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Title: The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details

Author: I. Windslow Ayer

Release Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8543]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on July 21, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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_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 hell.

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 prevail_.

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 Union.

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 sedition.

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 sword.

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

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 1860.

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

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 department.

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 Council.

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 spies.

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 last.

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

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 success?

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

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

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

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 command?

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



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

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 1864.

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 Order.

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 people.

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 democracy.



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 requisition.

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



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 control.

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 others.

[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 border.

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 authorities.



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

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 quickly.

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,

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

_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

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 uttered:

"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 secession!

"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 order.



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 very
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, LINCOLN AND

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:

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 HIS

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 about

"He blushed that such a felon should occupy the highest place in the gift
(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

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

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

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. MORRIS.

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

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 follows:

"_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 Commission.

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

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 it.

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

"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 address:

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

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 streets.

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

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 delegation:

"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. Sweet.

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.

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All Its Startling Details, by I. Windslow Ayer


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