Friday, October 16, 2009

Civil War Secret Societies.

These page is on the secret societies at the time of the civil war, as the information is so large I will not give any information on them. As this site is all about surnames I will limit my research to the men or women that belong to these societies. When any person is arrested or put on trial I will tell you. There may be more information on some of this manes, so if you see a name of interest let me know and I will be glad to look him or her up.

Important note. I have thousands of names at this site, when asking about a name from this page or any other pages at this site, please give the ( Title of the page ), for without it I may not be able to help you. My address can be found in my profile.

Secret Societies of the Civil War.

1. American Knights.
2. Sons of Liberty.
3. Heroes of America.
4. Southern Independence Association.
5. Knights of the Black Cross.
6. Knights of the Golden Circle.
7. Union Relief Society.
8. Order of the Star.
9. Mutual Protection Society.
10. Circle of Honor.
11. Circle or Knights of the Mighty Host.
12. Sons of the South.

American Knights and or of the Sons of Liberty.

The American Knights would later be known as the Sons of Liberty.

1. William A. Bowles, State of Indiana.
2. Lambdin P. Millian, State of Indiana.
3. Stephen Horsey, State of Indiana.
4. Harrison H. Dodd, of Indiana.
5. Joshua F. Bullitt, of Kentucky.
6. J. A. Barrett, of Missouri.

These six men along with others were arrested and charged with conspiracy against the Government of the United States, these men faced 16, counts and were all found guilty and were sentence to hung.

The secret society of the Heroes of America.

1. Henry Questine, worked at a forage.
2. Daniel H. Hoge, a lawyer living on the North Fork of the Roanoke River.
3. William Harman and Captain Callahan, of the policy.
4. Captain John Francis, formerly of French's battery, now sheriff-elect of the county of Montgomery.
5. Horace Dean, the organization was first formed in the county by him.
6. William Burnett, a cabinetmaker.
7. Randall Cardin, and initiating officer, who lives on the Pepper's Ferry road.
8. Captain John Francis.
9. David P. Hall.
10. William Childress.
11. Tom Childress was a justice of the peace and brother to William Childress.
12. Stephen Childress brother of William and Tom Childress.
13. Tom W. Terry a cooper and a violent Union man.
14. James Hight.
15. James Thompson was a violent Union man; said to be keeper of the poorhouse.
16. A. J. Crane.
17. H. K. Ellyson.
18. George Fellows.
19. John Camper.

Secret order, "Knights of the Golden Circle. "

St. Louis Mo.

1. John Taylor kept the Montgomery House on Broadway.
2. Green B. Smith, doing business at Numbers 64 North Main street.
3. Robert St. Clair, known as "Bob St. Clair."
4. Martin Clark brother-in-law, to Robert St. Clair.
5. Buck Carr.
6. Dr. W. T. Thornton, at the corner of Eighth near Broadway, Louisville, Ky.
7. David Brooks, a minister of the gospel, was president of Lodge No. ?
8. Abraham N. McGuire, vice president of Lodge No. ?
9. John Wallingford was secretary of Lodge No. ?
10. Doctor Beaumont.
11. John Ragsdale.
12. Doctor Bishop.
13. Rufus Maggot.
14. William Downing.
15. Cicero Downing, near New Markek, Platte County.
16. Hiram Hurst.
17. William Phelan.
18. Thomas Roberts, Buchanan County.
19. Lieutenant John Martin, Paw, Buchanan County, Mo.
20. Charles Spencer.
21. George Roberts, first.
22. Joseph White, Buchanan County.
23. E. Downing, Platte County.
24 George Rector
25. Esquire Willis.

Subordinates: Franklin Spencer, Thomas Squires, Alfred Squires, John Hendricks, William Wallingford, George Roberts, second, Calbert Brown, all living in Buchanan County; William Sharp, Roderick Sharp, John Lewis, Erastys Carter, Guy Brown, Green Thompson, second, John Brown, first, John Brown, second, John Brown, third, all living in Platte County; Samuel King, James Lane, John Ross, George Boatwright, John Lykins, first near the line of Platte and Buchanan Counties; J. Pepper, Luke West, John Lykins, second, Green Hackett, George Goldsberry, Georg Grantt, Platte County, John Gannt, Tuntz Miller, William Moore, John Moore.

Influential: Robert Thomas, first, Robert Thomas, second, John Whittington and brother, Buchanan County; William Allen, James Allen, Platte County.

