on the outside of the
post. It will be remembered that fire arms for at least ten thousand men
were safely and secretly stored in Chicago, and that there was a perfect
understanding between the members of the higher degrees of the Sons
of Liberty, and the leaders of the invading party from Canada; Had the
attack been made, however good the understanding between the "Sons" and
the rebels might have been, the former would soon have found, to their
surprise and to their dismay, that their glory would suddenly have
departed, for the released rebels would instantly have obeyed the
commands of their own officers, and Northern Sons of Liberty would have
been compelled to fall into line, whether they would or not. A few
of the Sons would have received some consideration, and this would
especially have been the case with Brig.-Gen. Charles Walsh, but in
the main the "accursed democracy,"--as one rebel writing to another was
pleased to speak of the order--was to be kept in the front, or in other
words, used as circumstances might require to do the vilest offices
of this vile and devilish conspiracy. As the time of the election was
drawing near, the Sons of Liberty expressed a wish to have a man at
their head, in the place of Wilkinson, who would command respect, and
whose appearance of dignity and years would impress new comers most
favorably. This man was found in Obadiah Jackson, Jr. Esq., as Grand
Seignior, and so much gratified were they with his peculiar fitness for
this distinguished honor, that they resolved to find a second officer,
or Ancient Brother, and Lewis C. Morrison gave place to a Mr. Hoffman.
Things were now working smoothly, new members were rapidly joining,
and it was evident that the new organization was most favorable for the
growth and unity of the Order. The rapidly increasing number of Temples
in every part of the State, would have been truly alarming to the
friends of the Union. New comers were introduced at every meeting, and
large numbers were initiated at Judge Morris' residence, where favored
individuals were also initiated in the mysteries of the higher degrees;
so that there were hundreds of persons, in good standing with the Order
as bona fide members, who seldom or never visited the lodge room;
this was especially the case with the higher grade of persons--the
politicians, lawyers and others. At a meeting in the autumn, Judge
Morris was present and made a speech in response to the request of
several members, who asked information concerning the immediate purposes
of the Order. He spoke, as was his custom, of the tyranny of the
President; he said the rights of the people had been trampled upon, and
the constitution had been violated by him. He referred to the suspension
of the _habeas corpus_, and said many of our best men were at that
moment "rotting in Lincoln's bastiles;" that it was our duty to wage a
war against them, and open their doors; that when the Democrats got into
power they would impeach and probably hang him, and all who were thus
incarcerated should be set at liberty; that thousands of our best men
were prisoners in Camp Douglas, and if once at liberty would "send
abolitionists to hell in a hand basket;" he said the meanest of those
prisoners was purity itself compared to "Lincoln's hirelings." He added
that the tyranny of "Abraham the First" was fast drawing to a close, and
those who were anxious to fight, would not have to wait long. He also
spoke in favor of retaliation.

The Judge's speeches were always marked by vehemence, profanity
and violent gesticulation; he never spoke except to condemn the
administration, and to express his confidence in this Order to remedy
all the evils of the administration, and that we should very soon--"in
sixty days," have the power, and yet on several occasions he expressed
the belief that McClellan would not be elected. No one, not even the
most stupid in the first degree of the Temple, could fail to understand
how the Copperheads were to have the reins of the General Government
in sixty days, and yet that the party could not hope for success at the
polls. A man named William Hull, connected with the Order, rebuked
such speeches in unqualified terms, and as a consequence drew down upon
himself the odium of the Order. Mr. Hull expressed himself in favor of
compliance with the Constitution and the laws, and of the Union. His
denunciations of the rebels excluded him from the confidence of the
leaders, who began to regard him as a "dangerous man," and expressed the
belief that he would turn against them, and therefore required watching.
Mr. Hull was a man of good common sense, and made several Union speeches
in the Order, which confirmed the suspicion that had been expressed by
some, that he was a spy and detective, and it was said it would be far
better to _put him out of the way_, or in other words to kill him, lest
he might betray them, and further as the time of the election was so
near at hand, it was voted by the Sons of Liberty to destroy all their
records, so that in case of arrest no documentary evidence could be
brought against them. While the motion was pending, Mr. Richard T.
Semmes, one of the prisoners tried at Cincinnati, moved an amendment,
that the names of members be retained, so that in case any one should
betray the Order they might be known and hung, but it was not deemed
safe to preserve the record, and most of the memoranda was destroyed,
but for the edification of the members, we will add that we have on
deposit in Chicago an entire and correct list of names of the Chicago,
and most of the prominent Temples, and it may be deemed expedient to
publish it hereafter; this will be determined by the general behavior of
the members themselves.

In regard to Mr. Hull, to whom we have alluded, it should be said that
his death was fixed upon by the members. Felton and Morrison agreed to
do the work, but afterwards another proposition was made, to give
him money and induce him to leave for parts unknown. This peaceable
disposition of the man was _not_ satisfactory. Said they, "dead men tell
no tales," and at an informal meeting, a vote was taken and all, with
a single exception, present were in favor of _death_. That exception
required more satisfactory evidence that Hull was the informer, and thus
the murder of the man was prevented. The writer has not a particle of
doubt, having been present at this meeting and heard the proposition
and the vote taken, that the murder would have been perpetrated within
twenty-four hours had not a single person been so exacting in regard to
the facts. It may readily be believed that the writer never mingled in
this murderous company without a brace of revolvers in his pocket, ready
for instant use, and it may be no stretch of credulity to believe,
that in case of an assault, the instruments would have been called into

About the first of October, the restrictions upon the purchase and sale
of firearms were removed, and the trade in the city in this department
became very active.

[Illustration: COL.G. ST. LEGER GRENFELL,

"Who has fought in every clime, the man who advised raising the Black
Flag and murdering Union soldiers, and who was to have assumed command
of the Rebel prisoners upon being released from Camp Douglas, and to
whom the citizens of Chicago would have had to appeal for mercy."]

The intensity of hatred of Union soldiers, by the Copperheads would
almost challenge credence. It was a common thing to seek to embroil
them in personal altercations, and to fall upon them with violence and
malice, and it is our opinion, that in almost every case where soldiers
ever became involved in personal difficulty, the provocation came from
Copperheads. We may mention an instance in point. During the summer, a
Union soldier presented himself at our office and required surgical aid.
His head was bleeding copiously, and his hair matted with blood, and so
mutilated was he that he could scarcely speak or walk. He was perfectly
sober, and evidently a very quiet, worthy man. It was doubtful how
his injuries might terminate, but the poor fellow received our best
attention, and thanks to a kind Providence, recovered after a long and
painful illness. It appears that he was beset by a party of Copperheads,
without the least provocation, only that he was a _Union soldier_.
For our act of humanity in rendering professional aid, we were gravely
suspected for a time of being "a dangerous man," and received several
lectures of censure from the Sons of Liberty. He was but a "Union
soldier," and his death, they said, was a matter of congratulation
rather than of regret.



The United States armies being continually pressed forward, step by
step, towards the heart of the Confederacy, occupying more and more of
the soil from which their commissary was but illy and scantily supplied,
together with a desire on the part of the Southern people, to let the
people of the North see what invasion meant, to make them feel and
see the destruction and desolation following our army of invasion,
determined the Richmond government, in 1863, to send its agents to the
Canadas, well supplied with money, to endeavor to foment discord, and
to intensify the dissatisfaction already existing in certain political
circles, with the government, to such an extent that it could be made
available for their own uses and purposes. Knowing that thousands of
their soldiers were confined at Johnston's Island, and Camp Douglas near
Chicago, almost within twelve hours' travel of Canada, it was the great
object of the rebel government to release those prisoners of war, and in
the mean time having stirred up and excited a formidable conspiracy in
the North, particularly in the North-West, having in view the subversion
of the government, and the securing of material aid and assistance
to the rebels, and those rebel prisoners being released through the
instrumentality of the rebels from Canada and those of the Northern
sympathizers who could be induced to join in the expeditions for
that purpose, the conspiracy was to culminate all over the North--but
principally in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and New York,
and effect the release of the prisoners of war confined in the various
prisons in those States. The prisoners at all these places being
released, were to form a nucleus around which all the dissatisfied
people of the Northern States could rally, and endeavor to maintain
themselves and their cause here in the North, and by rallying in
formidable numbers, to cause the withdrawal of so many troops from the
field in front, to establish peace at home, that it would materially
change the whole character of the war, and remove the seat of war
from the cotton States to the Northern States--Kentucky, Tennessee and
Missouri. Upon the withdrawal of the troops in any considerable numbers
from the front, was to follow the advance of the rebel armies into
Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri.

Sterling Price would never have invaded the State of Missouri in the
fall of 1864, had it not been to give all the aid and assistance the
rebellion could afford, to the conspiracy just then ready to break
loose, and this explains the position that Hood occupied for nearly two
months in Northern Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. He would never have
placed himself in such a position, had it not been deemed absolutely
necessary by the Richmond Government, that his army should be placed
where upon the breaking out of the conspiracy he could exercise a great
influence over its prospects of success. To further the objects and
views just stated, Jacob Thompson, of Miss., formerly Secretary of the
Interior under Buchanan's administration, was made a secret agent for
the Rebel Government in the Canadas, and two hundred and fifty or three
hundred thousand dollars in specie, or its equivalent, was placed in his
hands by the Rebel Government, for the purpose of arming and equipping
any expedition he might place on foot from British America, for
the injury of the inland or ocean commerce of the United States, or
harrassing its Northern borders, and particularly for the release of the
Rebel prisoners of war at Camp Douglas and Johnston Island, and from
the beginning of Mr. Thompson's services in Canada, we may date all
the regularly organized and officered expeditions from British America
against the United States. Chief of all these expeditions were the two
attempts, during last year, to release the prisoners of war at Camp
Douglas, near Chicago, Ill., and the two different attempts to capture
the steamer "Michigan" (a United States vessel of war stationed on Lake
Erie, carrying eighteen guns), and release the prisoners on Johnston's
Island. All four of these expeditions failed totally in the objects for
which they were organized, mainly by some friendly parties having put
the military authorities on their guard soon enough to enable them
to defeat the attempts, and in some instances to capture the parties
concerned in them.

To aid Mr. Thompson in his nefarious efforts in Canada, several officers
of various ranks were detailed from the Rebel army, by the Richmond
government, most prominent among these were Col. St. Leger Grenfell,
an Englishman of great military experience and daring, and Capt. T.H.
Hines, a young officer, who having been one of Gen. John A. Morgan's
pets, was recommended by him for the position he held in Canada, but
who was possessed of no more than ordinary military talents or genius,
unless his shrewdness in getting other and better persons involved in
difficulty, and condemned either to prison or death, and getting himself
out, evidenced military prowess. In connection with these men, were a
great many citizens, of both the United States and the South, who while
they were not authorized to act in any way by the Rebel government, yet
showed their zeal in the cause of the rebellion, by aiding and advising
with Mr. Thompson, and advising and exhorting all the rebel soldiers
in Canada, and the refugees from the Northern States, to take an active
part in the different schemes there on foot, to harass the northern
border of the United States. The most prominent of this class were
George N. Sanders, C.C. Clay, formerly Representative in the United
States Congress from Alabama, Col. Steele and Daniel Hibber. There was
still another secret agent of the rebels on special duty in Canada,
viz., Judge Holcombe of Virginia, who was sent there for the purpose of
secretly establishing agencies for the returning of rebel soldiers, who
desired to go South. However much Mr. Holcombe's mission removed
him from military matters, he nevertheless approved of the different
expeditions which were then being organized, and did more perhaps, than
any one else, to cause the irritation now existing between the Canadians
and the citizens of the United States. His policy in establishing
agencies in Canada, was to get some prominent and influential citizens
of the country who sympathized with his government, to act as agents
to furnish rebel soldiers who had escaped to Canada, and who desired to
return South, with all the necessary clothing, rations and money, &c.,
to enable them to go to Montreal or Quebec, where there were regularly
established rebel agencies, who upon the arrival of such soldiers
so furnished with money, for all the money so advanced, with perhaps
interest, was returned. In this way Mr. Holcombe enlisted, besides the
feelings, the interests of a great many prominent business men, whose
means had been advanced to rebels, and all along the Grand Trunk
and Great Western railway, in all the principal towns and cities,
he succeeded in establishing such agencies, which although at first
intended only for those who were rebel soldiers, finally became nothing
more than recruiting rendezvous for the rebel army, which all the
skedadlers, refugees from the Northern and Border States who wished
to join the Southern army, were received, fed, clothed and quietly
transported to the South. Upon the departure of Mr. Holcombe south,
his business was turned over to C.C. Clay, who after that acted in this
capacity. It was during Holcombe's stay in Canada, that the speculative
brain of George N. Sanders, first originated the great humbug of
the Niagara Falls peace conference, at which there was but one rebel
official, and he was not authorized to act in any such capacity. But
the speculative Sanders, having lived like Barnum nearly his whole life,
upon humbugs, made his last and greatest effort to humbug the American
people, into the belief that the Southern people really desired peace,
and that he Clay and Holcombe, although not regularly authorized by
the Rebel government, still could speak for and influence the Southern
people. While in reality the whole conference was nothing on the part of
Sanders & Co., but the last act of a desperate political gamester, who
ventured his all upon one last throw of dice, to win or lose it all. If
Sanders, Holcombe, Clay and others, could have made the people of the
North believe the South really desired peace, and that the only obstacle
in the way was the obstinacy of the General Government, which did not
desire it, but wished to annihilate the Southern people, they could have
materially affected the then coming Presidential election in the North,
and perhaps elected a Democratic president, who would have added to the
disasters then affecting the country--general and complete ruin. The
election of such a man as Gen. McClellan, at such a time, and professing
such principles as actuated the Democratic party at that time, would
have insured to the South her independence, rather than further war
and a dismemberment of the Union. All this these parties professing
to represent Southern opinion well knew, and had they been successful,
would have reaped a rich political reward. Having endeavored to give a
correct outline of the characters of the rebel leaders in Canada, and
the different spheres in which they acted, it is now necessary to give
some idea of the different classes of individuals who were led by
such men, and prompted by them to undertake the many hair-brained
expeditions, which they first plotted and started. These persons
are rightfully and very expressively divided into four different and
distinct classes: 1st. The Rebels. 2d. The skedadlers. 3d. Refugees.
4th. Bounty jumpers and escaped criminals. The term rebel is applied
only to persons who have been or are connected with the rebel army, and
they again are subdivided into two classes; first, those rebels who have
gone to Canada as a means of escape to the South; and, secondly, those
who, having been accustomed to easy and luxurious living in times of
peace, and having become thoroughly disgusted with service in the army,
where they were subjected to strict military discipline, sought
in Canada an asylum from compulsory service of both parties. 2d.
Skedadlers, as they are called, are those persons who having been
drafted, or seeing a possibility of it, in the United States army, had
fled to Canada to avoid the service. This class consisted mostly of fast
young men, having either their own or the pockets of their parents
well lined, and accustomed to live without labor of any kind, were not
disposed to take a part on either side which would subject them to the
inconveniences, hardships or privations of a soldier's life; and partly
of persons who, while they sympathized with the rebellion, still did not
care to make their precious bodies targets for the sake of upholding the
principles which they professed to entertain. 3d. Refugees, or persons
who, for the sake of expressing their opinions and feelings against the
government, without fear of imprisonment, had removed to Canada where
they could vent their spleen and malice against all things connected
with the United States, and vaunt their pernicious principles under
the protection of the outstretched paw of the British lion. 4th. Bounty
jumpers and criminals who could not be pursued and brought back to this
country for punishment under the existing extradition treaty between the
United States and Canada. This last class exceeds by far all the others
in point of numbers, and the low degree of infamy to which they are
reduced--rebels, skedadlers, refugees and bounty jumpers, with a mixture
of escaped criminals, forming an almost indescribable mass of
people, from all nations, all climes, and of almost every imaginable
description, and chiefly distinguished for being more frequently found
in the bar-rooms, billiard saloons, gambling halls, &c.



