Saturday, August 15, 2009

Civil War Detectives

We all know what a detective is and how they worked by watching TV, but what about the detectives of the Civil War? They were a different kind of detective at that time and most all were under the control of the government, there were the detectives that worked for the army and navy then there was the secret service and the internal revenue service. Both the North and South had detectives, in fact there were so many you could find one on about any street corner of any major city. Today by watching detective shows we know a lot worked under cover and some under deep cover. It was the same at the time of the civil war but then they were called spy’s and were tried as such.

Being that this service was so secretive one agent wasn’t known to another, and as there were so many undercover agent they were arresting each other. These detectives or undercover agents were unsigned to secret society, church’s, hotels, ships and about any place a group of people gathered. When one went out he or she always had to be careful who they spoke too and what they said even if it was in jest or you could find yourself under arrest.

Although the Detective Service was a good idea there were many problems with these agency there was the lack of communication between each other, when one state agency sent detectives to another state that agency was to inform the other state agency, but a lot of the time this don’t happen. Then there was the problem with the detectives themselves, it was a standing order that when ever a detective came to town he was to report to the General Office of Detectives of that town or state, but this rarely happen.

Now as with any agencies there were the good and the bad within the agency, some detectives thought they could get away with anything, because they worked for the government, some would steal, rob, take bribes and even murder in the name of the law, but these few would soon find they were not above the law.

I have put together a list of detectives, although it is a small list, as it was stated earlier this agency was so secretive that not to many names are known. Even in the official reports the names were left out in case the reports were intercepted by the enemy. One can find some names in reports and from trial transcripts but those are few.

Note. This is all the information I will have on thses men the rest is up to you to research.

1. John T. Meale, was a detective for the provost marshal of Washington.

2. James E. Young, of Wisconsin rendered valuable services as a spy and detective in the States of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota, for which he was never paid.

3. George Wormald, was never paid for he services.

4. John F. Neale, Was injured while employed as a detective by the provost marshal at Washington.

5. B. B. Mitchell, was employed as a detective for the purpose of breaking up horse-stealing in the Indian territory, and was never paid.

6. J. W. Pomfrey, was never paid as a detective for the government.

7. Pardon Worsley, worked for the for secret service and never paid.

8. Matthew Maguire, was a detective of Liverpool and was never paid.

9. James W. Butler, was a detective but was never paid.

10. George Kingsley, worked as a detective in Kansas and Missouri.

11. J. G. Losee, worked as a detective in Kansas and Missouri.

12. John S. Young, as a sergeant of the New York detectives.

13. Robert King, a detective of New York, also Washington and Ohio.

14. G. D. Humphrey, was to be appointed detective at Emporia Kansas.

15. Edwin Tucker, was to be appointed detective at Eureka Kansas.

16. S. P. Coffin, was a detective and was assassinated.

17. John Caphart, detective at Castle Thunder.

18. M. M. Gay, was a U. S. detective, employed by Lieutenant-Colonel Dick, provost-marshal-general of Missouri

19. Lafayette C. Baker was a provost-marshal of the War Department, known as a detective, Special Agent for the War Department.

20. Gustav Brown, detective officer for the Southern District of California.

Although the following four men were Detectives I could not find any information to tell me what District or branch of the service they worked for.

21. Robert B. Crow.

22. J. F. Schaffer.

23. George W. Thomas.

24. William Causey.

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