Secret society Knights of the Golden Circle in Boston and other parts of New England.

1. Parker H. French, alias Carlisle Murray, alias Charles Maxy
2nd of November, 1861, an order was issued for his arrest, which was executed on or about the 6th of November, 1861, at Branford, Conn.

Secret society, name unknown at this time, it is a secret society organized between the Northern and Southern armies, the object of which is to deplete our ranks by desertion.

1. Private E. D. Meroney, Company D, Third Confederate Cavalry.

2. Lieutenant John F. Musgrove, conscripting officer, lives 5 miles from Blountsville, Ala. he gives passes to deserters good for twelve months.

3. Lieutenant Wilkerson, commanding rendezvous at Blountsville, gave Meroney three passes at pleasure.

3. Clark Livingston, enrolling officer, lives in Winston Country, Ala.;

4. James Ooten, enrolling officer, who belong to this league in North Alabama.

The following citizens and deserters from our army are numbers of the society.

1. Allen Reive (citizen), lives in Walker Country, Ala..
2. J. Martin (deserter), lives in Blount Country, Ala.
3. William Chamble (deserter, postmaster at Sapp's Cross-Roads, Walker Country, Ala.
4. K. Gambol (deserter), Yankee spy, Blount Country Ala.
5. John Gambol (deserter), Yankee spy, Blount Country, Ala.
6. Wesley Prentice (deserter), Yankee spy, Blount Country, Ala.
7. Joe Crutcher (conscript), Blount Country, Ala..
8. Polk Hillman (deserter) Winston Country, Ala.
9. George Baker (deserter), Winston Country, Ala.
10. Mrs. Murphy (Yankee rendezvous), Winston Country, Ala.

Mr. H. M. HOXIE, U. S. Marshal, Des Moines, Iowa: States that the Knights of the Golden Circle, is now entitled Union Relief Society, it is said they have 42,000 members.


A restoration of the (Golden Circle) called Knights of America are rapidly and extensively being formed all over the State, the grand commander from Missouri is Charles L. Hunt, of Saint Louis. His office is at No. 46 North Fifth street, second floor.


Adolphe Mazureau is the president and leading man of a secret society known as the Southern Independence Association.


1862, Mr. Pierre Soule, ex-Member of Congress and former Minister to Spain, has been and still is engaged in plotting treason against the United States Government I ordered him to be arrested on the 28th day of the present month and to be held in safe confinement until such time as he could be safely transferred to Fort Warren, Mass., as a political prisoner. Pierre Soule is a member and the leader of a secret society known as the Southern Independence Association.

Joseph R. Flanders and F. D. Flanders, of Malone, in Franklin County, be longed to a secret society name unknown.


Secret society of rebels known as "The Sons of the South," "Sons of Liberty," "Knights of the Black Cross," &c.


Secret society of the Sons of Liberty.

1. Jacob Thompson is the rebel agent in Canada.

List of names of prominent members of Sons of Liberty in the several counties of the State of Illinois.

1. James W. Adams.


2. Thomas P. Bent. Bond.
3. Henry Wilton Do.
4. Thomas Hunter Do.


5. Martin Brooks Brown.
6. O. H. Atwood Do.
7. Fred Riauch Cass.
8. Allen J. Hill Do.
9. David Eplen Do.
10. James A. Dick Do.
11. Samuel Christy Do.


12. F. J. Clark Champaign.
13. James Morrow Do.


14. H. M. Vandin Christian.
15. William S. Do.


16. J. H. Clark Do.
17. S. S. Whitehead Clark.
18. H. H. Peyton Do.
19. Philip Do.


20. A. M. Christian Clay.
21. Stephen B. Coles.


22. Doctor Cook.

Wickersham Sweeny.

23. G. S. Kimberly Do.
24. B. S. Morris Do.
25. W. C. Wilson Crawford.
26. L. W. Odell Do.
27.--- Dickens Cumberland.
28. J. C. De Witt.
29. C. H. Polrun Do.
30. B. F. Williams Douglas.
31. Amos Green Edgar.
32. R. N. Bishop Do.
33. W. D. Litshan Edwards.
34. Levi Eckles Fayette.
35. Doctor Do.
36. T. Greathouse Do.
37. Charles T. Do.
38. N. Simis Ford.
39. Ed. Gill Do.
40. A. D. Duff Franklin.
41. B. F. Pope Do.
42. W. B. Kelly Do.
43. A. Perry Fulton.
44. J. H. Peilsal Do.
45. Corning Judd Do.
46. Charles Do.
47. L. Walker. Hamilton.
48. M. Conchman Hancock.
49. M. M. Monn Hancock


50. J. M. Finch Do.


51. W. C. Hooker Do
52. Dennis Smith Do.
53. J. S. Ramsdale Henderson.
54. A. Johnson Do.
55. Ira. R. Wells Henry.


56. Charles Durham Do.
57. Morrison Do.

Francis Kellar.