It is the writer's intention to speak first of two expeditions to
Chicago, for the release of the prisoners confined there. The first of
these took place during the Chicago Democratic Convention, when it was
hoped that the rebels from Canada and their sympathizers from Missouri,
Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, who came armed to assist them in their
projects, would be enabled to go quietly into the city without fear of
detection, in the vast crowds who were then assembling there, from all
parts of the United States, and under the guise of friendly visitors,
were to be ready at a moment's notice whenever their leaders called upon
them to spring out before the people in their true light, and effect
the release of those rebels confined at Camp Douglas. As early as the
twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth of August last, at the request of Jacob
Thompson, secretly and quietly circulated all through the Canadas, Nova
Scotia and New Brunswick, all the Rebels, Skedadlers, Refugees, and
others who could be relied upon to take part in the expedition, began to
assemble in Toronto, Canada West, at the different hotels and boarding
houses; of these, at that time, it was generally reported that there
were about three hundred; but so far as positive evidence goes, out
of this number only about seventy-five men were induced to join this
expedition and go to Chicago. At Toronto the objects of the expedition
were made known to nearly all of them, and arms furnished them--_arms
manufactured in New York city and shipped to Canada for that express
purpose_. The details of the affair were only known to a few of the
leaders, who maintained the strictest silence upon the subject, and
enjoined upon the men the most implicit obedience to their orders,
pledging themselves for their safety and the feasibility of their plans.
On the nights of the twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth of
August, these men began to leave Toronto, by all the different routes
leading to Chicago, in squads of from two to ten, and began to arrive
at the Richmond House in that city, as early as the Saturday before the
Convention. They were all pledged to fight to the last, and never under
any circumstances surrender, as their lives would be forfeited, if
caught. The whole expedition was under the charge of Capt. Thomas H.
Hines, who had a commission as Major-General in the Rebel army, to take
effect and date from the release of the rebel prisoners of war at Rock
Island or Camp Douglas. Hines is the person who is said to have effected
the escape of General John H. Morgan himself, and others from the
penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio, and although it is not generally known
in the North or South how Morgan escaped, and there not being one word
of truth in his report, he has enjoyed for a long time the reputation of
having been the author of it, and of being a desperate shrewd character.
The real facts in the case were (and it does not do the service of the
United States much credit to mention them,) that General John H. Morgan
"_was bribed out_." It was absolutely necessary however for General
Morgan to make some report of his escape to the public, that would
hoodwink the United States Government and save the officers, whom his
friends in the North had bribed to let him out, from punishment by
the authorities, and therefore a very romantic tale was made up, and
Morgan's pet _Capt. Hines_, was made the hero of it; and it was the
object of the rebel government in sending Hines to Canada to give an air
of truth to this romantic tale, to secure the United States officials
who have failed in their duty to their country. Hines was assisted in
his efforts by Col. St. Leger Grenfel an English adventurer of great
military experience, personal bravery and daring, who has had a romantic
connection with nearly every important war in America, Europe, Asia and
Africa for the past thirty years, and served in the Southern army with
the rank of Col., as Adjt.-Gen. to Morgan, and afterwards on General
Bragg's staff; but who pretended to have resigned his commission in the
rebel army and was living quietly in Canada; also by one Capt. Castleman
of Morgan's command, from Kentucky, who acted as Quartermaster of the
party, and about seventy-five, rank and file, (nearly all of whom were
officers) of the rebel army from Canada. These men were to be met here
in Chicago by parties from nearly all the middle, western and border
States, who came armed like themselves and for the same purpose. Of
those citizens who came to Chicago, armed and ready like the rebels,
there were over a thousand persons organized and officered, camped in
this city, just waiting for the command, and there were in the vast
throng then assembled in Chicago five or six thousand, who, while they
would not attach themselves to any organization, and were afraid to risk
the first attempt, yet if the first attempt had been successful
they would have joined the others in their work of devastation and
destruction. The above is most too low an estimate of the number of
these malcontents who did not join any military organization, but would
have eventually joined if it had been successful; for rebel officers
have been heard to say in Canada, after the Convention was over, that if
they could have "_started the thing right,_" they would have had an army
of twenty-five thousand in a week. With such a force, or even a force
of ten thousand, in possession of the city of Chicago, almost every city
and large town where there were many Democrats, and where the Sons of
Liberty, the Illinois Societies, Illini, &c., had full sway in Missouri,
Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, were to raise the insurrectionary
cry, and endeavor to bring all peace men and Democrats under their
banners. They were also to endeavor to maintain themselves in their
respective neighborhoods, districts, States, etc., were to seize upon
all the railroads and public buildings, and in the event they were not
strong enough to hold all the country, they were to rally around the
liberated rebels and their friends at Chicago, Camp Chase, Camp Morton,
and other places, after destroying all the public works, railroads,
etc., that would be of any service to the Government, in following them
up, or baulking their movements. In the meantime, however, the military
authorities in Chicago had not been idle, and the rebels and their
abettors looked with dismay upon every fresh arrival of troops and
artillery, as it was reported in their headquarters by spies, who had
the temerity to go to the observatory just opposite the camp, from
which they could see almost all over it, and send up hourly reports of
everything taking place inside.

[Illustration: JAMES A. WILKINSON, Past Grand Seignior of the Chicago
Temple of the Sons of Liberty, and one of those who brought the
"Butternuts" to Chicago "to vote and to fight."]

They not only had their spies, one might almost say, in Camp Douglas,
but in the telegraph offices, and were in or so near Post Headquarters,
that they were able to chronicle nearly every event of any importance to
them, that transpired, in any of those places.

On the third day of the Convention, it was announced from rebel
headquarters at the Richmond House, that the expedition was a failure,
that owing to the precautions taken by the military authorities, and the
non-arrival of a thousand or two of other Copperheads, who had promised
to be in Chicago, ready to assist in the undertaking, and owing to the
want of sufficient discipline and organization among the Copperheads,
who were on hand, that an attempt at that time upon the garrison of
Camp Douglas would involve the destruction of the lives of too many
prisoners, and perhaps the killing and capturing of all those who made
the attempt to release them. As soon as it was generally known among the
rebels that they had failed in attaining the objects for which they
came to Chicago, Col. Grenfell and Capt. Castleman made their appearance
among them, and stated that it had been generally agreed upon that all
who were willing should go to Southern Illinois and Indiana, to drill
and organize the Copperheads for the coming struggle, which they thought
would take place very soon, or in other words, as soon as Gen. Lee
should have Gen. Grant's army in full retreat towards Washington city,
or should have inflicted some other almost irreparable disaster upon the
Union arms, which event both they and the Copperheads with them, were
not only wishing to take place, but confidently expecting every day;
that they with Hines and others were going home with some delegates
to the Convention, where they could live quietly and work to a great
advantage. On the fourth day of the Convention, the men and officers
were paid various sums from twenty to one hundred dollars, and it
was left to their option whether they would go to Southern Illinois,
Indiana, or return to Canada. Some fifteen or twenty went to Canada, and
about fifty went to Southern Illinois and Indiana. Thus ended the first
attempt to release the rebel prisoners of war at Camp Douglas. It was
certainly a bold movement, both on the part of the rebels, who exposed
themselves to such great risk of suffering a disgraceful and ignominious
death, and the citizens who aided them in their nefarious designs.
But it seemed that an angel of an all-seeing Providence stretched its
protecting wings over the fair city, which was doomed by the rebels
and their friends at the North first to see and feel the demoralizing
influence of an insurrectionary force. What expression, or what degree
of contempt is most appropriate for the citizens connected with these
rebel efforts;--persons owing a true and faithful allegiance to the
Government, yet aiding and abetting its public enemies, persons who
while professing a common fealty with their fellow citizens, would
welcome to their homes incendiaries, and incite them to murder and
plunder those very fellow citizens, and compel them to suffer all the
horrors of a cruel warfare! No epithets that human ingenuity could
heap upon them would be too harsh, or too undeserved, no contempt too
humiliating for a people so devoid of honesty and all the qualities
essential to render them prosperous and happy.



At the time the rebel officers and soldiers left Chicago, after the
Convention, none of them had any idea of ever coming back again, except
Capt. Hines and a few of the leaders who consulted with him. He was
shrewd enough to see that any effort at that time would be fruitless,
and determined, so far as possible, to have all the Copperheads
who would assist him in any second affair of the kind, drilled and
organized, and men able to render effective assistance. It was for
this purpose that he, with his comrades, went to Southern Illinois and
Indiana with cavalry and infantry tactics and all the appliances for
instructing others in military matters. The conspirators having failed
at Chicago during the convention to make their starting point, having
failed to make the great bonfire, which was to be the signal for
thousands of others not quite so large, to burn up brightly from almost
every hill-top in Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, it
was necessary for their leaders to meet again, and determine upon a
new programme. It appears that they did meet again, and again the
starting-point of the whole conspiracy was the release of the rebel
prisoners of war at Chicago, and from facts brought to light by the
evidence before the great military commission held in Cincinnati, Ohio,
the plan of operations was nearly the same as that of the first. The
prisoners being released at Chicago, those at Johnston's Island,
Camp Morton, Camp Chase and other places were to be released by their
friends, and then all were to be immediately placed under the command of
rebel generals sent here for the purpose of heading the rebellion, when
it once broke out. This may seem like fiction to some; the idea of rebel
generals being here in the North for the purpose of aiding and taking
the lead of the conspirators; but it is nevertheless true, as disclosed
by one of the prisoners taken at Chicago; and it also appears that
these generals had several states partitioned off into districts and
departments, of which, each department commander was to have exclusive

The new programme having been adopted, all that was necessary was to fix
upon the day. The day must be one upon which more than the usual number
of visitors would be in the city, in order that their coming and staying
would not be noticed, and it seemed they selected the day of election,
as the one most suitable for their purposes; and if possible a day when
the military and civil authorities would be most likely to be caught
off their guard. For several days before the 8th of November last, their
spies had been coming into the city, in order to get suitable quarters
for the men when they arrived, and in parts of the city where they would
be least liable to suspicion. In the efforts to secure suitable boarding
houses for these incendiaries, various citizens of Chicago took an
active part, and even went to the depots to receive them, and escort
them into the bosom of the city they were so soon to attempt to destroy.
It was not until the Saturday just before the election, that Gen. Sweet
had positive information of the _rebels_ being in the city, and received
full information of the details of their plans, and began to take
measures quietly to capture them. This he did at once, and at the same
time had every preparation made to repel any attack upon the garrison of
Camp Douglas; and he succeeded admirably, following up his information
with such energy, that before daylight of the Monday morning following,
he had captured enough of the rebel leaders (and their friends in such
connexion as to leave no doubt of their guilt,) to make every disloyal
man quake in his boots. The captures of the military and police were
not confined alone to the conspirators, and in addition to them were
captured immense military stores of all kinds, boxes of guns already
shotted, cart loads of army pistols loaded and ready for the bloody work
expected of them, holsters, pistol belts, cartridges by the cart load,
and enough munitions of war to have started an arsenal of moderate size.
These arms were not taken from the rebels, but found in the houses
of citizens of Chicago, who can produce witnesses upon the stand (of
pretended loyalty and standing, some of them being office-holders under
the Government,) to swear that they themselves are, and have always been
loyal and true to their allegiance. In the house of Charles Walsh,
most of these arms were taken, and also there were captured two rebel
soldiers, Captain George Cantrill and Charles Travis Daniels, who were
shortly after identified; and Cantrill partly confessed his views, and
his complicity with the Copperheads. This man Cantrill had been one
of those who had come to Chicago during the Convention, for the same
purpose, and averred that then and at the election, the Copperheads had
offered and held out to them every inducement to get them here. That had
it not been for them he would never have come here. It may be well
here to publish a little incident, showing fully the kindred feelings
existing between the conspirators and the inmates of Camp Douglas. It
was a well known fact, that there were several thousand of John Morgan's
desperadoes confined in this prison, and the Copperhead conspirators, to
show their refinement of feeling, their accommodating dispositions, and
their attention to the worst of these men, had purchased for their use
exclusively, the finest cavalry carbines then made in the United States,
and had them stored in the immediate neighborhood of the prison, when
upon being released they could at once begin to revel in a carnival of
blood. Happy, happy for the people of Chicago, having passed through one
of the most critical periods of their existence, without knowing that
they were threatened with any disaster, ignorant that there was a mine
beneath their feet, just ready to be sprung at any moment, with their
own fellow citizens pulling at the spring, willing to involve them in
general and complete ruin--willing to subject them to the ravages of
such bloodthirsty villains as the inmates of Camp Douglas. The people of
Chicago never can appreciate, to its fullest extent, the danger through
which they have passed, for several reasons. First, because they were
ignorant of it at the time, and the conspirators had and have now at
their command, a bitter partizan press in their interests, and entirely
subservient to their views, whose interests it is to prevent these facts
from becoming generally believed, and when they are presented to the
public with the naked truth, to hiss at and cry them down as emanating
from the brains of lunatics, or a conspiracy of detectives to ruin the
reputation of innocent and guiltless persons. Secondly, because they
never experienced the horrors which must necessarily have followed had
the conspirators been successful.



Canada, occupying the geographical position and belonging to another
nation as it does, has been ever since this war broke out, the
rendezvous of thousands upon thousands of the vagabond and criminal
population of the United States, together with the rebels and refugees,
until its population far exceeds what it had in 1860; almost every
business occupation is crowded to such an extent that it is almost
impossible to obtain employment of any kind, many persons being obliged
to keep from starving by begging, for their food, and the clothes they
wear upon their backs. Some of this refugee population have means,
others are supplied by their friends and families at home; but by
far the greater number are without any occupation or visible means of
support, habitué of the gambling hells, drinking saloons, &c., in favor
of any crime or villainy to supply their depleted purses, and furnish
them with the means of living at ease and idleness. Under such
circumstances and among such a class of population, is it anything
strange, that the robbery of banks, the pillaging of the inhabitants of
the Northern border, that raids with all the necessary plundering and
so forth, found plenty of advocates and supporters, and when the time
arrived to carry them into execution, plenty of desperadoes, fit tools
for such infamous projects. The great difficulty in Canada was not in
getting enough of these men to participate in matters of this kind; but
to prevent too many of them from knowing of them, so that there would
be a smaller number among whom to divide the spoils and plunder thus
obtained, so that the chief difficulty lay in getting together just
enough of the most desperate characters to carry out an expedition.
During the Chicago Democratic Convention the efforts of the rebels
were not confined alone to Camp Douglas; but simultaneously with their
efforts in Chicago, they were to make an attempt to capture the United
States Steamer Michigan, carrying eighteen guns, stationed on Lake Erie,
the steamer permitted by the treaty between the United States and
Great Britain, for the better protection of rebel prisoners confined at
Johnston's Island.

The prisoners of war at Chicago, Illinois, being released, and the great
conspiracy in the North once fairly inaugurated, the capture of the
steamer Michigan was to be one of the combined movements that were to
startle the country, and aid the conspiracy in overturning the authority
of the United States Government, With the "Michigan" in their hands,
the conspirators would have a powerful auxilliary in their pernicious
designs upon the country, and be able to render effective aid to the
Southern Rebellion; ruining the commercial status of the United States
on the great lakes, and effectually closing all the ports on their
borders, and in addition to this, their laying all the large towns and
cities on the northern portion under contributions, and exacting from
them enormous sums of money, through fear of bombardment. The plan of
the conspirators to get possession of the Michigan was by bribery and by
surprise. Mr. Thompson, in his efforts to seize the vessel, secured the
services of a man named Cole, of Sandusky City, who, whilom, had been
a citizen of Virginia, but who still retained his sympathies for the
rebellion, and took an active part in aiding it whenever he had an
opportunity, and a woman, said to have been his paramour, who carried
dispatches backwards and forwards between the parties. This man Cole
seems to have been the most wiley conspirator of them all, and played
his infamous part of the plot with the most adroit shrewdness; and the
defeat of the whole scheme was not owing to any blunder of his, but
rather the blunder of those who employed and furnished him with the
means. Having been well supplied with money by Mr. Thompson, and no
limit put to his expenses, he began his work with a will. He seems to
have begun by getting generally well acquainted with the officers of
the vessel, by feasting them, and now and then lending them money, or
accommodating them in some other way, until he had won the confidence
of all those in command of the steamer, as well as those in charge
of Johnston's Island. After a time, he found out those who were most
vulnerable on the money question, and those whom he did not dare to
approach upon the subject. Of the latter class, there is one mentioned
in particular by the rebels, whose suspicions they did not care to
arouse, and which they made every attempt to lull. This was an officer
named Eddy, from Massachusetts. Of the former class, whom they bribed,
the rebels mentioned particularly the chief engineer, who, they said,
had agreed, for twenty thousand dollars in gold, to get the machinery
out of order, and otherwise aid in the vessel's capture, and one or two

[Illustration: BRIG. GEN. CHARLES WALSH,

A citizen of Chicago, he was at one time the Democratic candidate for
Sheriff of Cook County, in which is the city of Chicago, during the
earliest part of the war he was very active in helping to raise what
was called the Irish brigade. He afterwards became a bitter democratic
partizan and was connected with the Sons of Liberty. Just before and
during the Convention be received into his family several rebel soldiers
who were there during the day and night time, making cartridges for the
expected release of the rebel prisoners of war at Camp Douglas. He was
arrested in his own house on the morning of the 7th of November, as was
also his son, and two Rebel soldiers and taken to Camp Douglas. In his
house and on his premises were an immense numbers of guns of several
kinds and also immense military stores, consisting of powder, buckshot,
cartridges, with two or three cast braces of army revolvers, all these
guns and pistols were loaded and ready with the exception of being
capped. Charles Walsh is of Irish extraction and about forty years of
age, and a fine looking man. He is generous, impulsive, rather easily
influenced, agreeable in conversation, and except in the character he
assumed as an enemy to his country was possessed of qualities which
would win for him many friends. There are as bad men, in our opinion, as
Mr. Charles Walsh, to day at liberty and talking treason in our midst.]

