Report of the Judge Advocate General on the “Order of American Knights,” or “Sons of Liberty.” A Western Conspiracy in Aid of the Southern Rebellion.
Perfidious designs in aid of the Southern rebellion
Civil War-time report on a Confederate conspiracy conducted by the “Order of American Knights” a.k.a. “Order of the Sons of Liberty.” This group grew out of the pre-war, pro-slavery secret society, the “Knights of the Golden Circle,” who wanted to establish a new slave-holding empire in the American South, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
The report was prepared by U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt and submitted to Secretary of War Edward M. Stanton. (Holt is noted for his prosecution of other conspirators—those who plotted the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.) Holt gives a full report on the history of the “Order of American Knights,” their organization and officers, its written principles, and, importantly, its armed force.
“Rumors circulated throughout the North during 1864 that Confederate sympathizers intended to free Southern prisoners at several prison camps… These freed prisoners would form the basis of a new Confederate army that would operate in the heart of the Union. Supposedly, General John Hunt Morgan, who had raided Ohio the previous year, would return to the state and assist this new army. The plot never materialized. General William Rosecrans, assigned to oversee the Department of Missouri, discovered the planned uprising and warned Northern governors to remain cautious. John Brough, Ohio’s governor, sent out spies to infiltrate the groups of sympathizers. These men succeeded and stopped the uprising before it could occur.”¹
Holt’s report notes that while the Confederate conspiracy’s leaders have been arrested and the group’s arms seized, “...it is still busied with its plottings against the Government, and with its perfidious designs in aid of the Southern rebellion”. (p16)
Description: Report of the Judge Advocate General on the “Order of American Knights,” or “Sons of Liberty.” A Western Conspiracy in Aid of the Southern Rebellion.
Washington [D.C.]: Government Printing Office, 1864. 16pp. Pamphlet. 9 x 5½ inches. Printed wrappers; stitched. Some wear and brief separation to wrappers along spine; previously folded into thirds, for mailing; good.
Note. 1. Order of American Knights - Ohio History Central accessed online.