58. J. B. Carpenter Do.
59. J. Osburn Jackson.
60. J. W. Jeffries Jasper.
61. G. H. Varnell Jefferson.
62. William Dodds Do.
63. J. M. Pace Do.
64. James Sample Jersey.
65. O. N. Powell Do.
66. M. Y. Johnson Jo Davies.
67. David Sheam Do.
68. M. Simmens Do.


69. Louis Sheiler Do.
70. Thomas M. Ker Knox.
71. E. D. Helen Do.
72. J. M. Mihelow Do.
73. James Delhrage Do.
74. E. Elsworth Do.
75. D. H. Morgan Lawrence.


76. E. D Norton Logan.
77. A. M. Miller Do.


78. R. J. Hously Macoupin.


79. Dr. T. M. Hope Madison.
80. H. K. S. O. Marion.


81. S. R. Carrigan.
82. John Burns Marshall.


83. P. M. Janney Do.


84. C. M. Baker Do.


85. R. Smithson Do.


86. J. R. Taggart Do.
87. J. Haringhoost Mason.
88. J. S. Chamblin Do.
89. J. W. Mathews McDonough.
90. J. C. Thompson Do.
91. Thomas A. Do.

Martain McCartney.

92. William H. Do.


93. R. Cassell McLean.


94. J. E. Springer Do.
95. J. F. Morrell Do.
96. E. D. Wright Menard.


97. Edward Menard
98. Robert Mercer.
99. Robert Davis Montgomery.
100. Thomas Grey Do.
101. W. J. Latham Morgan.
102. J. O. S Hays Do.
103. J. W. Do.
104. D. Patterson Moultrie.
105. Doctor Do.
106. G. D. Read Ogle.
107. W. W. O'Brien Peoria.
108. Peter Saut Do.
109. Jacob Gale Do.
110. P. W. Dume Do.
111. John Fuller Do.
112. John Francis Do.
113. C. H. Wright Putnam.
114. John Ong Do.
115. T. Alexander Do.
116. W. H. G. Do.
117. H. B. Keys Do.
118. E. S. Wilson Richland.
119. J. W. Barrett Sangamon.
120. W. T. Barrett Do.
121. Jacob Epler Do.
122. B. B. Piper Do.
123. W. M. Do
124. E. Edmonston Schuyler.
125. P. L. Do.
126. J. Do.
127. J. C. Fox Do.
128. J. N. Ward Do.
129. G. W. Metz Do.
130. F. B. Shelby.
131. Reuben Do.
132. M. Do.
133. M. Stark.
134. J. B. Smith Stephenson.
135. J. L. Carr Vermilion.
136. John Doulen Do.
137. W. Friend Wabash
138. C. Z. Landis Do.
139. J. B. Warren.
140. N. K. Poofer Do.
141. JNO. Do.
142. G. W. Aiken Williamson.
143. R. M. Hundley Do.
144. C. R. Woodford.

Harrison H. Dodd, citizen of Indiana, was tried in September, 1864.

Charges: 1. Conspiracy against the United States, 2. Affording aid and comfort to rebels against the authority of the United States. 3. Inciting insurrection. 4. Disloyal practices.
5. Violation of the laws of war.
He was grand commander of the Sons of Liberty in Indiana.

On the 7th of October, 1864, the eleventh day of the trial, it was announced by the judge-advocate that the accused had made his escape from the mitigated confinement which he had given his word to respect, and could not be found. The judge-advocate moved the court to proceed at once to judgment in prisoner's absence, and rested his case on the evidence already in. The counsel for the accused opposed the motion, but the commission overruled his objection, and having first convicted Dodd on all the charges and specifications, in which the evidence fully supported them, sentenced him to be hung.

November 7, 1864.

Arrested Buck Morris, treasurer of the Sons of Liberty.