Of the remainder of the officers of the Michigan, they thought their
well-known Democratic faith and sympathy with the rebellion, would
prevent them from seeing or knowing _too much_, until too late to avoid
the disaster. Of these last, the conspirators did not seem to entertain
the least fear, some of them being Southern men by birth, and at most,
but passive in their fidelity to the government. The men of the vessel
who were loyal, were also tampered with, and the rebels in Canada looked
for assistance from them, and claimed that some of their own men from
Canada had enlisted on board of her for the purpose of aiding to capture
her. Of these rebels, however, there were but few. As the writer
has stated before, the attempt on the steamer Michigan was to be
simultaneous with that at Chicago, Ill., and while the rebels and their
friends were assembling in Chicago, they were also gathering in Sandusky
City, for the capture of the Michigan. The exact number of conspirators
in Sandusky, at that time, is not known to the writer, nor the details
of their plans; but let it suffice to say, _that they were there, armed
and ready_. When the time of action arrived, however, the engineer and
his accomplices were no where to be found, and after waiting for nearly
two days, the rebel portion of the conspirators, with the exception of
Capt. Beall, returned to Canada. On their return, they said that the
persons whom they had bribed were afraid to toe the mark--that is, were
afraid to carry out their infamous and hazardous part of the contract.
The rebels were in great fear, lest something had happened that would
put an end forever to their hopes, in regard to the steamer, but in a
few days after this, the non-appearance of the engineer and friends,
were duly explained, and the alarm caused by it quieted, and another
time set for the attempt; the sequel will show how _much_ they intended,
and how much they ventured to effect their aims. It is a well known fact
that the rebels while in Sandusky city, were feasted and toasted in
the houses of some of the prominent citizens and business men,
and encouraged in every way by them. The day being set once more,
preparations were again made to capture the vessel, and this time
occurred what was called the _Lake Erie Piracy_, nearly everything
connected with which was so disgraceful to the United States service,
that although the government hastened to remove all the reprehensible
officers, and retain those who deserved well of their country, yet seems
to have endeavored to keep some of the facts connected with it, from
being made public. About one week before the time set for the second
attempt arrived, Capt. Beall returned from Sandusky to Windsor, Canada
West, and announced that all was ready for the capture, and immediately
telegraphed to Jacob Thompson, who was then at the Queen's Hotel, in
Toronto, who at once answered that he would come to Windsor that night,
and desired not to be recognized. That evening he arrived at Windsor,
and without apparently being known got into a carriage waiting, and was
taken to the residence of a Col. Steele, about a mile below Windsor,
where he was expected. During this week all the men who were to
participate in the affair were notified, and this time the services
of some of the men who had been to Chicago during the Convention, were
called into requisition. The officers of the rebel army could be seen
running about, here and there, to the different boarding houses
where the men were stopping, carrying ominous looking carpet bags,
distributing from them pistols, ammunition and other things, deemed
necessary for the undertaking, which was to be made on the night of the
following Monday. Most active in these efforts to incite these men to
deeds of desperation, were Col. Steele and Jake Thompson--or when he
used his assumed name, Col. Carson. The plans of the pirates were as
follows, and the writer gives them just as he heard them from the lips
of two of the rebel officers who participated in the affair, commanding
detachments on board of the "Philo Parsons." Part of the men, amounting
in all to about seventy-five, were to go from Canada to Sandusky city by
rail, another party were to cross the river at Detroit early on Monday
morning, and take passage on the steamer "Philo Parsons" for Sandusky,
another portion were to take passage on her from Sandwich, Canada, about
two miles below Detroit, and still another party of them, consisting of
about fifteen (with eight or ten citizens who knew nothing of what was
contemplated), on Sunday morning were to charter a small steamer called
the "Scotia," plying between Windsor and Detroit, ostensibly for the
purpose of taking a pleasure ride to Malden, Canada, about twenty miles
below Detroit, and near the entrance of the river into the lake, when
they were also on Monday to take passage for the same place on the
Parsons. At Kelley's Island, one of the points at which the boat touched
in her daily trips, they were to receive a messenger from Cole, letting
them know, that up to that time everything was going on smoothly in
Sandusky; upon receiving this information, all the different portions
of the gang were to unite and seize the steamer, before she reached the
next landing, at which she generally stopped. The engineers and pilots
were to be forced, by threats of instant death if they refused, to still
occupy their respective places; the passengers were to be put off at
some out of the way place, where it would be impossible for them to give
any information to the authorities, and after dark they were to run down
into Sandusky bay, where they would see certain signals, made by those
conspirators on the shore, when they would land, take on board all those
who had come by rail from Detroit, and some Copperheads from Cincinnati,
Ohio, and other places, and at once would immediately turn the prow of
the Parson for the steamer Michigan. Cole was to give a champagne supper
on board the Michigan that evening, to the officers, and was to be there
himself with a party of rebels, who had also become well acquainted with
the officers, and was invited at the request of Cole, to join in the
festivities of the occasion. It was intended for the Philo Parsons to
reach hailing distance of the Michigan about eleven or twelve o'clock
that night, in order that by this time as many of the crew as possible,
through the champagne, would be incapable of rendering any resistance,
when the Parsons was hailed by the watch on board the steamer, and Cole
and his associates were at once to take possession of a gun, which would
sweep the whole decks, to prevent that portion of the crew who were
not rendered incapable of it by drink, from attempting any effectual
resistance to the conspirators boarding her from the Parsons. Once in
possession of this vessel of war, the prisoners on the island were to
be immediately released, landed at Sandusky, when the Sons of Liberty,
Illini and other secret societies were to seize the opportunity of
rising up, and asserting their peculiar doctrines, under the protection
of this powerful man of war. The same course was to be pursued at
Cleveland and other places, along the lake coast, where their secret
societies were in full blast, the conspirators exacting an enormous
tribute of the loyal portion of these communities to save their property
from the dangers of bombardment. This expected tribute of ten millions
of dollars, (to be divided equally among them,) from the border cities,
was the greatest inducement held out by the rebel leaders before leaving
Canada, to their desperadoes, in order to excite their cupidity and
zeal, and inflame their minds to such a pitch, that they would render a
strict obedience to their officers, and hesitate at no act of violence.
These were the plans of the conspirators, and although they may seem
almost ideal and improbable, yet are very possible even to the most
minute details, when one will take time to stop and consider the great
chances of success the pirates had in having a portion of the crew
bribed, and their prospects of having the remainder too excited by
liquor, to make any effectual opposition--the surprise, the chaos and
confusion of the crew at finding those whom they supposed their friends,
as well as their own comrades and fellow-soldiers, fighting them hand to
hand. Under such circumstances as these, it is very easy to conceive of
the capture of a vessel by a band of desperadoes, who would hesitate at
no act of bloodshed or villainy to accomplish their objects. In addition
to this, they were rendered more desperate, if such a thing could be,
by the certainty that if they failed and were captured, a speedy and
disgraceful death awaited them. The Michigan being captured, it is also
easy to conceive that all the other portions of their plans could have
been carried out, perhaps to a greater extent than already mentioned,
that contributions could have been levied and exacted from the people,
and especially that the Sons of Liberty and other secret societies would
joyously seize such an opportunity as the protection of this man-of-war
afforded them, to throw off the mantle of secrecy and darkness from
their hell-born principles, and parade them to the view of the public
in all their hideousness. We will now follow up the plans of the
conspirators, and mention the facts as they occurred. On Sunday the --th
of September, just preceding the attempt, although it was a rainy
and very disagreeable day, in accordance with orders, the Scotia was
chartered and conveyed her part of the pirates, together with some arms
to Maiden, C.W. It is due to the citizens who were with the pirates, to
say here, that they had no idea that the piracy was contemplated, and
thought that it was only a fishing excursion, which at that time was a
very common occurrence with the Southeners at Windsor. That evening when
the Scotia returned, they alleged that it was so unpleasant that they
would wait until the next day before going back to Windsor, in this way
lulling everything like suspicion in the minds of those who had only
been invited to go with them, the more effectually to conceal the real
objects of the pirates. On Monday, on the arrival of the Steamer
_Philo Parsons_ at Malden, those who had taken passage from Detroit and
Sandwich, were seen in very conspicuous places on the decks, by those on
the wharf, who immediately boarded her in the capacity of passengers. It
was not the intention of the pirates to seize the vessel until nearly
to Sandusky, and in the event they received no messenger from _Cole_,
at Kelley's Island, they were not to take possession of her at all, but
continue in their characters as passengers to Sandusky, and there learn
the cause of his failure to communicate with them. But as subsequent
events will show, they were compelled to change their whole plan of
operations. Shortly after the vessel left Malden, the frequency with
which all of these men patronized the bar of the boat, attracted the
suspicions of some of the passengers, as well as the officers, one of
whom, from some remarks let fall by one of the men, thought they were a
suspicious set, and said that as soon as the boat arrived at Sandusky,
he would have them arrested and taken care of. Some of the pirates
happened to hear this remark, and as soon as it was generally known,
created the greatest consternation among them, and upon arriving at
Kelley's Island and not receiving the messenger promised by _Cole_,
they were in a very unenviable position. To go to Sandusky they would
be arrested; the only course they could take to save their own lives
and liberty, was that which they eventually adopted. Capt. Beall, after
hearing this report, quickly determined to seize the vessel, which was
accordingly done, to the great terror of the passengers and crew. One
or two of the crew who refused to obey the orders given by the pirates,
were severely wounded. Finding that there was only wood enough on board
to last for a short time, she was run to Put-in-bay to get a supply, and
it was at this landing that they seized the Island Queen, which happened
to be there also, for the same purpose. This vessel, after removing her
valuables, was immediately scuttled and left floating with the current
in a sinking condition. After dark that night, the pirates ran down
into Sandusky Bay, but failing to see the signals agreed upon, and after
waiting a short time, again returned to the open lake, convinced by this
time that something had happened to their friends in Sandusky. Capt.
Beall then seeing that something had happened which would prevent them
from capturing the Michigan, announced his determination to cruise on
the lake as long as possible, burning and destroying all he could,
and endeavored to induce his men to go with him; but they were already
scared, and begun to fear the consequences of their act, and insisted
upon going back to Canada. This is what Capt. Beall himself told Mr.
Thompson on his return to Canada, that "if it had not been for these
mutinous scoundrels, I could have run that boat on these lakes for two
weeks, burning and destroying all the vessels we met with, before the
Yankees could have made us take to land." The owners of shipping upon
the great lakes, can now if they never could before, appreciate fully
the danger to their vessels at that time. The day before the rebels left
Windsor, C.W., the United States authorities had been notified of the
expedition, and fully placed upon their guard, and if the plans of
Lieut. Col. Hill, the efficient commander of the post at Detroit could
have been followed, he would have captured the whole gang. However, he
telegraphed to Sandusky, and had Cole arrested while he was sitting at
the table, taking dinner with the officers on board the Michigan. This
effectually prevented Cole from communicating with the conspirators.

Col. Hill's plans were to let the pirates take the _Parsons_, and then
before they had time to do any damage, have the Michigan meet them on
their way to Sandusky and capture them all together, and thus relieve
the Government from any farther trouble with this most desperate band
of incendiaries. Col. Hill telegraphed to the commander of the Michigan,
requesting him to do this, and it is generally understood that the
reason why he did not do it was that the machinery of the vessel was out
of order, thus showing how well those who had been bribed had done their
duty. In addition to these attempts to capture the steamer Michigan, was
the celebrated St. Albans raid, which among others, was one of the
rebel modes of carrying the war into Africa and harrassing the northern

This raid, which has become so famous in the history of this war, was
first started by a Texan, named _Bracey_, belonging to one of the rebel
Texan regiments. This man, for four or five years before the war, had
been going to one of the schools or colleges (according to his own
account of himself,) in St. Albans, and was well acquainted, both with
the city and country, in the immediate neighborhood. He gave all the
information he could, and offered to return there to get more, which
he, with one or two rebel soldiers did, and obtained all the necessary
information that would, in any way, aid them in their criminal designs.
Upon their report, on their return to Canada, the fitting out the
expedition immediately began--the money, arms, etc., being furnished by
the rebel agents in Montreal or Quebec. Of the details of this affair,
as carried out, the people have been fully advised by the newspapers,
and, to all intents and purposes, the raid has been a success, or
has operated in this manner by the winding and twisting course of the
Canadian law courts, which seem to be actuated by no fixed principles,
but wavering between the fear of the public opinion of the American
people, and their desire to aid the rebels in overturning the
government--and had it not been for the sudden turn the war has taken
in the last six months, the people along the northern border would have
been subjected to numerous other and similar raids. The St. Albans raid
was only a part of one grand scheme of the rebels, for the past two
years, to inaugurate a new mode of warfare, entirely beyond the pale of
that waged by civilized nations, and a relic of the more barbarous ages.
This new mode of warfare, or incendiarism, as it is generally called,
was first started by the rebel government, after the fall of Memphis,
Tenn., for the purpose of destroying vessels, loaded with government
property, and cut off the communications of the armies in the lower
countries, with their depots of supplies; with this end in view,
companies of men were regularly enlisted for the purpose, and after
a time, the sympathies and the aid rendered the rebellion by certain
classes of the people at the North, justified them in extending its
pernicious effects further North. Companies were enlisted and sent
through the lines, with orders to burn public buildings, army stores,
and supplies, wherever they could find them. Thus far, secret agents of
the rebels were scattered all over the North, in small squads, wherever
there was a prospect of doing injury to the government; and it is to
the efforts of these men, that the country is indebted for the wholesale
destruction of steamboat and other property at St. Louis, Cairo, and
other places on the western rivers. These men performing the incendiary
acts frequently upon information furnished them by their sympathizing
friends. The public are already well aware of the manner in which some
of these acts of incendiarism terminated, most especially the attempt of
Capt. Kennedy and others, holding commissions in the rebel service, to
burn New York city. If ever a man deserved his fate, this man Kennedy
certainly did, and the public, having been saved, unscathed, can never
fully appreciate the enormity of his crime. One, knowing the facts of
these men being in the North for this purpose, can readily appreciate
the punishment awarded them; but upon reviewing all the facts in
the case, will as readily say that they are now less guilty than the
citizens of the North, who aided them in their designs, by furnishing
them information and associating with them, and even receiving them into
their families, while they were yet public enemies, and in arms against
the country.



The evening of the 3d of November, 1864, found a large representation of
the Sons of Liberty in their lodge room in Chicago, for as the time drew
near for the Presidential election--the period fixed for the carnival
of crime--the members of the organization realized the importance of the
utmost vigilance--lest their plans should be discovered--and of the most
entire concurrence with their leaders, and concert of action in obeying
the commands that might be given. At this meeting, the Brigadier-General
of the Order was present, as were also Captains and Lieutenants of the
Invincible Club, and a more exciting meeting had rarely ever been held
in the Temple. Speakers were vehement and earnest, and their theme was
the proposed uprising. As had ever been their policy, certain important
facts were withheld from the fledglings in treason, who had not yet
tried their wings, but there was no discord, no dissention, and all
exhibited enthusiasm and confidence. Brig.-Gen. Walsh called a meeting
of the Order, to be held in the hall of the Invincible Club, on Sunday
evening November 6th, the hour being fixed for eight o'clock. All
were exhorted to be "on hand," as the Brig.-General had an important
communication to make. Friday and Saturday an immense number of pistols,
and much ammunition were sold, and many were given away in quarters,
where it was certain material aid might be expected, when the time
should arrive for the inauguration of revolution. To the few of us
having the interests of the country at heart, who were cognisant of
the acts, preparations and intentions of the Order, it will readily be
believed the days were tedious, and the nights sleepless. So well had
the principal secrets of the Order--the details of the uprising---been
kept from the lower degree of the "Sons," that but few of the members
had a definite idea of the infamous part they were expected to perform,
and it was to communicate enough information to secure harmony among the
men, and that concert of action which promised the most complete success
of the terrible scheme of villainy before them, that the meeting was
called for Sabbath evening. It will be seen by the report of Gen.
Sweet's testimony, before the military commission, to what peril the
city was exposed. With but a handful of men to garrison the post,
without the ability to obtain adequate reinforcements, with ten thousand
veteran rebels in a camp, so incomplete in its structure, with the
certainty that our secret enemies were upon the railroads already, and
seeking positions in the post-office, in telegraph offices, if, as there
was good reason to apprehend, the telegraph stations were not already
under their control, that by Judge Morris' official report to the
Temple, two full regiments of Sons of Liberty, all well armed and
disciplined, were ready at an hour's notice, and that a third regiment
was almost complete, the knowledge also that the entire body
of Copperheads in the State, and in the northwest, would rise
simultaneously with the traitors in our city, with good reason to
believe it impossible to safely communicate with the head of the State
military department--in this most unenviable position, to know that the
fatal moment was fast coming, when the infernal machinery was to be set
in motion, and to make arrangements to avert the catastrophe so quietly
as not to arrest attention, or excite the alarm of the leaders of the
plot, which would have instantly been executed, had it become apparent
that the movements of these traitors were watched; these considerations
and the discharge of the fearful responsibilities resting upon the only
parties who could then hope to avert the danger, occupied the mind and
hands of the commandant of the post, and employed the utmost vigilance
of the writer and able assistants. Every few hours orderlies and special
couriers were despatched to the headquarters of the camp, with such
reports as could be obtained. We have read Eastern tales of travelers,
when accident had discovered them in closest proximity to the deadly
cobra de capello, the breathless horror with which they contemplated its
motions, and saw it slowly coiling itself upon their limbs, or upon a
table at their bedsides, and knowing that a single motion on the part
of the imperilled person would be but to invite certain death, the
vigilance and eager solicitude, the distressing anxiety with which they
regarded the movements and intent of the venomous creature, but never
till a full realization of our position in regard to this organized
band of traitors, did we ever experience sensations akin to those of
the unfortunate traveler; and when the loathsome reptile had got into
a position where it was safe to attempt its destruction, and when
this attempt was successful, no greater relief or deeper emotions
of gratitude could have been felt by him--a moment before exposed to
instant and terrible death--than were experienced by us when the danger
had been averted.

