The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details
I. Windslow Ayer

Part 2 out of 3

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, habitue 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.


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