Sunday evening came. Our citizens worshiping in the churches, or in
peaceful repose in their own residences, little knew of the imminent
peril to which they were exposed, or of the gathering of their fellow
citizens in the Invincible Club Hall to arrange the details which, if
successful, would bring ruin, desolation and death to thousands of our
unsuspecting people. Up the entrance to the hall, cautiously crept the
members of the order, peering behind them, and advancing one by one,
or in groups of two or three, till they reached the hall. The door was
guarded by a sentinel, so that intrusion was out of the question. At
nine o'clock, the assemblage was called to order by Obadiah Jackson,
Jr., Esq., the Grand Seignior. Patrick Dooley, Secretary, was in his
place on the right of the Grand Seignior. The meeting was large, and
a more desperate looking collection of men have rarely assembled in a
convention in our city. Such desecration of the evening of the Sabbath
has never before been witnessed here. After the opening of the meeting,
one of the members took early occasion to remark substantially, that it
must have been noticed by all present, as well as himself, that the city
was full of strangers, and that he had noticed many of them were dressed
in butternut clothes, and had good reason to believe that they were
Abolitionists in disguise; that it was advisable to watch them, it being
his confident opinion that they had come to the city for the purpose of
fraudulently voting the Abolition ticket; and the speaker was proceeding
in this strain, much to the amusement of the members of the higher
degree, to whom the men in butternut clothes were no strangers. The
speaker had scarcely taken his seat, when James A. Wilkinson, Past Grand
Seignior, rose and stated that the suspicious looking persons were "our
friends," and that he himself had brought a company of sixty of them to
the city, and that they were entitled to every attention, as they would
do good service for "us," and stated that he was going back for more.
The strangers who were the subject of discussion, were from the counties
in the Southern part of the State, and all bore the same general
appearance of vagabonds, cut-throats, felons, bounty-jumpers and
deserters. They had all seemed to appear simultaneously in our city,
unheralded even to the "Sons," and their advent was as much a subject of
remark, as would have been a shower of toads and tadpoles. They did not
take up their quarters at respectable hotels and private houses, but
sneaked away stealthily to the lowest dens of vice, and resorts of
criminals unwhipped of justice. They came to help perform infamous work,
and had a part of the price of their guilt upon their persons, or had
already invested it for the poorest quality of intoxicating liquors.
They had been collected together from the various country towns in the
Southern part of the State, where they had been in training under the
command of rebel officers, and many of them were the same parties who
had come to Chicago at the time of the Democratic National Convention,
hopeful and confident of the uprising, and who had been so wofully
disappointed, and turned their backs so reluctantly upon our banks and
stores, from which they had intended to glut their avarice, and amply
remunerate themselves with the property of our citizens. Nothing on
earth is more positively certain than, had the work not been arrested
at the moment it was, these devils would have pillaged every bank and
rifled every storehouse in Chicago; and it is equally certain that
beyond Colonel Sweet and the writer, with his assistant, Robert
Alexander, none knew of the intricate deadly plot in detail, although
Major-General Hooker, Brig.-Gen. Paine, Governor Yates, Hon. I.N.
Arnold, and William Rand, Esq., of the _Tribune_ had been informed by
the writer of the general intent of the organization. But to return to
the secret convention at the hall. The explanation of J.A. Wilkinson not
being satisfactory to Mr. Hull, some curt remarks were banded between
the speakers, which Obadiah Jackson, Jr., Esq., the Grand Seignior could
not well control, Brig.-Gen. Charlie Walsh rose to his feet and said
unhesitatingly, that he had by his own order "brought these men here
_to vote and to fight_," and he added, "by God they will vote early and
often, and they will fight." Gen. Walsh desired that all the "brethren"
would extend the hospitalities of the city to the visitors, for they
were "our friends." While this discussion was going on, there was a
Confederate officer in the hall, and within ten feet of Walsh. The
joy upon the announcement by Walsh, found expression in a rude and
boisterous manner. It having been definitely settled that the wretches
who had been the subject of discussion were good for any number of
votes, and fully prepared to take part in the attack, so soon to startle
our city; the convention proceeded to ascertain who among its members
were unarmed, and to supply such delinquents forthwith. The members
generally exhibited revolvers of various patterns, but upon inspection
by the officers, preference was expressed for the pattern like those
which were subsequently found in the house of Walsh, by the officers,
at the time of his arrest. There were several who had not the approved
pattern, and such persons were instructed to apply next morning at the
store of James Geary, corner of Wells and Madison streets, and they
would be supplied, but upon consultation it was remarked by Geary, that
as he was already suspected he feared it would hardly be expedient for
Walsh to send arms to him for distribution, and it was agreed by J.H.
Hubbard, the treasurer of the Invincible Club, that he would receive
possession of the revolvers, and give them to all who might apply, and
such persons were to call at the door of the Invincible Club hall, at 9
o'clock the next morning, when they would be supplied. It was arranged
that a guard of not less than fifty or one hundred men, all well armed,
should remain all day on Tuesday, (election day,) at the polls in each
ward, making not _less_ than one full regiment in the aggregate, thus
detailed for special "service."

To distinguish friends and members at a time when trouble should break
out, was a subject now raised for debate, and it was finally agreed that
the members should wear McClellan badges upon the left breast, attached
by _red and white_ ribbons. It was understood that orderlies were to be
constantly reporting from each ward at the headquarters of Gen. Walsh,
and thus a regular line of communication would be kept up, which in case
of trouble, would be greatly to the advantage of these ruffians. They
were all advised to deposit their vote with one hand, and present their
revolver with the other. It was confidently asserted by individuals,
but with how much truth we know not, that an Invincible Club from
Philadelphia, would also be present and help do the voting, but as no
Philadelphia Roughs were reported in the city, the help expected
from Philadelphia probably did not arrive. The most violent secession
speeches were made by Duncan, who was then connected with the Mercantile
agency in McCormick's block, Walsh, Wilkinson, and many others.

The meeting adjourned at a late hour, and many of the leaders, prominent
among whom was James Geary, proceeded to a secure retreat, and then in
the quiet hours of Sunday night, gave away a great number of revolvers
of the same style and pattern with those subsequently seized by the



Before the morning of Monday, November 7th dawned, a dispatch, embracing
the most important features of the Sunday night meeting, had been
prepared by the writer, and forwarded to the commandant of Camp Douglas,
who, during the night, arrested Judge Morris, Brig.-Gen. Charles Walsh,
and others, and a large number of "butternuts," who had been the subject
of discussion at the Sunday night meeting, and these prisoners were
safely lodged in Camp Douglas. The news of the arrests, and the charges
upon which they were made, caused intense excitement among all classes,
loyal men rejoicing for the promptness and wisdom of the measure, while
the Copperheads howled fearfully, and denounced it as a fresh evidence
of "Lincoln's tyranny." As the facts became generally known, there
was an unanimous expression of approval on the part of all good, loyal
citizens. The consternation of the Copperheads was truly great; they
felt that, notwithstanding their many precautions for secrecy, the eye
of the government had been upon them in their most secret places, and
this consternation was not by any means relieved when they read in the
morning papers an extract of Brig.-Gen. Charles Walsh's speech before
the order in the Invincible Club hall. They felt certain that they were
watched, and that they were under careful espionage, and the effect was
precisely what we had expected and desired. It was telegraphed in every
direction, that the government bad a complete knowledge of their designs
and proceedings, and such a tremor and quaking with fear the Copperheads
had not previously exhibited. It completely deranged their designs,
and caused an utter abandonment of the plot, for the leaders in Chicago
having been arrested, no one knew how soon his turn would come, and
it is a general and well-established fact, that however sanguinary and
fiendish a rabble may prove when attacking their victims by surprise,
the mass of such beings lose their brute courage when discovering, to a
certainty, that the details of their strategy are known, and the party
upon whom an assault is contemplated is prepared, and will repel the
attack with that fury, vigor, desperation and perseverance that will
surely carry death to many of the assailants. They lack zeal, because
they know their cause is a bad one, just as one honest man will put
three rogues to flight. It was telegraphed that the heads of the
government were fully advised of the conspiracy, and that officers
were freely visiting all the more important temples in the North-West,
mingling in the "business" of these meetings, and apprising the military
leaders of every move which had been made, which was being made, and
which was contemplated. Suspicion was aroused, and so general did this
distrust soon become, that no one was willing to trust his neck in a
halter, and any one of his associates having possession of the other
end. Suddenly a most wonderful reform was apparent, as rats disappear
from view after a few have been captured. Those who were at Invincible
Club hall, and made secession speeches, declared they were all drunk,
or were not in earnest, and other equally flimsy excuses;--these are the
apologies members made to each other, presuming they were addressing
the party who had surrendered them to the government. It was amusing
to notice their trepidation. They were variously affected. Capt. P.D.
Parks, of the Invincible Club, really cried, like a whipped schoolboy,
from fear; many ran away with all possible speed. Doolittle, the man of
valor, who was to lead a party against Camp Douglas, was the first to
run away, and from certain "surface indications," we rather think he is
running yet. James A. Wilkinson, the valorous Past Grand Seignior, has
gone to look after Doolittle; Silver has gone to Canada; Strawn has
turned a summerset into the Republican party; S. Corning Judd helped
to convict the prisoners in Cincinnati, although called by the defense;
Amos Green, the Major-General of the Order in Illinois, has quietly
subsided, and is no longer belligerent; Vallandigham gives the Order the
cold-shoulder, and affects pious horror upon the recital of its aims and
purposes--and, indeed, the whole organization, as formidable as it was
in numbers, was soon in the most terrible condition, and died in great
agony. The complications of the disease of which the order came to its
death, would puzzle the most profound pathologist. It might, perhaps, be
set down as a disease of the heart, induced by corrupt morals, with the
following complications: Softening of the brain from the study of State
sovereignty; extreme nervous debility from the reproach of a guilty
conscience; injury to the spine by suddenness of fall; weakness of the
limbs from bad whiskey, and impurity of the blood from contamination.
The child of secession is dead--as dead as the cause of the Southern
Confederacy! Jeff. Davis' pet institution was decently buried within the
enclosure of Camp Douglas. There being no provision or service in the
ritual for this occasion, we may only exclaim, as we look upon his last
resting-place, "_Requiescat in pace._"

The arrest of General Walsh and others, and the discovery of a great
number of revolvers, etc., all loaded and ready for use, and the rather
unpleasant discovery that the Brigadier-General had actually employed a
Government detective to go to his house and give instructions in making
cartridges, were _rather_ mortifying to the order, and when it appeared
that the Chairman of the Vigilance Committee, whose province was to take
the balance of the arms, which we learned were in Walsh's barn, and with
all possible haste remove them to a place of safety, and the Chairman
(who makes this record for the edification of his constituents), deemed
the safest place he could find the retired locality of Camp Douglas, and
if the inquisitive eyes of Gen. Sweet, and his grasping propensities,
should take possession of all the valuable carbines, Enfield rifles,
muskets and revolvers, let them moderate their wrath, and find
consolation in the thought that in their last hour it will be a pleasant
reflection that all those bristling warlike implements fell into the
hands of men who will not put them to base uses.

When it was announced, with all confidence, that beneath the hay
in Charley Walsh's barn was a large number of firearms that must be
speedily removed, a new idea of the value of ladies' hoops burst upon
the world (not "The Wide-Wide World,") but the few who were present when
James L. Rock, one of the editors of the Chicago _Times_ announced
that his wife (and Mr. Rock ought to know), and some other ladies could
quickly remove these weapons by concealing them under their hoops,
Colonel Sweet, with his usual gallantry, spared the ladies the
inconvenience and trouble, and removed them quite as well and as

After the first arrests, other followed, but after a time many of these
worthies were liberated, not because of their innocence; and they may
now one and all consider themselves on their good behavior.

After the first arrests, the hall of the "Temple" in Chicago was
deserted. It was not thought to be exactly _safe_, and meetings were
held occasionally wherever they could find a place of safety, where it
was morally certain Gen. Sweet would not know of their gatherings or of
their business, and where it would be a dead secret forever; and they
one and all swore that whoever had exposed them to the Government
_should die by assassination_. This was their fixed purpose, and when
suspicion fastened upon Hull, no less than three persons _volunteered_
to do the deed, those men were Lewis C. Morrison, old Felton, the
Outside Guardian, and, by his own confession, detective of the order,
and James L. Rock, one of the editors o the Chicago _Times_.

Two of these "gentlemen" visited the office of the writer of this book
during the progress of the trial, and used the following language. "If
it be _true_, (he having inferred from Alexander's testimony that the
writer had been in the interest of the General Government), a thousand
times you had better be Charley Walsh than Dr. Ayer."

A project was considered to rally the order and carry out the original
programme, but as well might an attempt have been made to infuse life
into a body that had been buried a fortnight. A messenger who went to
Lewiston, Ill., to "see what the order would do about it," were coolly
told by their Grand Commander, S. Corning Judd, Esq., that "they
wouldn't do a thing." This unsatisfactory report proved two things--that
S. Corning Judd, Grand Commander, and candidate for Lieut. Governor of
Illinois, (who might have got the election, if the "ballot and
bullet" butternut machinery had only proved available), considered the
institution as "gone up," and 2d--that he was ungrateful to a people who
had at least made him their nominee. Gentlemen who, by request, visited
the different sections of the State and of the Northwest, all reported
that immediately after it was known that the Government knew their
secrets as well as they did themselves, they tacitly agreed not to
regard themselves as a "secret" organization in future, and we have the
best of reasons to believe the entire order is so completely uprooted
that it can never again spring up to curse the land. Home traitors have
been taught, and it is well if they profit by the lesson, they
cannot form any society or order based upon treason, that can for any
considerable time continue "secret." Its purposes will transpire, for
the all-seeing eye of Him who reads the hearts of men, and will not
suffer "a sparrow to fall to the ground without his notice," that
God who hath decreed that this nation shall be re-united, shall be
prosperous, free, happy, and truly great, will not suffer traitors to be
successful, but will give them into the hands of those who reverence
His mighty and terrible name; and their cunning shall be a reproach, and
their machinations shall be known of all men, and they shall blush with
burning shame that they were ever false to their country.


A prominent lawyer and citizen of Chicago, a bitter and strong advocate
of Democratic faith and the peculiar notions of the Sons of Liberty.
He was arrested at the same time with Walsh in his own house. He was
a strong Southern man in his feelings and openly sympathized with
the rebellion, and so strong were his sympathies that he frequently
furnished escaped rebel prisoners of war with clothing, food, and money,
and otherwise aided them in escaping from the country. B.S. Morris
was at one time judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and was
a candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois. He was born in
Kentucky, and is about sixty years of age. Out side of his treason,
Judge Morris was generally regarded as possessing many noble qualities
of heart.]



The services of Brig.-Gen. B.J. Sweet, in relation to the Northwestern
Conspiracy, have already been briefly mentioned, and the reader will
perhaps find the report of that officer's testimony full of interest.
After the communications by the writer to Gen. Sweet (then Colonel)
in command of Camp Douglas, which were made by request of Gen. Paine,
dispatches were regularly forwarded to that officer, who never failed to
receive them with gratification. The service was one of extreme danger,
difficulty and delicacy, requiring the most careful attention, unceasing
vigilance, and only the consciousness of discharging an important and
imperative duty to the country, and the confident belief that invaluable
aid might thus be rendered, could have induced the writer to enter upon
and pursue a line of service, a thousand times more distasteful and
perilous than active service upon the field.

The recognition of the writer's services by Brig.-Gen. Paine, and
subsequently by Maj. Gen. Hooker, in commendatory letters, will ever be
remembered, showing as it did, a grateful appreciation by those gallant
officers, of services of which, from their character, the public could
have no knowledge for the time being.

The following is the testimony of Gen. Sweet, as substantially given
before the military commission in Cincinnati:


My name is Benjamin J. Sweet; I am and was, during the months of
September, October, and November of last year, Colonel of the 8th
Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps; I was also, and still am, Commandant
of the Post of Chicago, including Camp Douglas. The post I command
extended, I suppose to the limits of the surrounding posts.

_The Judge Advocate_.--What are the geographical limits of the command
of the Post of Chicago.

Mr. Asay objected to the question, as involving a matter of law and not
of evidence, but his objection was overruled by the Court.

_Witness continued_.--My jurisdiction extends to the limits of the posts
north at Madison, Wisconsin, southwest to Rock Island, south, or almost
south, to Springfield, and east to Detroit, Michigan. The Commandant
has jurisdiction over everything pertaining to military affairs in the
jurisdiction, over the command of all troops, and for the protection of
the property of the Government and of the people. Chicago is one of the
first military depots of supplies in the country. There are ten
depots in charge of a Colonel, and Chicago is one of them. The Depot
Quartermaster at that time was Colonel Potter. From the commencement to
the latter end of August, the number of troops under my command, fit for
duty, was from 800 to 900. Towards the end of August, I was reinforced
by about 1,200 men, consisting of four companies of one hundred days'
men, and the 196th Pennsylvania Regiment, which numbered 750 men, also
one hundred days' men; these remained with me sixty or seventy days. I
telegraphed for these reinforcements. There were between 8,000 and 9,000
prisoners in camp up to November. On the 6th of November, the morning
report shows 796 men, rank and file, fit for duty. There were always on
duty in Chicago about sixty men acting as provost guard; this left
736 men in camp to do guard duty. The sixty men in the city performed
service in looking after deserters, guarding property, &c. The depot for
supplies is in the city, and is in charge of the depot quartermaster.
Troops were used for doing camp duty, and guarding prisoners of war, and
forwarding deserters to various camps. The entire guard in Camp Douglas
was about 500 men, 250 on duty at a time, and 250 off. These were
changed every other day. The camp is within the city limits, and is
about three miles from the Court House.

The conveniences to reach the camp are by way of street cars. There were
buildings on the north side of the camp; on the opposite side of the
street, also on the east side, there was a hotel and other dwellings.
Walsh's house was about one-fourth of a mile from the camp, with
three or four houses between Walsh's house and the camp. My duties are
two-fold; I have to report to Gen. Cook, at Springfield, commanding in
the State, and to Gen. Hooker, at Department headquarters. In relation
to prisoners of war, I am under the instructions of the Commissary
General of prisoners at Washington. These prisoners were arrested at my
order. Messrs. Walsh, Cantrill and Daniels were arrested by Lieut. Col.
Skinner and a detachment of troops, at Walsh's house. Grenfel and the
witness Shanks were arrested at the Richmond House, and Mr. Marmaduke
was arrested at the residence of Dr. Edwards, No. 70 Adams street.
Judge Morris was arrested by Mr. Keefe and members of the police.
These arrests were made on the 6th of November. They were arrested upon
information which led me to believe that there was on foot a conspiracy
to release the prisoners, and get up a revolution in Indiana and
Illinois. I regarded the emergency as immediate, and therefore acted
promptly. I dared not trust the telegraph and the railroad, for I
understood that the Sons of Liberty had men employed upon them. There
were one hundred and fifty men arrested in all. They were principally
from the South and Central Illinois, and had lately arrived in Chicago.
These were mainly from Fayette and Christian counties, Illinois. These
were arrested in grog-shops, boarding-houses, under the pavements, and
in every part of the city. All of these men were arrested from their
appearance and description, and by their looks were taken to be
vagabonds. There were but few of them armed. They asserted that they
came to Chicago to see the city. Some of them stated that they belonged
to the Sons of Liberty, and some from the Southern army; about one tenth
came from the Southern army. These bushwhackers were arrested partly by
the city police, partly by citizens, and some by soldiers.

I have heard of such an organization as Klingmen's men. Most of them
coming from Christain and Fayette counties. It was chiefly made up of
deserters from the Federal army and those who ran away from the draft,
and was intended to resist the draft and all the operations of the
Provost Marshal and the General government in the prosecution of the
war. I succeeded in capturing the Captain and Lieutenant, and the
principal men of the organization. It was not an organization under the
United States or State law. I received all of these men up to the 8th of
November, and all being strangers, I took them in.

I do not know the exact size of Camp Douglas, but believed it comprises
from 60 to 70 acres of land. The prisoners square proper, covers about
20 acres. In November last it was enclosed by a board fence 12 feet in
height and made of lumber an inch and a quarter in thickness. The
boards were placed endways and were nailed from the inside. The outside
sentinels were stationed on a parapet about three feet from the top
of the fence on the outside. The camp was more easily assailable from
without and less defensible than if the attack was made from inside.

The Judge Advocate here exhibited to the witness a plan of the camp
found on the person of one of the conspirators.

_Colonel Sweet_.--The map is very roughly drawn and is a little out of
proportion in detail, but is a correct drawing of the camp as it was in
August and September of last year. The outlines are precisely the same.
As shown on the map there were then 40 barracks in the prison square.
This number is now increased. The Guard-house and small tents on the
west side of the camp are also moved now. The barracks marked "Yankee
Barracks" is the correct position of the barracks occupied by the
garrison in Garrison Square. The building marked "Douglas House" on the
South side of the camp is, I suppose the Douglas University. It is a
magnificent building and is located about eighteen or twenty rods from
the camp fence, and overlooks the entire camp. One hundred men, or even
fifty men, stationed in that building, would command Camp Douglas,
and almost make it untenable to any force. During the session of the
Democratic Convention, and until the danger was over, I stationed two
companies near that building. I had in my charge a prisoner named John
T. Shanks at that time; he was there when I assumed the command of the
camp, on the second of May, 1864. He was a clerk in the office for the
commissary of prisoners. He applied to me to take the oath of allegiance
during the summer. His application went through me to the Commissary
General of Prisoners with my approval. I never approved these
applications unless I was fully convinced that the applicant was
desirous of becoming a loyal citizen. The application was not granted,
but I made it the basis of communication to Commissary General that
Shanks desired to serve the United States, and to take the oath. In this
camp there were some men who were more largely entrusted than others.
Shanks was a paroled prisoner, having the freedom of Garrison Square
during the day time. There were others there in the same condition--a
man named Grey, and clerks in the medical department. Shanks was allowed
to go to the city two or three times in company with an officer. The
prisoners are never permitted to have any funds. I gave Shanks a dollar.

Shanks never used a nomme de plume that I am aware of. The prisoners
were not allowed to have any money, nor did they possess any unless they
obtained it secretly. Shanks, however, had, I believe, one dollar,
which I gave him. When a prisoner is brought to camp he is thoroughly
searched, and any money taken from him is placed in bands of the
Prisoner's Accountant, to be drawn, if required, in provisions from the
sutler. Letters are all opened, and any money they contain similarly
applied. I sent Shanks to the house of Judge Morris on the 3rd of
November, because five men had just escaped from the camp, and I traced
them, I believe, to that house. I asked Shanks if he would not like to
do the government a service. He replied that he would, when I told him
that I wanted him to go to the house of Morris and represent that he had
violated his parole and escaped, and if possible must be secreted with
the other prisoners. I then sent for Keefe, and the two went to the city
in a buggy. I followed on the street cars, and went to my office, No
90 Washington street, where I had told Shanks to report if he could not
find the prisoners. After I had been there a short time, Shanks came to
me and gave me $30, which he said Mrs. Morris had given to him, with the
exception of one dollar. I do not think he had any money when he went to
her house.

I know Maurice Langhorne. He introduced himself to me on the 5th of
November, by showing me a letter from Secretary Seward to Secretary
Stanton, recommending that he be allowed to take the oath of allegiance.
He gave me some information regarding the plot, but I did not know
whether or not to take him into my confidence. At a subsequent meeting,
the next day, however, at the Tremont House, I determined that he was an
honest, reliable man, and one who could be trusted. He has been of
great value to me, and his information was ever correct. On the 12th of
November, after the first arrests were made, I first offered to employ
him. I asked him to identify all who he remembered having seen in
Canada, in connection with the conspirators, and arrest them. He
personally arrested the witness, John Maughan, at the Tremont House. He
gave me information of the ammunition in Walsh's house, and subsequent
facts proved that his information was perfectly correct. I gave him the
fictitious name of Johnson. He never acted as a detective, but simply
aided in arresting men he had known before. Shanks worked for the
Government ever since I knew him. Up to the 12th of November, he
received no pay, and after that got $100 a month as his salary. I
believe, however, that I previously gave him one month's salary, to
purchase some citizen's clothing. Of the arms seized at Walsh's house I
have the shot guns at camp. The pistols were entrusted to Col. Hough to
arm a citizens' patrol, and he has not returned them. I do not know the
exact number of arms we captured. There were about 354 revolvers and 200
double barreled guns found in his house, and thirty cavalry carbines
in his barn in the city; the latter weapons were not loaded, but those
found in his dwelling were. There were also from 14,000 to 15,000 rounds
of cartridges, and some roughly made buckshot cartridges, the number of
which I do not remember. We also obtained some arms from other persons
arrested, I mean the bushwhackers. I do not think that any arms were
found on any of the prisoners at the bar, except, possibly, Grenfell.

It will be interesting to the citizens of Chicago, if not in other
localities, to peruse the following report from a newspaper, which
has perhaps done more than any other in the United States, to aid and
promote the interests and cause of the rebels--a paper, the baneful
influence of which Gen. Burnside well knew, and would have crushed out;
but the editor of that print was suffered to proceed on his dirty and
devilish work, and most industrious has he been. The most loathsome
reptiles, as we see in the economy of nature, have their uses; "the
toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head;" the
spider, cunning and fierce, is not without his uses; the wily serpent
has his office, the viper was not made in vain, and as the mighty plan
of the Great Creator of the Universe is above the comprehension of man,
we may wonder at, but never understand why beings in the guise of men,
were ever formed, who know no patriotism, no gratitude, none of the
nobler attributes of man, and whose mission seems but destruction to his
race, and deadly enmity to his country. The Times, who in these days of
victory and triumph of Union arms, would "steal the livery of heaven to
serve the devil in," and prate of its devotion to the Union, furnishes
us some information it were well for good citizens to know, and which we
will presume is (unlike most statements in that concern) reliable.


We extract the following from the Chicago Times of October 20, 1864. It
will do to keep for reference. The comments which preface the list are
from the pen of the editor of that delectable print. The only comment we
need make is, that almost every man whose name is upon the list, was a
member of the Chicago Temple of the Sons of Liberty, in good and regular
standing with the order:

"There is at present a thoroughly organized and efficient McClellan
club in nearly every ward in the city. The good that has resulted to the
democratic party from these organizations is more than can be readily
imagined. They have done much to stimulate men to an interest in the
issues of the day which never would have been felt but for the exertions
of the clubs. In those wards where these organizations have not already
been formed, meetings are appointed to take place this week for the
purpose of forming them, and by the next Sabbath there will be one in
every ward in the city. Ordinarily the clubs meet once a week, but they
convene oftener for special purposes. There are always speakers ready to
address these meetings, being local candidates, speakers residing in the
wards where the meetings are held, or speakers from abroad. Below will
be found a list of the McClellan clubs now in effect, together with the
names of their officers:"


President, Chas. W. Patten; Vice-Presd'nt, P.D. Parks; Secretary, J.O.
More; Executive Committee, George S. Kimberly, William Y. Daniels, Dr.
J.A. Hahn, Augustus Banyon, Andrew Schall.


President, William Baragwanatle; Vice-Presidents, Anton Berg, Dr.
E.W. Edwards, Samuel Duncan; Secretary, James Rattray; Treasurer, F.E.
Barber; Executive Committee, F.E. Barber, James Rattray, C.C. Strawn, J.
Schlossman, P.M. Donelan, H.L. Stewart, F. Cahill, Thos. Tilley, William


President, Geo. A. Meech; Vice-President, Stephen A. Barrett; Secretary,
Benjamin F. Smith; Treasurer, John Dalton; Executive Committee, Joshua
L. Marsh, John Schank, James McGrath.


President, A.A. Campbell; Vice-President, M.L. Kuth; Treasurer, Thomas
Horless; Secretary, L.W. Binz; Executive Committee, J.H. Ferrell, Mark
Kimball, Charles Walsh.


President, Mark Sheridan; First Vice-President, M.C. Quinn; Second
Vice-President, Jas. Brennan; Secretary, Christopher Dennis; Assistant
Secretary, James Fox; Treasurer, John Reid; Executive Committee,
Constantine Kanu, John Keyes, John Myers, L.J. Prout, John Lyons,
Michael McDermott, Michael Finucan, Thomas Barry.


President, E. Gilmore; First Vice-President, D.W. Quirk; Second
Vice-President, Gotthard Schaaff; Secretary, M.A. Donahue; Treasurer,
Joseph Sherwin; Executive Committee, John Comisky, J.K. Boland, P.
Caraher, T. Tully, and T.E. Courtney.


President, S.S. Elson; Vice-President, R. O'Malley; Secretary, A.S.
Morrison; Treasurer, P. Moran; Executive Committee, E.F. Runnison, P.S.
Hade, Michael Gerrity.


President, Hiram M. Chase; Vice-President, H.N. Hahn; Secretary, A.L.
Amberg; Treasurer, T.T. Gurney; Executive Committee, D.W. Manchester, M.
McCurdy, Joseph Hogan.


President, Joseph Kuhn; Vice-President, P. Stech; Treasurer, John
Schierer; Secretary, J.B. Winkelman; Executive Committee, B. Docter,
Fred. Licht, N. Gerten.

The _Times_ adds:

"The above list gives all the names that have ever been published.
In some of the wards there are two clubs, and yet the permanent
organization of either has never been given. In some other wards they
have no permanent organization, but elect officers at each weekly
meeting. In the other wards clubs will be formed within a few days.
It should be borne in mind that the above clubs are independent of the
Invincible Club, which is not a mere ward organization, but represents
the whole city."



During the autumn of 1864, at a meeting of the Sons of Liberty, in
Chicago, a proposition was introduced which contemplated the raising of
a fund of fifty thousand dollars, which was to be expended in payment
of the services of some person who would undertake to assassinate the
President of the United States. This was an informal proceeding, the
meeting having just adjourned, but it was discussed by several of the
leading members, who declared that the "extermination of tyrants was
obedience to God."

What say you, citizens of Chicago, concerning the band of traitors
in your midst, who meditate and discuss such crimes as make the soul
sicken, and the face blanch with horror; would not any honest man
deliver this department of Jeff Davis' most efficient allies into the
hands of the United States Government, by any means Heaven might place
in his power? If there is a man so fastidious of propriety, so mindful
of selfish considerations, that he would not, then, in our opinion,
that man is a coward, a traitor, an imbecile too weak to punish, and
deserving the scorn and contumely of his countrymen, for all coming
time. This proposition was the next day reported in a dispatch to Col.
Sweet, and is now on file in his office. It may be that the persons
who discussed the proposition, would not themselves have undertaken
the accomplishment of the deed, but the animus of the party was thus
rendered apparent, and the proposition was gravely considered and
discussed. This occurred soon after an interview, by the writer, with
Maj. Gen. Hooker, at the Tremont House, in Chicago, in October. It had
been often said that in case Lincoln was elected, he should never be
inaugurated, implying that his life would be terminated before that
event. Some of the very parties who made these threats, have since been
prisoners in Camp Douglas, but are now at large. On the night of the
14th of April, 1865, assassins, who were, doubtless, members of the Sons
of Liberty, in accordance with the same spirit in which that Order came
into existence, and was conducted from first to last, consummated their
hellish designs by shooting President Lincoln, and stabbing Secretary
Seward. The nation now mourns the loss of the noble martyr of freedom,
the truest heart, the most devoted patriot, the sincere advocate of
republican institutions, and the friend of the people. In every city,
town, and village, and hamlet of the land, is sincere mourning; deepest
grief swells the hearts and dim the eyes of all who have hearts to
feel, and fountains of tears, for the greatest bereavement that has
ever befallen our nation. The emblems of mourning, the solemn tolling of
bells, the universal gloom which overshadows our land, all impress upon
our hearts the terrible affliction that has come upon us, and while we
would bow reverently before Him who doeth all things well, and whose
wise purpose in this chastening of our already sorrowing people may not
now be apparent, we cannot repress the just indignation of our
souls that moves us to the enactment of that stern justice which is
uncompromising, and which cries to Heaven for vengeance, which nerves
our hearts and hands to deeds, the generous, noble, President of the
nation, now silent in the tomb, would have softened or averted. Villains
have slain the man whose heart was large enough to take into his
affections and paternal love, the whole country,--the man who knew no
North, no South, no East, no West, but whose devotion to the best good
of the people, was the ruling motive of a life so full of honors and
usefulness. The North had no friend like Lincoln! The South had no
friend like Lincoln! And, as our noble armies now march onward to
victory, and crush out beneath their iron heel, the last vestige of
treason, the memory of Lincoln will prove a watch-word of magic power;
soldiers will remember the entreaties, the offers of pardon, the
paternal affection of the noble Lincoln, and the base ingratitude of
the demon who consigned him to the tomb; they who have commended his
magnanimity, his humanity, his hopefulness, his reluctance to deal out
stern justice, which required hard blows--such of our fellow-citizens
will now, with holy indignation, rise in their might, and sweep from the
land those whose treason is heard, and whose bloody hand is uplifted,
aye, and those who devise their hellish schemes in secret chambers and
hiding places in our own cities and towns. "Remember Lincoln," will be
the battle-cry of our boys as they encounter armed treason in the field,
and "Remember Lincoln," should be the watchword of friends of freedom at
home, when hesitating in clemency, to strike down Copperheads who seek
to embarrass the government, and hope for, prophecy and delight in its
reverses upon the field of contest. Remember Lincoln and Seward ye men
who would now compromise by any and all sacrifices, with a people who
have sought to destroy our country, and have stricken down the pride of
our nation, the noblest of our land, and the champion of liberty. The
Chicago Board of Trade assembled upon the morning of the 15th of April,
and adopted the following resolutions:

_Resolved_, That this Board has heard with mingled sentiments of grief
and horror of the foul assassination, by accursed traitors, of Abraham
Lincoln, President of the United States.

_Resolved_, That we mourn in the deepest sorrow his loss as a national
calamity. His persevering and devoted patriotism through the dark days
of the Republic; his wisdom alike in the hour of trial and triumph, have
embalmed his memory in the hearts of his countrymen, and encircled his
fame with a glory which time can never tarnish.

_Resolved_, That in this infernal act we see but another instance of
the demoniac hate of the slave power, arrested by the strong arm of the
government, under the heaven inspired leadership of Abraham Lincoln, in
its career of treason, murder and despotism; and we are admonished
anew to insist upon no compromise with the infamy, and upon the condign
punishment by the mailed hand of power, and the strong arm of the law,
of treason and its abettors, wherever found.

_Resolved_, That in our capacity of business men and citizens, we vow
eternal hate to the treachery and treason of the rebellion, which,
in addition to its before unnumbered crimes, has added the cowardly
assassination of Abraham Lincoln in the vain hope of destroying this

_Resolved_, That in deep humiliation, we bow before the God of battles
and of Nations, and, in this hour of our grand triumph and overwhelming
sorrow, we reverently consign to His all-guiding wisdom the destiny of
this Republic, and pray Him still to have it in His holy keeping.

_Resolved_, That the members of this Board, who have, from the war's
beginning, felt it their duty, as it has been their privilege and their
pride, to stand by the nation and its President and all its constituted
leaders, loyally aiding and encouraging, as they could, the Cabinet
and the Army in the gigantic struggle of the past four years, do now
solemnly, unitedly, in the presence of Almighty God, and in humble
reliance on the Divine help, pledge our full, unreserved, and trusting
support to the Government of these United States, and to the men who now
constitutionally succeed to the authority and powers, now laid down by
the great and good man, who has fallen a precious and holy sacrifice on
the altar of his country. And the members of this Board, in making this
solemn pledge, do the same, not for themselves only, but in behalf
of the loyal and patriotic people of the North-west, who have freely
offered their first-born, and best beloved for their country's
existence, security and honor.

_Resolved_, That the members of this Board express their profound and
respectful sympathy with the bereaved family of the deceased, and
with the associates of the departed in the Cabinet, as well as all the
members of the national councils, in the tragic and deplorable events in
which they share so largely.



During the month of February, by Executive clemency, a number of
Copperheads were released from confinement in Washington, where they had
been placed as a measure of public safety. The _Times_ published, and
other Copperhead papers echoed the following. That paper now, in a very
pious spirit, piteously urges, and the prints of like character also
echo it, that "there should be no more party strife," "no more rancor,"
that it has not stabbed the President since he was shot, and the office
is now draped with deep mourning. Aminadab Sleek is going to them as a
comforter, and as tears mitigate woe, he bears with him an onion. The
_Times_ says:

"We submit that this fact should damn this Administration, not only for
all time, but, if there be justice hereafter, to all eternity. There is
not a single civilized government in existence to-day, against which
can be charged a similar display of tyranny. With the title of being
the freest government of modern ages, we have shown ourselves to be one
whose disregard of right and whose outrageous assumptions of power are
only paralleled in the reign of despots.

The liberty of fifty men may seem a small affair; but the matter has
not so much reference to the magnitude of the offence as it has to the
principle which underlies it. The moment Mr. Lincoln, or Mr. Seward, or
any other man, dares to deprive one person of his liberty without due
process of law, that moment has the government been changed from one of
the people to an autocracy--a tyranny. If any man to-day is free in
this country, it is not because he is a good citizen, surrounded by the
protection of the laws, but simply because Seward or Lincoln has not
chosen to order his incarceration.

The epitaph of posterity upon this people is easily anticipated. It will
be--died 24,000,000 of whites, who lost their liberties and lives in an
attempt to give a fictitious freedom to 4,000,000 negroes."

_"Sic semper tyrannis!"_ exclaims Booth, who has read the above article,
and the mission of the _Times_ is accomplished, and it now wants "no
more party rancor."

"Out of my sight thou serpent! That name best Befits thee with him
leagu'd, thyself as false!"

The palpable HYPOCRISY of rebel sympathizers, can now only excite
contempt. Who that read the evidence of Clement L. Vallandigham, before
the military commission in Cincinnati, gave him credit for sincerity
when he said substantially had he supposed there was a plot against the
Government, he would have been the first to oppose or expose it.
Have the people forgotten Mr. Vallandigham's record? Have his Dayton
neighbors forgotten his cry of "Ocoon," the cry of distress of the Order
to which he belonged, and which was to summon Sons of Liberty to
his rescue, when arrested by the Government? Have they forgotten
Vallandigham's visit to Fulton county, Illinois, during the autumn of
1864, and its consequences? This county was the stamping ground of the
leaders of the treasonable organization, which has been dissected, and
whose head and heart are now in a state of decomposition. In that county
Assistant Provost Marshal Phelps was shot, there too enrolling officer
Criss was shot; in that county is Lewiston, where resides S. Corning
Judd, Esq., the Grand Commander of the Sons of Liberty in the State of
Illinois. C.L. Vallandigham was the Supreme Commander of the Order
in the United States. This Order inaugurated the new warfare at the
instance of the Southern rebel leaders--inaugurated assassination. This
order began with Provost Marshals and enrolling officers, and ended--if
indeed the loyal people _will_ it to have ended--with the assassination
of the best, the wisest, the most deeply loved President since the
immortal Washington. It is the education of Copperhead prints, and
Copperhead secret societies that has fitted the instruments of death,
and our indulgence which has fostered them.

Vallandigham's party had been defeated, his greatness had departed, and
to wheel into line and "keep step to the music of the Union," was not
for him, and as Milton's creation once exclaimed, so might he have

"And in my choice To reign is worth ambition, though in hell;
 Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
 But wherefore let me then our faithful friends,
 The associates and co-partners of our loss,
 Lie thus astonished on the oblivion pool,
 And call them not to share with us their part
 In this unhappy mansion; or once more
 With rallied arms to try what may be yet
 Regained in heaven, or what more lost in hell."

And so Clement L. Vallandigham became Supreme Commander of the Sons of

Who is S. Corning Judd, who testifies before the Commission that _"the
organization_ (Sons of Liberty) _was being used in Indiana and Missouri
for improper purposes"?_ Who is he that says the organization in Chicago
"was looked upon by many of the leaders with great distrust; many of
those connected with the order in Chicago were radical, extreme men, and
understood to be men of little standing or character"? that one of the
delegates from Missouri stated his belief that the order in that State
was in favor of "giving aid and comfort to the Confederates"? When Judd
made these statements upon the stand, all loyal papers, with one accord,
declared that the evidence fully warranted the arrests, in the manner
and at the time they were made. No fair-minded man _then_ could come to
any other conclusion. Who, we ask, is S. Corning Judd? Stump-speakers,
last fall, would have said that he was the "Democratic" candidate for
Lieutenant Governor--and so he was. The Gubernatorial ticket bore
the name of James C. Robinson for Governor, and S. Corning Judd for
Lieutenant Governor--the former a man who, in Congress, voted against
"fighting, crushing, and destroying" the rebellion. Both Robinson and
Judd were Sons of Liberty, and to them Copperheads fondly turned, and
had they carried the State, anarchy and bloodshed would have been the
consequence; and, indeed, in the expressed opinion of Judge Morris, "had
they carried the State, he cared not who might be President, for they
would possess the reins of the General Government." S. Corning Judd
sought to serve his own ends by controlling the Sons of Liberty, and
failing in this, he gave the cold-shoulder to his Brig.-General (Walsh),
when, in consequence of executing the edicts of the order, he found
himself a close prisoner for the horrid doctrine of secession; _he_ must
be tried and convicted, but the Grand Commander, S. Corning Judd, and
the Supreme Commander, C.L. Vallandigham, and the Past Grand Commander,
or Major-General, Amos Green, each, severally appear upon the stand
against him, and they permitted to go scott free. O, cursed doctrine of

 "So stretch'd out huge in length the arch-fiend lay,
 Chain'd on the burning lake; nor ever thence
 Had risen or heaved his head, but that the will
 And high permission of All-ruling Heaven
 Left him at large to his own dark designs;
 That with reiterated crimes he might
 Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
 Evil to others."

If Vallandigham, if Judd, if Green, if Barrett, and if the many equally
guilty persons released from custody go unpunished, then "Justice, thou
art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason." Not that we
would contradict Judd in the least in aught that he has said against the
Chicago temple, but we would tell him that we know the Chicago temple,
so far from taking the lead in radicalism, was behind the order in
Peoria, in Bloomington, in Dubuque, in St. Louis, Louisville, and many
other places. Give the devil his due. In some places the boldness
of Copperheadism induced prominent members of the Sons of Liberty to
approach members of Congress, with their base proposals to enter the



In a publication of this character, it will not be expected we should
review either the causes which led to the great rebellion, with its
hydra heads and its sad consequences; but in closing, and especially
in view of the terrible tragedy which has plunged a nation in deepest
grief, we cannot refrain from saying, that the last most diabolical deed
was not the act of individual madness, of personal hate and passion, it
was the culmination of the hatred by the slave power of the principle
of liberty, and the champion of freedom. It was not because the assassin
felt in his heart a hatred of Abraham Lincoln, but because he, and the
people at whose instigation he acted, hated the apostle of liberty, and
the instrument in the hand of God for the accomplishment of a great and
mighty work. Although it was the purpose of this band of murderers
to assassinate the President and the whole Cabinet, it was not from
personal malice against them as men, but the enemy sought by the
destruction of the exponents of a free government, to give new life
to the expiring representation of the slave power. So antagonistic was
freedom to slavery that it was impossible to permanently embody the
representatives of these principles with a republican government, which
should be perfect in its formation, wise and just in its action, the
hope of the liberty loving people throughout the world, and the pride
and glory of American citizens. Every year since the adoption of the
old Constitution, have discordant elements cropped out, and incidents
transpired, which demonstrated to every rational mind, that as time
rolled on, the accumulation of combustible elements would ultimately
explode, and shake the civilized world to its center.

The facts that Northern teachers, Northern clergymen, Northern
mercantile agents, Northern men upon business or pleasure, travelling
at the South, and unwilling to stultify themselves, or become passive
approvers and admirers of the "peculiar institution," were treated with
all possible indignities, and might count themselves fortunate if they
escaped with their lives. So complete was the universal devotion to
slavery in all sections of the South, and so baneful its effects upon
the people, that all other considerations were made subservient to this.
For slavery, friends were alienated, hatred established, so bitter in
its extent that only death could appease it. It demoralized the entire
people; it found its way with all its horrid moral deformities, into
the very capitol; it caused the murderous assault of Brooks upon Charles
Sumner in the Senate, and the many altercations and bitter harangues
which have from time to time disgraced our National Congress; it was its
cropping out that caused the fearless and noble President Andy Johnson,
to threaten to hang Jeff. Davis--and which he may yet be called upon to
perform;--it was slavery that devised the doctrine of secession; that
has led to the deadly conflict upon hundreds of battle fields, and has
spilled the best blood of our nation, and caused mourning and gloom all
over the face of our once happy land. What wonder then, that the noble
Lincoln, who, in the sincerity of his heart, and in the dictates of
superior wisdom, who, seeing and appreciating the encroachments and
horrors of slavery, not only to the people in bondage, but to the
citizens of our country in every section--who wonders that Lincoln,
whose name is immortal, especially for his extirpation of this curse,
should be singled out by the demon of slavery, and assigned by Davis,
his prophet, for a violent death. Thank God, the cancer is extirpated
so thoroughly, that its fibres of death can never again form to threaten
destruction to our land. True, the operation has been most painful, and
no anesthetic agent has been employed; the suffering has been fearful,
and the country has, to its extremities, trembled with anguish; but it
is over now.

The assassination of the President was the will of Jeff. Davis,
whispered in the temples of the Sons of Liberty or American Knights,
into the ears of those of the members of the Orders, who had made the
most proficiency in their teachings, and these beings, true to their
_oaths_, went forth upon their mission of blood.

The following "gems," from the debates in the Democratic National
Convention, will be read with interest now and in future time:

S.S. Cox, said:

"He had attempted in his own city, a few weeks since, to show, in a
created a debt of four thousand million of dollars, sacrificed two
millions of human lives, and filled the land with grief and mourning."

A pious man, who had listened attentively to his remarks, sang out
"G----d d----n him."

"For less offenses than Mr. Lincoln had been guilty of, the English
people had chopped off the head of the first Charles. IN HIS OPINION,

C. Chauncey Burr, editor of several Copperhead New York journals, said:

"And it was a wonder that they had a Cabinet and men who carried out
the infamous orders of the gorilla tyrant that usurped the Presidential

Capt. Koontz, of Pittsburg, an ardent McClellan leader, said:

"If Democrats catch Lincoln's bloody spies among them, they must cut
their d----d throats, that's all. [Applause.] It is the duty of every
American to vote for a peace candidate."

Baker, of Michigan, said:

"Let us hurl that usurper from power. Never till that day comes when the
usurper and his victim meet at the judgment seat, can he be punished for
his wrongs, for his conspiracy against American liberty."

Benjamin Allen, of New York, said:

BY THE BALLOT THEY WILL BY THE BULLET." [Loud cheers.] Mr. Stambaugh, a
delegate from Ohio, said:

"That, if he was called upon to elect between the freedom of the nigger
and disunion and separation, he should choose the latter." (Cheers.)

"They might search hell over and they could not find a worse President
than Abraham Lincoln."

Hon. Mr. Trainor, of Ohio, said:

"He would urge the people to be freemen, and HURL ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND

Henry Clay Dean, said:

"In the presence of the face of Camp Douglas and all the satraps of
Lincoln, that the American people were ruled by felons. Lincoln had
never turned a dishonest man out of office, or kept an honest man in.
[A voice--'What have you to say of Jeff. Davis?] I have nothing to say

"He blushed that such a felon should occupy the highest place in the
INDIANA. (Cries of the 'old villain.') The Democracy were for peace."

W.W. O'Brien, of Peoria, also threatened "to try him as Charles the
first was tried, as a tyrant and a traitor, and if they found him guilty
to hang him."

The essential unity of Copperheadism with assassination, appears in the
following remarks of Koontz, of Pennsylvania:

"Shall more wives be made widows, and more children fatherless, and
greater hate be stirred up between children of the same glorious
destroy it, The Democratic government must be raised to power, and
Lincoln with his Cabinet of rogues, thieves and spies, be driven to
destruction. What shall we do with him? [A voice--"Send him here, and
I'll make a coffin for him, d----n him."]"

As we review the events which have transpired during this war, we are
strikingly impressed with the magnanimity, the forbearance, the humanity
of the loyal States in their relations to the rebels in arms, and we
are also impressed with the great lack of the exhibition of these
qualities--the most ennobling in national character--on the part of the
so-called Southern Confederacy. From the hour of firing upon Fort Sumter
to the present moment, the war has not been waged by the rebels as if
in defense of the great principles of truth and justice, but with the
malignity, the cruelty and barbarity which would, in many instances, put
to blush the savages upon our western borders. In our dealing with them,
the honor, integrity, fidelity and dignity of the nation have never been
forgotten; and the policy of the noble President, laid low by the hand
of the assassin, was never to give blows when words would answer,--never
to exact by force what might be attained by reasoning,--and never, under
any circumstances, to forget those qualities which make a nation truly
great, the first and chief of which is charity. How has our enemy failed
to appreciate this? The manner in which the warfare has been waged by
the South will be mentioned by historians as cruel, dishonorable and
disgraceful to people of a Christian nation. Failing of success upon
the field, we find the Davis Government countenancing guerrilla warfare,
burning bridges, murdering unarmed citizens, and desolating the homes
of unoffending people, and committing piracy upon the high seas. Still
failing of success and losing ground daily, but driven to desperation
by the apparent hopelessness of their cause, they sink to the depth of
infamy by establishing among us secret orders, the aim of which is to
educate men of base passions to deeds of dark dishonor and unmeasured
infamy; men who receiving such instruction will concoct schemes for the
burning of cities, for the liberation of their prisoners; and, lastly,
they have sunk so low in the mire of dishonor, impelled by savage
ferocity and hate, that it would appear folly, if not downright
criminality to longer deal with them on the principles of liberality
and gentleness, which has marked our conduct hitherto. It was our
generosity, our mildness, our spirit of conciliation that moved the
hand of the demon who slew the country's truest friend. Let it be so no
longer! Let rebels feel that we are terribly in earnest. Let heavy blows
be struck, and struck without delay, and let there be no exhibition of
concession or conciliation, till the enemy sue for peace upon the terms
the country proclaims. As well make Copperheads Christians or honest
men, as to attempt by gentleness longer to subdue rebels, whose weapons
are firebrands and assassins' daggers. It is futile; try it no longer.
Said the great French advocate of justice, when he was charged with
being sanguinary, because he so frequently punished murder with death,
"You tell me that it is bloody work, and sinful in the sight of Heaven
to execute men; so it is, and I am disposed to desist, and I will, the
moment men stop the crime of murder." So will we show clemency, when our
enemy has laid down his arms, and not before.

Another measure by our people would be attended with salutary
results--the extermination of Copperheadism at home. Who helped to
form secret societies of Sons of Liberty and kindred organizations, so
industriously and so efficiently as editors of Copperhead publications.
It is in these orders that assassins are trained, and prepared for their
fiendish mission. Henceforth let the people--the loyal people of the
most glorious country on which the sun shines--swear by the memory of
our much loved and deeply lamented President, that henceforth no paper
shall print, no man shall utter sentiments of treason, under the penalty
of incurring that summary punishment, the righteous indignation of a
sorrowing, long suffering people may inflict. If the people resolve to
endure the curse of home treason no longer, and let Copperheads know
that they can no longer co-operate with Jeff. Davis in any part of
our land, we shall never again be called upon to aid in suppressing or
exposing a North-Western Conspiracy, or any plot against our country, in
any section of our land.



When our troops entered Richmond, among other rebel documents found was
a bill, offered in secret session of the rebel House of Representatives,
January 30th, 1865, establishing a Secret Service Bureau, for the
employment of secret agents, "either in the Confederate States, or
within the enemy's lines, or in any foreign country," and authorizing
the chief officer "to organize such a system _for the application of new
means of warfare approved_, and of secret service agencies, as may tend
best to secure the objects of the establishment of the bureau."

The trial, conviction, sentence, and execution of Capt. Beall, for
piracy on the lakes, and of Kennedy, for incendiarism in New York, are
still fresh in the recollection of our readers. That these men were
acting under instructions from the bureau of secret service of Jeff.
Davis, no rational person can doubt. These acts were but incidents in
the grand conspiracy at the North; the guilty parties, who suffered
death, were but the instruments of others, and the members of the secret
organizations, who were cognizant of these acts and purposes, though yet
unwhipped of justice, are more guilty, in the sight of Heaven, than
the wretches who undertook the execution of the hellish design, and for
which they suffered ignominious death.

After the discovery of the purposes and acts of the leaders of the Sons
of Liberty in Illinois, in co-operation with rebels, and the arrests
detailed in a former chapter, a Military Commission was convened in
Cincinnati for the trial of the prisoners, Morris, Walsh, Grenfell,
Anderson, Daniels, Cantril, Marmaduke and Semmes, upon a charge of
conspiring to sack and burn Chicago, and to liberate the prisoners in
Camp Douglas.

The Commission consisted of the following named officers:

C.D. Murray, Colonel 89th Indiana Volunteers, President Commission.
Ben. Spooner, Colonel 83d Indiana Volunteers. N.C. Macrae, Major United
States Army. P. Vous Radowitz, Lieutenant-Colonel United States Army.
S.P. Lee, Major 6th Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps. M.N. Wiswell,
Colonel Veteran Reserve Corps. B.P. DeHart, Colonel 128th Indiana
Volunteers. S.H. Lathrop, Lieutenant-Colonel, A.I.G. Albert Heath,
Lieutenant-Colonel 100th Regiment Indiana Volunteers.



The following is Mrs. Morris' confession:


To Maj.-Gen. J. Hooker, Commanding Northern Department, Cincinnati, O.:

General--I was arrested in Chicago, on the 11th day of December, by the
United States authorities, charged with assisting rebel prisoners to
escape, and relieving them with money and clothing; also, with holding
correspondence with the enemy. I desire to state the facts of the case,
to confess the truth, and to ask such clemency at your hands as may be
consistent with your duty as an officer of the government. I was born
and reared in Kentucky. My home was in the South till within the last
ten years, my connections and friends all being there. I had sympathy
with them, though I was as much opposed to the secession movement as
any one could be. Having a large acquaintance in Kentucky, I was charged
with the distribution of a great deal of clothing and money among the
prisoners in Camp Douglas, Chicago, sent to them by their friends, and
which was done under the supervision of the proper officers of the camp.
This I continued to do up to the time of my arrest, and in this way
I made the acquaintance, and was understood to be the friend of the
prisoners in camp.

In the early part of last winter, an escaped prisoner named John
Harrington, came to me and asked for assistance. He stated that he was
going to Canada for the purpose of completing his education. I gave him
money to the amount I believe of $20. Some time in the summer of the
past year, a rebel prisoner named Charles Swager, a young man who had
escaped from the cars while being conveyed to Rock Island, came to me
for assistance. I gave him a coat, a pair of boots, and some money, to
the amount I believe, of $15. There were two or three others that I had
reason to believe were escaped prisoners, whose names I do not know.
These I assisted with money, and to one of them I gave some clothing.
There were some others to whom I gave money and clothing, that I did not
at the time know were rebel prisoners, but who afterwards I had reason
to believe were such.

I received letters from Capt. J. B, Castleman of the rebel army, and
sent him verbal messages in return. He called at my house, and remained
for a little while. Capt. Hines, also of the Confederate army, called
and ate at my house once during last summer.

I beg to be released from my present imprisonment, and promise that, if
my prayer is granted, I will henceforth conduct myself as a truly loyal
woman, without in any way interfering with the government or aiding its

Witness my hand and seal, this 5th day of February, 1805. MARY B.

The following is Gen. Hooker's order relative to Mrs. Morris:


 CINCINNATI, O., Feb. 10, 1865.


Mrs. Mary B. Morris, now in confinement at McLean barracks, in the city
of Cincinnati, O., charged with giving aid and comfort to the enemy,
assisting rebel prisoners to escape, and other disloyal practices, will,
on or before Monday the 13th inst., be sent south of our military lines,
under guard, into the so-called Southern Confederacy. Her sympathy with
those in rebellion can there find its natural expression, and a more
appropriate theatre of action. It is but just to our government and
laws, that the shield of its power should not be thrown over those
who are inimical to it, and are giving active aid and sympathy to
its enemies. The claim to protection by the government implies the
reciprocity of fealty.

Mrs. Mary B. Morris, who was ordered sent out of our lines by paragraph
1 of this order, in consideration of her professions and promises, is
permitted to remain on the premises of her father, Edward M. Blackburne,
at Spring Station, Woodford county, Ky., on consideration that she
complies with the promises accompanying her confession, filed at these
headquarters, Feb. 5th, 1865. If such promises are not complied with,
the first paragraph of the order to be in full force.

By command of Maj.-Gen. HOOKER.

(Signed) C.H. POTTER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The trial of the prisoner Cantril was deferred, owing to serious
illness. During the progress of the trial, Anderson committed suicide,
and Daniels escaped. [It will be remembered that H.H. Dodd, convicted
of treason in Indianapolis, some months ago, and sentenced to suffer
the death penalty, also escaped. Neither Daniels or Dodd have been
recaptured.] The evidence before the Military Commission elicited most
of the important facts embraced in this narrative, and therefore need
not be reviewed.

In regard to several of the witnesses before the Military Commission, a
few remarks may not be uninteresting. It has been observed by the reader
who has carefully perused the foregoing statement, that there were
two distinct elements which made up the great conspiracy, viz: The
Copperheads, or Sons of Liberty, and Knights of the Golden Circle, and
the rebel emissaries both in the Northern States and in Canada. The
discovery of the designs, purposes and intents of the former, was made
by the writer of this work, who was aided by Robert Alexander. With such
aid as we were able to control, we obtained and imparted the information
which resulted in the total defeat of the devilish intent of our secret
enemies--the Copperheads; the purposes, movements, ends and aims of
the _Rebels in Canada_, were reported by Maurice Langhorn, aid by
two others. The parties in charge of observing and defeating the two
distinct elements, were utter strangers, and had never met or had any
communication whatever.

In regard to the writer, it need only be said, that when it was
announced to Hon. I.N. Arnold, M.C., Governor Yates, and Brig.-Gen.
Paine, that there was a formidable conspiracy against the General
Government, embracing many thousand persons in its league, and that its
purpose was the subversion of our Government in aid of the rebellion,
that their plots were rapidly maturing, and the most alarming
consequences might be apprehended, if timely precautions were not
observed, all of these gentlemen gave to the matter their earnest and
careful attention. It was not the purpose of the writer to proceed with
further investigations, except by advice and direction, as it was a
work for which he felt wholly unqualified, from his tastes, disposition,
professional, and social position, but the arguments of Gen. Paine,
which, at this time and place, it is unnecessary to state, but which it
is believed neither party will soon forget, decided the matter, and
the task was undertaken, and with what success it was attended, let the
history of the proceedings in Cincinnati determine. For more than six
months, the work was prosecuted with unceasing vigilance, regardless
of all other considerations, and although, when he was called to the
witness stand, he could not shield himself from the malignant abuse of
counsel, by stating _that he had been acting under a commission received
from his Government_, yet he then felt morally certain, and that
confidence _yet remains unshaken_, that when his true relations to the
Government and country, are finally known, his motives, his acts, and
his services, will be duly appreciated. He has not been mistaken.
The contemptible falsehood of the party who stated that the writer's
services had been compensated, or that a claim for compensation had been
made, is hereby hurled back into his teeth. Not a dollar, not a dime,
has been received, not even for _actual expenses incurred_, and _no
claim_ whatever has been made--no consideration whatever has been
proffered. The service was the result of a deep conviction of duty, a
feeling that no citizen should withhold personal sacrifice, even of life
and reputation, if the interest of his country demands it. We knew the
condition upon which we stepped aside from the agreeable and peaceful
avocations of life, and entered upon the task so distasteful, so
repulsive, and for a time so thankless. We had reason to know that
the shafts of fiendish calumny would assail, that friendship would be
broken, _that envy and jealousy would ply their innuendoes_, that the
Copperhead elements of a fraternity, claiming one of the offenders in
its ranks, would assail with bitterness and awaken poignant grief, but
no regret, that we should have the hatred of Copperheads, as long as
that genus (thank Heaven, short-lived), existed in our land, and be
regarded with distrust by those negative persons, who would be for the
Union, had they any independence of character; we knew all this would
follow, if the assassin's bullet or dagger did not execute the sworn
purpose of the Order, but with an abiding faith in the justice of
Heaven, with an approving conscience, and our earnest heartfelt prayer
for our loved country in her dark hours, we took our course, and our
only regret is, that we had not sooner entered upon the work, and
thereby frustrated plans which have contributed to our national
suffering; for who shall say how many have been its victims, how many
homes has it made desolate, how many hearts has it broken, and how many
graves now enclose misguided men, and misguided youths, who, educated
in its fallacies, lured by its snake-like influence, arrayed themselves
against their country, and fell victims to their fanaticism!

We have heard the cry of our Union soldiers at the front, to protect the
helpless in the rear, and we have tried to comply. We have given our
own near and dear kindred to the bullet and the sword, a sacrifice to
freedom, and staunched the life-blood of a dearly loved brother, upon
the field of Antietam, and as we wiped away the dew of death, gathering
upon his brow, we pledged our life--our all--to the cause of the Union;
and if better service might be rendered in vanquishing the secret foe at
home, than meeting the more honorable enemy upon the field of battle,
we were ready for the work. Had it not been for the potent influence
of Copperheads at the North, the counsel, the sympathy, the comfort
extended to the rebels, the rebellion would have been put down long ago.
Entertaining such views, we shall, under any and all circumstances, and
at all times, be a bitter opponent of Copperheadism wherever found, and
regard it as legitimate warfare to arrest the assassin of our country,
wherever and whenever we can. If the disaffected find comfort in this,
let them make the most of it.

ROBERT ALEXANDER.--This gentleman, who is well known to the citizens of
Chicago, has held several positions of responsibility and trust, and
has ever been a consistent, earnest, devoted advocate of the Union. So
intensely Republican in sentiment is he, that the attempt to introduce
him into the Sons of Liberty, called forth such opposition that it
was thought we should fail in the attempt, and he finally, was only
admitted, after he and his sponsor (the writer) had been told, in plain
words, accompanied with an oath, that if he proved false to them, _both
should die_. For months he bore the opprobrium of a Copperhead, and
suffered extreme annoyances in sustaining the role it was his duty
to assume. Conscientious, earnest, persevering, patient, with keen
perception, and a remarkable power of reading human character, with the
experience of an excellent police officer, Mr. Alexander brought to his
post of duty high qualifications, and was a valuable, ready and willing
assistant. It should be remarked that Mr. Alexander had been informed in
May, 1864, that he had been appointed First-Lieutenant in the 53d U.S.
Infantry, and supposed he was in the service of the U.S. Government at
the time of joining this great undertaking, but the information, though
coming from a high source, proved incorrect, and this is one additional
reason why the writer made choice of Mr. Alexander. While we know that
loyal men will appreciate Mr. Alexander's valuable services, we have yet
to learn that he has, thus far, experienced any other satisfaction than
the approval of his own heart, and the sincere gratitude of the writer,
for his hazardous undertaking, and the able manner in which he performed
his duty.

MAURICE LANGHORN, one of the principal government witnesses, was born in
Pittsburgh, Penn., and reared in Marysville, Ky. He is a lawyer, and a
man of ability. Like many other Kentuckians who were in the South at
the time the rebellion broke out, Mr. Langhorn committed himself to the
doctrine of secession. In 1861 he enlisted as a private in a Louisiana
regiment of heavy artillery. He was subsequently recommended for
Colonelcy in the rebel army, but failed to get the appointment. In 1861
he went to Bowling Green, Ky., where he enlisted as a private in the
9th Kentucky Infantry, Col. Thomas H. Hunt, of Louisville, and was
transferred to the artillery. He mounted the guns on the fortifications
around Bowling Green, and seems to have given great satisfaction. He ran
as candidate for representative to the rebel congress from Kentucky, but
before the result of the canvass was known, was captured and held eight
months as a prisoner of war. Mr. Langhorn subsequently took the oath of
allegiance to the United States, and was of great service in reporting
the movements and designs of the rebel emissaries in Canada to Col.
Sweet. The information Mr. Langhorn gave of those men was reliable, and
upon it certain arrests were made. Mr. Langhorn is now a loyal citizen,
in its broadest and best sense. Mr. Langhorn is a young man not over
twenty-five years of age, of quick, nervous temperament, kind and
generous impulses, a man of strong feelings, warm friendship, bitter
animosities, and whatever he undertakes, he executes with a will. Of
Mr. Langhorn it may be truly said, that while he was a rebel, he was an
earnest, active foe, but a true soldier, having a high regard for honor
and integrity, loving the State in which he was reared, and ever
jealous of her honor and fair name. Mr. Langhorn was a rebel from
principle--because he felt that the South was right--but when convinced
of his error, he made haste to repair it, and when he had once taken the
oath of allegiance, he went to work with all his might to aid the cause
of the Union. To Mr. Langhorn is due all the honor of frustrating the
designs of the _rebels from Canada_; and Col. Sweet being advised by
Mr. Langhorn of _this_ portion of the plot, and by the writer of the
_Copperheads' movements and intents_, the Colonel had the best possible
opportunity of acquiring important knowledge, and regulating his conduct
in accordance therewith. Mr. Langhorn is a true friend of the Union,
an admirer of our lamented President, and has rendered the citizens of
Chicago a service which should ever be held in grateful remembrance.

MR. SHANKS--Once a Rebel officer of distinction, but now a loyal man,
consistent in conduct, and of very great assistance to the Government,
in ferreting out Rebel officers and Rebel sympathisers, has the
confidence and respect of those who know him. He is a young man of
signal ability, and if he continues to serve the country as faithfully
as he has in the present case, will yet attain distinction.

CHRISTOPHER C. STRAWN--Was a valuable witness. He is a young man who
has taken an active part with the Democrats, and is well informed of the
incomings and outgoings, and the eccentricities and peccadilloes of the
managers in Chicago, although the _Post_ says, that "before his arrest
he was not worthy of notice, and after his arrest still less so." We
think the _Post_ man a little severe on Strawn, who has done all he
could to have the guilty Copperhead readers of that paper brought
to justice. Mr. Strawn, has bade his brethren, the Copperheads, an
affectionate and, we trust, final adieu.

JOHN MAUGHAN, an Englishman, born in Berkshire county, and about 22
years of age. His family moved to Toronto, Canada West. He was always
in Canada regarded as a young man, with fine business qualities and
promise. For three years just before his connection with the rebels, and
their Northern conspirators, he occupied a very responsible position as
a clerk and teller, in one of the branches of the bank of Upper Canada,
and was in every way worthy the confidence reposed in him. During the
spring and summer of 1864, he however became acquainted with rebel
soldiers in Canada, earnestly espoused their cause, and left his
position to go with them to the Southern army. They, however, instead
of going South, went to Chicago, where he became acquainted with the
conspirators, and also gained their confidence, and on account of being
an Englishman, and having his papers with him, and being able to
travel without fear of detection, he was used by them to carry their
correspondence and other communications, which were of too dangerous
a character to trust to the mails. This man was truly a dangerous
character. No one, except those who employed him, knew him, or the
character in which he was acting, and he was able, frequently, to render
the conspirators immense service in their desperate schemes. He was
captured in Chicago in November, and finally agreed to turn State's
evidence, when he saw that unless he did, his own life was forfeited.
After this agreement, he was treated with great leniency by the
Government, but upon being placed upon the witness stand, his old
sympathies and prejudices returned, and it is believed he distinctly
perjured himself, acting through the whole trial with bad faith toward
the Government which had treated him so generously.

THOS.E. COURTNEY--A Son of Liberty, and a leading Democrat of Chicago,
called a witness for _defence_, testified, among other things, as

"_I was on a Committee of the Democratic party to receive, at the Alton
Depot, some bogus voters that were to be imported into Chicago to vote
at the Presidential election_; they were part and parcel of the tribe
that came from Egypt, and I was one of the _Committee appointed to
escort them to their boarding houses_."

OBADIAH JACKSON, JR., ESQ., Grand Seignior of the Temple, who had been
arrested and sent to Camp Douglas, and while there had written and
signed a "statement," was called for the defence, but it neither helped
him or the defendants.

COL.B. M. ANDERSON--Was born, reared, and educated in Kentucky. He was
a young man of education, ability, and fine personal appearance, and
had he not been a rebel would have been an accomplished gentleman. He
possessed many fine points of character, and was, in our opinion, a much
better man than any of the Northern Copperheads who have been arrested.
He had been in the Nicaraugua expedition, under the fillibuster, Walker.
Col. Anderson was the dupe of others. He committed suicide at the
barracks in Cincinnati, during the progress of the trial. He leaves a
wife and many friends to mourn his death. His history is a sad one. In
any other position than a rebel, he would have been a most useful member
of society. He was not of the material of which the Sons of Liberty was
made up, but aside from that deadly fanaticism which ruined him, he won
warm friends wherever he went. Nature did everything for him, but the
accursed doctrine of Calhoun, consigned him to a suicide's grave, "after
life's fitful fever" of war upon the land of his birth.

CHARLES TRAVIS DANIELS--One of the prisoners, is a native of Harrison
County, Ky. A lawyer by profession, about 26 years of age and very
prepossessing in appearance. He is somewhat remarkable for a rather
strange and singular expression of his eyes. Belonged to John H.
Morgan's command, but never served in any other capacity than as an
enlisted man. He was captured with Morgan during his raid in Ohio, and
confined in Camp Douglas, from which he escaped; was captured at Charles
Walsh's house, on the 7th of November, and escaped again from the
military authorities in Cincinnati, Ohio, while being tried by the
Commission. He has not been recaptured, but has been found guilty by the

CAPT. GEORGE CANTRILL--Is a native of Scott County, Ky. Is about the
same age as Daniels. There is nothing remarkable in connection with him,
and of no more than ordinary intelligence. He also belonged to Morgan's
command, in which he served as Company commander; was in Morgan's last
raid in Kentucky, and at his defeat at Cynthiana escaped to Canada. He
was with the other rebels at Chicago during the Convention, and went
with them to Southern Illinois for the purpose of drilling Copperheads.
He was captured in the house of Charles Walsh, on the morning of the 7th
of November last. On account of severe sickness he was not tried with
the other conspirators.

RICHARD T. SEMMES--One of the prisoners, tried, convicted, and
sentenced, for being one of the Chicago Conspirators, is a young
man--not over 23 or 24 years of age, a Marylander by birth, and a lawyer
by profession. He is a relation of the pirate Semmes (unfortunate
in name,) said to be a nephew. He graduated at Yale College with
distinction, and his prospects in Chicago were flattering till he
connected himself with the Sons of Liberty, and listened to the
teachings of older and "wiser" men.

Of the witnesses for the defence we have nothing to say, further
than most of them were Sons of Liberty. Some of them so far perjured
themselves, that now a common lie to them is considered as good as the
truth, if not a little better. It is said of Judge H.L. Burnet, that he
remarked, had he known what witnesses the defence would have introduced,
he would not have called any witnesses for the _Government_--they would
have been superfluous. Rather severe, and we will hope he did not say

Space will not admit of a review of the evidence, and this will be
unnecessary for all who will read the sketch of the Judge Advocate's



The evidence in the case before the military commission at Cincinnati,
having closed, the counsel who represented the prisoners made their
addresses--they cannot be called arguments--and the court adjourned to
Tuesday, April 18. As lawyers who have no valid defence, observe it as
a policy to attack the Government witnesses with great fury, so Messrs.
Hervey and Wilson, true to the ethics of their profession, made a
grand assault upon the principal witnesses. Counsellor Hervey, in his
harangue, used the following language, which illustrates the line of
"argument" for defence:

"Some two hundred years ago," said the learned counsel, "there was a man
in England who swore away the lives of his fellow citizens by wholesale.
His name was Dr. Titus Oates--the man who got up what was called the
Popish plot, and by perjury and villainy, consigned many an innocent
head to the scaffold. He was assisted by a man who has, as no other
judge has, disgraced the ermine--Jeffries, who drank himself to death in
the tower, when his co-worker in iniquities and evil deeds with dreadful
and condign punishment followed him. The effort of nature to produce so
great a monster was so terrible that it required a resting spell of two
hundred years before she could produce another such monster in the shape
of Dr. I. Winslow Ayer."

We forgive him, for he was obliged to seem to do or say something to
earn his "fee." There being no arguments for defence, but only such
pathetic appeals as only a lawyer, without the least hope, would make,
feeling that his clients would expect _something_, we need not take our
space to report their remarks.

On Tuesday April 18, Judge Advocate Burnet made his closing argument for
the Government. It was truly a master-piece, complete in every part. It
was such an effort as might have been expected, of one who has,
during this long tedious trial, shown himself a gentleman, a profound
counsellor, a true patriot and an advocate of justice, whose only aim
has been to elicit truth, and be the better enabled to serve the true
interests of the country. We would gladly present every argument and
address he has made, during the trial, but space will not admit, and
we therefore invite careful attention to the following sketch of his

The Judge Advocate, in referring to the accused, said:

There are two sides to this case; two sides for the manifestation of
sympathy. While here is an old, white-haired man before you, whose every
thing is at stake; while here is a father, a generous, open-hearted,
and impulsive man, whose all is at stake; and here is a soldier, who has
fought in every clime, and who has taken up his sword to destroy life
in every cause, whose everything is also at stake, yet there is, on the
other side, your Government at stake. If these men be guilty, justice to
the nation demands of you this day that you should convict them, and
you must not waver. In the consideration of this case, you must bring to
your aid a power, that may be a little more than is ordinarily given
to human nature. You must, for the time, sink all hatred, malice, even
human sympathy; and rise, God-like, to determine the truth and adjust
the punishment.

That these accused would enter upon the commission of so heinous a
crime, I can scarcely permit myself to believe. They have made a strong
appeal to your sympathies. Each counsel has advocated the cause of his
client with an earnestness and an eloquence that does him honor; I shall
always respect them, and bear them in kindly recollection.

But there seems to have been something, during these four years of the
nation's trial, that has appeared to paralyze the native instincts of
the American heart. This phantom, this siren of secession, with her
enticing song, seems to have lulled to sleep the better part of human
nature. At the sound of her voice, and the flash of her eye, men have
sprung to arms, to grapple with the life of the nation, because it
was free! They have followed, at the beck of the siren, over desolated
homes; they have trampled over the dead corpses of murdered brothers,
and innocent women and children. They have blackened the land with
desolation, and made it the abode of moaning and woe. She has blinded,
while she has demoralized them. Old men, forgetting their white hairs,
have joined in the conspiracy at the beck of this phantom, who has taken
out of the human heart its heaven-born instincts, to plant there those
of vengeance, and the thirst for blood.

My tongue falters as I look over this country and see bereaved widows
and orphans, the white-haired patriots that mourn for the first-born,
that shall ne'er greet them, and those who sit at the desolate hearth,
with hands upraised, waiting for the knock that will be but the
death-knell of all their hopes; and think that the phantom of secession
has caused all this!

Men who were kind fathers, kind husbands and noble patriots, have
forgotten it all in a day, and have become traitors, and inculcated
doctrines that have, by the hands of fiends, stricken down that
patriotic and noble leader of the human race. There is something in it
which no man can comprehend. The doctrines which they inculcate harden
the heart, and nerve the arm to crime, enabling them to commit robbery,
arson and murder, for all is in her category; and as they commit those
crimes, the appeal to God for the justness of their cause. That is what
has deceived these men; it is this accursed phantom of secession that
has blinded their eyes; that has cooled their hearts and filled them
with vengeance. It is this that has changed and perverted the human
instincts, that should have ruled in their breasts.

Of this man Walsh, I have simply this to say: The evidence is as you
have seen it. I have briefly sketched it; I will not dwell upon much
that ought to be said; I can not. The testimony is voluminous, filling
2,000 or 2,500 pages. I have had but a few days to scan through it; I
have given you only the leading points, and you must judge. I would not
say one word that would take from this family their father; but if this
man was guilty of this crime, or has aided and abetted this conspiracy,
you have but one duty to perform. You must know no man, be influenced by
no bias, betray no sympathy, but must be firm in the performance of your
stern duty. There are thirty millions of suffering people in this land,
and against these, one man's life, if guilty, weighs little in the scale
of justice. We have, unhappily, in the history of this war, frequently
seen sympathy manifested for criminals, rebels and traitors--those who
have brought this great injustice upon the true and the loyal. It is not
mercy to acquit those guilty of cruelty to a people who are struggling
for their very existence; it would be cruelty to our brave soldiers, and
to those who have been left widows and orphans.

As to Judge Morris--for his white hair and old age, I have only respect.
For all that is worthy in him as a citizen, I do him reverence; but if
this white-haired old man has engaged in a conspiracy against my nation
and my country, I turn to the other side, and see white-haired patriots
who mourn in sadness because such as he have done these evil deeds,--and
I remember Justice!

As to this man Grenfel, I confess I have no sympathy with him; no
sympathy for the foreigner who lands in our country when this nation is
engaged in the struggle for human right and human liberty, and who takes
part in the quarrel against us, and arrays himself on the side of those
who are trying to establish tyranny and slavery. I have no sympathy for
the man whose sword is unsheathed for hire and not for principle; for
whom slavery and despotism have more charms than freedom and liberty.
The motive of such a one does not rise even to the dignity of vengeance.
As has been said by his counsel, his sword has gleamed in every sun,
and has been employed on the side of almost every nationality, and after
this he engages in our struggle, and, as testified to by Colonel Moore,
desires to raise the black flag against our prisoners; and after men
have yielded as prisoners of war, he rides up to one, and stabs him,
coward like, in the back.

But he is not true to the cause he espouses. When in Washington he went
to the Secretary of War and betrays the very people with whom he had
been fighting; tells all he knows of the strength, position and designs
of the Confederates. He said he proposed to leave immediately for
England, but he breaks his faith, proceeds to Canada, and is found among
the conspirators, and is now here, charged with these crimes to-day.
There is no throb of my heart that beats in unison with such conduct as
this. He was a fit instrument to be used in this enterprise. What to
him would be the wail of women and little ones? What to him would be the
pleadings of old men and unarmed citizens?

The delivery of Judge Burnett's argument occupied three and a half
hours, after which the Commission adjourned to meet at four o'clock
P.M., to deliberate on the findings and sentence. They accordingly met
at the hour appointed, and, after mature deliberation, finally recorded
their verdict.

General Hooker issued General Orders No. 30, April 22, in which he
promulgates the finding of the military commission which, for three
months past, has been engaged in the trial of the alleged Chicago
conspirators. The commission have acquitted Buckner S. Morris and
Vincent Marmaduke, and they are to be discharged upon their taking the
oath of allegiance. They find Charles Walsh and Richard T. Semmes guilty
of all the charges and specifications, and sentence the former to five
years' imprisonment at hard labor from the 7th of November last, and the
latter to three years' imprisonment at hard labor from the same date, at
such place as the commanding general may direct. Gen. Hooker has named
the State penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio.

Cantrill's trial has been continued; Anderson committed suicide, and
Charles Travis Daniels escaped. The commission found a verdict against
Daniels, but it has not yet been promulgated. The findings against G.
St. Leger Grenfell have not yet been announced officially; but it
is death, at such time and place as Gen. Hooker shall designate. The
commission has been dissolved.

The Chicago _Tribune_, in speaking of the sentence, says:

The trial of the Chicago conspirators has ended, the sentences have been
pronounced and approved, and the court has adjourned. Buckner S. Morris
and Vincent Marmaduke are acquitted and Charles Walsh and Richard T.
Semmes were found guilty of the entire charges and specifications, to
wit: of conspiracy for the relief of the prisoners at Camp Douglas, and
of conspiring to "lay waste and destroy" the city of Chicago. Walsh is
sentenced to imprisonment for five years from November 7th, 1864, and
Semmes to imprisonment at hard labor for three years from the date
of sentence. The findings against G. St. Leger Grenfell have not been
officially promulgated, but it is stated that he is found guilty
and sentenced to death, at such time and place as Gen. Hooker shall
designate. The penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio, is designated as the
place of confinement of Walsh and Semmes. The trial has been long,
mainly by reason of the course pursued by the defense, whose aim
has been to protract it, so as to tire out the perseverance of the
prosecution and the patience of the court and people. The court have
performed their arduous duties with great ability and fairness. The
result will doubtless be satisfactory to the people. It is proved that
this great crime was in all its naked deformity and depravity actually
committed. It follows that the Copperhead statement, published in the
rebel organ in this city, charging that the entire plot and arrest
of these Copperhead traitors and assassins were invented by the Union
Republicans of Chicago as an electioneering trick, was the subterfuge of
conscious guilt trying to cover up its tracks and to rub out the stains
of its own attempted crimes. The same organ now impugns the "competency"
of the Court. It may consider itself fortunate that it has not had an
opportunity to argue the question of jurisdiction on its own behalf
before a similar tribunal. Its opposition to such courts originates in a
feeling of uneasiness about its own safety. For

"Thief ne'er felt the halter draw With good opinion of the law."


At a public meeting held in Chicago, after the announcement of the
assassination, Rev. Dr. Tiffany, in an able and eloquent address said:

"God alone is great. At rare intervals he sends us a man beyond the
limit of our measure. Our attention has been directed to the excellences
of the character which belonged to our late President, and to the spirit
of the system which gave strength to the blow of the assassin. A more
terrible topic is now to be discussed--our relation to that spirit--our
responsibility for that blow.

We have been accustomed to say, "slavery is sectional, and freedom
national," let those who elect slavery take the results of slavery to
themselves; let them suffer, if their choice brings suffering; but as
for us, we wash our hands in innocency, and hold ourselves guiltless of
blood." And so we have been going on ever since the outbreak of slavery
in the form of armed rebellion. "They are the guilty parties, let them
suffer." But has all this been right? Have we had no responsibility?
Is no guilt ours? We may not have owned slaves, but we may have made
a common cause with men owners--may have brought condemnation upon
ourselves by our tolerance, by our compromises.

Sad and almost disgraceful is the record which exhibits our complicity
with this sin. We began by making free States wait at the door of the
Union until slavery had a counterpoise, or balance adjusted in the form
of slave State, to preserve the balance against freedom in the National
Senate. We compromised the territories west of the Mississippi, by
tolerating slaves there, and as one demand after another was made it was
granted, till we even allowed slave rule in free States, by submitting
to the Fugitive Slave law--these things could not have been done without
our votes. When they threatened and blustered we fawned and cringed,
until they knew and avowed their belief that the crack of a slave whip
would bring the north to its knees. All they asked we granted, more than
they demanded we offered. We held out our wrists for manacles. When we
elected the great good man, who embodied our idea of nationality and
freedom; and even after official announcement had been made of the
position slavery occupied in their proposed nationalism, we guarded
their slaves, and kept them secure to labor for the support of the
masters who were fighting against us. When these slaves, acting on an
intuition of freedom, came fleeing to us, we sent them back to chains
and bondage. In all this we showed our complicity with the sin which
struck the blow which killed our good President.

And after the slaughter of thousands in battle, and the death of as many
more in hospitals, of fever, starvation and wounds, still was our hatred
of the sin which caused them not deep enough. We talked of amnesty and
non-humiliation, and God has permitted the sad cup to come to each lip
in bitterness. Each one mourns to-day as if personally bereaved. The
blackness of darkness is in our homes, and the whole nation mourns
its first-born--its first-loved. May not--does not--a measure of
responsibility rest upon us for this last sad event? Have we not been
tolerant of the treason which has wrought this crime? Have we not been
apologists for infamy under the name of different political opinions?
Have we not spared when we should have punished--been merciful when
mercy was but cruelty? We seem to have believed that because there were
more serpents away from our homes, the few left here had no venom. We
felt secure because the loyalists were more numerous than the traitors.
But of the few who were here, and tolerated here, some plotted the
escape of rebel prisoners, some the burning of our city, some the
conflagration of New York, and some the murder of the Cabinet, while
one has killed the good President. Had they all been driven out, or put
under strict surveillance, there would have been none of these things
from them. We have lost our President by tolerating traitors in our

Who was the assassin of the President? Not an armed rebel, clothed with
belligerent rights; not a political refugee, who had skulked into our
lines for rapine and for plunder; but the citizen of a free State, who
could visit and send his cards to the Vice-President with a flippant
familiarity, which his aristocratic slave-holding associates presume
to use,--a man allowed to go about the streets of Washington, breathing
treason and blaspheming God, without rebuke. He could command attention
from proprietors of houses and saloons, from owners of blooded stock,
from men who were called loyal, and the toleration of this killed our
good President.

He was a wretch, of whom a press said, but yesterday, that he was
sincere in thinking he should rid the earth of a tyrant, by slaying the
President, this sincerity must place him on a level with John Brown.
[Hisses and cries of _The Times_.] This was said yesterday, and read
by thousands, and I know of no steps taken to prevent the utterance
of similar insult and outrage to-morrow. For this tolerance we are
responsible, and tolerance like this killed the good President. When
a far-seeing military commandant ordered the suppression of published
treason, there were men in high places, and men all over the land, who
outraged the loyal masses by interfering to prevent the execution of
that order, on the ground of disturbing the freedom of the press; but
when our ministers went into Richmond they were muzzled, and the
result has been that treason has been littered, the good man called an
_imbecile_--the generous man a _tyrant_--the restraint of traitors has
been referred to as, _usurpation_ of power, and prisons have been called
_Bastiles_. All this has been, and we have tolerated it. This has given
aid and comfort to treason in the South, and traitors in the North, and
this has killed the good President.

The measure of our responsibility is the amount of our connivance at
these things. No man is free from guilt who has winked at this wrong,
who has interfered to prevent the punishment of wrong-doers, who has
apologies for treason, who has not done all in his power to rebuke,
denounce and punish the foes of the nation, at home and abroad. We
stand, to-day, as though in the presence of the nation's dead, and here,
on the tomb of our chieftain, let us swear eternal enmity to treason
and to traitors. Nor let us, when the assassin shall be arrested and
punished--oh! let us not then think we have done our duty. I had rather
the profane wretch who has done this deed were never taken, than that
his execution should relieve our minds from one thought of our personal
responsibility. No; rather let the wretch be a fugitive and vagabond,
with the mark of Cain upon him. Let none slay him, for we ourselves are
not guiltless. And as he flies from men, with hate in his eyes and hell
in his heart, let every home be an asylum from which he shall be barred,
and every honest, loyal heart a sanctuary where no thought of complicity
with him, or sympathy for him may enter. Let us bow before God to-day in
humble penitence; let us ask of Him forgiveness--Father forgive us, for
we knew not what we did--that His hand be stayed, and the measure of our
responsibility be canceled."

In this connection, we may with propriety, introduce the following
extract from President Johnson's recent speech to the Indiana

"We are living at a time when the public mind had almost become
oblivious of what treason is. The time has arrived, my countrymen, when
the American people should be educated and taught what crime is, and
that treason is crime, and the highest crime known to the law and the
Constitution. Yes, treason against a State, treason against all the
States, treason against the Government of the United States, is the
highest crime that can be committed, and those engaged in it should
suffer all the penalties. It is not promulgating anything that I have
not heretofore said, to say that traitors must be made odious; that
treason must be made odious; that traitors must be punished and
imprisoned. [Applause.] They must not only be punished, but their social
power must be destroyed. If not, they will still maintain an ascendency,
and may again become numerous and powerful; for, in the words of a
former senator of the United States, when traitors become numerous
enough, treason becomes respectable. And I say that, after making
treason odious, every Union man and the Government, should be
remunerated out of the pockets of those who have inflicted the great
suffering upon the country. [Applause.] But do not understand me as
saying this in a spirit of anger; for, if I understand my own heart, the
reverse is the case; and, while I say that the penalties of the law,
in a stern and inflexible manner, should be executed upon conscious,
intelligent, and influential traitors,--the leaders who have deceived
thousands upon thousands of laboring men, who have been drawn into
the rebellion; and while I say, as to leaders, punishment, I also say
leniency, conciliation, and amnesty, to the thousands whom they have
misled and deceived, and, in relation to this, as I have remarked, I
might have adopted your speech as my own."

       *        *        *        *        *


List of names of prominent members of the "Sons of Liberty" in the
several counties of the State of Illinois, as reported by Col. J.B.

  Names.                                                        County.
  James W. Singleton ............................................Adams.
  Thomas P. Bond................................................. Bond.
  Harry Wilton....................................................Bond.
  Thos. Hunter....................................................Bond.
  Martin Brooks..................................................Brown.
  C.H. Atwood....................................................Brown.
  Fred Rearick ...................................................Cass.
  Allen J. Hill...................................................Cass.
  David Epler.....................................................Cass.
  James A. Dick...................................................Cass.
  Samuel Christey.................................................Cass.
  T.J. Clark................................................Champaigne.
  James Morrow .............................................Champaigne.
  H.M. Vandeveer.............................................Christian.
  J.H. Clark.................................................Christian.
  S.S. Whitehed..................................................Clark.
  H.H. Peyton....................................................Clark.
  Phillip Dougherty..............................................Clark.
  A.M. Christian..................................................Clay.
  Stephen B. Moore...............................................Coles.
  Dr. Wickersham .................................................Cook.
  G.S. Kimberly...................................................Cook.
  S. Corning Judd...............................................Fulton.
  Charles Sweeny ...............................................Fulton.
  L. Walker...................................................Hamilton.
  M. Couchman..................................................Hancock.
  M.M. Morrow..................................................Hancock.
  J.M. Finch...................................................Hancock.
  Dennis Smith.................................................Hancock.
  J.S. Rainsdell.............................................Henderson.
  A. Johnson.................................................Henderson.
  Ira R. Wills...................................................Henry.
  Chas. Durham...................................................Henry.
  Morrison Francis...............................................Henry.
  J.B. Carpenter.................................................Henry.
  J. Osborn....................................................Jackson.
  G.W. Jeffries.................................................Jasper.
  G.H. Varnell...............................................Jefferson.
  Wm. Dodds..................................................Jefferson.
  J.M. Pace..................................................Jefferson.
  James Sample..................................................Jersey.
  O.W. Powell...................................................Jersey.
  M.Y. Johnson...............................................Jo Davies.
  David Shean................................................Jo Davies.
  M. Simmons.................................................Jo Davies.
  Louis Shisler..............................................Jo Davies.
  Thomas McKee................................................... Knox.
  J.F. Worrell..................................................McLean.
  E.D. Wright...................................................Menard.
  Edward Lanning ...............................................Menard.
  Robert Halloway ..............................................Mercer.
  Robert Davis..............................................Montgomery.
  Thomas Grey...............................................Montgomery.
  W.J. Latham...................................................Morgan.
  J.O. S. Hays..................................................Morgan.
  J.W. McMillen.................................................Morgan.
  D. Patterson ...............................................Moultrie.
  Dr. Kellar..................................................Moultrie.
  G.D. Read ......................................................Ogle.
  W.W. O'Brien..................................................Peoria.
  Peter Sweat...................................................Peoria.
  Jacob Gale....................................................Peoria.
  P.W. Dunne....................................................Peoria.
  John Fuller...................................................Peoria.
  John Francis..................................................Peoria.
  C.H. Wright.................................................. Peoria.
  John Oug......................................................Putnam.
  M. Richardson.................................................Shelby.
  M. Shallenberger...............................................Stark.
  J.B. Smith.................................................Stevenson.
  J.L. Carr.................................................Vermillion.
  John Donlar...............................................Vermillion.
  Wm. S. Moore...............................................Christian.
  B.S. Morris.....................................................Cook.
  W.C. Wilson.................................................Crawford.
  L.W. Onell..................................................Crawford.
  Dickins ..................................................Cumberland.
  J.C. Armstrong ...............................................Dewitt.
  C.H. Palmer...................................................Dewitt.
  B.T. Williams................................................Douglas.
  Amos Green.....................................................Edgar.
  R.M. Bishop....................................................Edgar.
  W.D. Latshaw.................................................Edwards.
  Levi Eckels..................................................Fayette.
  Dr. Bassett..................................................Fayette.
  T. Greathouse................................................Fayette.
  Chas. T. Smith...............................................Fayette.
  N. Simmons......................................................Ford.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Great North-Western Conspiracy in All Its Startling Details" ***

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