On the night of Monday, November 14, the following-named persons members of the Sons of Liberty, were arrested, viz; Obadiah Jackson, grand senior; Charles W. Patten, member of State council; William Felton, tyler of door-keeper; James Gearry, a dangerous member; Richard T. Semmes, nephew to Pirate Semmes; Dr. E. W. Edwards, who harbored Colonel Marmaduke; all of whom remain in custody. On the 15th instant a young Englishman from Canada, under British protection papers, named Mongham, was arrested, who proved to be a messenger between Jacob Thompson, Captain Hines, Brigadier-General Walsh, and the guerrilla, Colonel Jessee, of Kentucky.

1864, arrests were made during that night: Brigadier General Charles Walsh, of the Sons of Liberty, Judge Buckner S. Morris, treasurer of the Sons of Liberty at his house, Numbers 6. Washington street. Patrick Dooley, secretary of the Temple, in this city, was arrested

Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi Secretary, of the Sons of Liberty.


June 6, 1865, tried, jointly with Charles Walsh, Buckner S. Morris, Vincent Marmaduke, Charles T. Daniel, G. St. Leger Grenfel, and Benjamin M. Anderson, for conspiring with one Captain Hines, alias Doctor Hunter, of the Confederate Army.
All of the Sons of Liberty.

CHICAGO, November 14, 1864.

Last night arrested Patrick Dooley, secretary of Sons of Liberty

Members of the Order of Heroes of America.

1. John Gardner.
2. John Hamilton, the sheriff of the county, was a member of the order.
3. Harrison Bowman.
4. William Dorton
5. E. B. Petrie, from Forsyth
6. Linville Price, deserter from the Thirty-fourth North Carolina Regiment, from Ashe County, N. C.

John C. Brain was arrested at Michigan City, Ind., early in September, 1861, charged with being a spy in the service of the rebels, a member of the disloyal secret of organization known as the Knights of the Golden Circle and an officer in the rebel army.

Originally known in certain localities as the Mutual Protection Society, the Circle of Honor, or the Circle or Knights of the Mighty Host, but more widely as the Knights of the Golden Circle.

Knights of the Golden Circle.

The first supreme commander of the order was P. C. Wright, of New York, editor of the New York News, who was in May last placed in arrest and confined in Fort Lafayette. His successor in office was Vallandigham, who was elected at the annual meeting of the supreme council in February last. Robert Holloway, of Illinois, is represented to have acted as lieutenant-general, or deputy supreme commander, during the absence of Vallandigham from the country. The secretary of state chosen at the last election was Doctor Massey, of Ohio. In Missouri the principal officers were Charles L. Hunt, grand commander; Charles E. Dunn, deputy grand commander, and Green B. Smith, grand secretary. Since the arrest of these three persons (all of whom have made confessions which will be presently alluded to) James A. Barrett has, as it is understood, officiated as grand commander. He is stated to occupy also the position of chief of staff to the supreme commander. The general commander in Indiana, H. H. Dodd, is now on trial at Indianapolis by a military commission for "conspiracy against the Government," "violation of the laws of war," and other charges. The deputy grand commander in that State is Horace Heffren, and the grand secretary, W. M. Harrison. The major-generals are W. A. Bowles, John C. Walker, L. P. Milligan, and Andrew Humphreys.

The other leading members of the order in that State are Doctor Athon, state secretary, and Joseph Ristine, state auditor. The grand commander in Illinois is --- Judd, of Lewistown; and b. B. Piper, of Springfield, who is entitled grand missionary of the State, and designated also as a member of Vallandigham's staff, is one of the most active members, having been busily engaged throughout the summer in establishing temples and initiating members. In Kentucky, Judge Bullitt, of the court of appeals, is grand commander, and, with Dr. U. F. Kalfus and W. R. Thomas, jailer in Louisville, two other of the most prominent members, has been arrested and confined by the military authorities. In New York, Dr. R. F. Stevens, the chief secretary of the McClellan Minute Guard, is the most active ostensible representative of the order.

Members of the Knights of the golden circle.

1. William Douglas.
2. Charles L. Hunt.
3. Isaiah Butler.
4. David C. Wattles.
5. Nelson Yarber, charged with being the secretary and treasurer of the organization of the Knights of the Golden Circle.
6. J. H. Edwards.

Updated September 16, 2010.

I received this information from Anneliese, Kennedy, who I would like to thank for a interesting look into the family.

Mr. Segelquist, I was interested to find the above-titled website. In it you mention a "Secret society, name unknown at this time, it is a secret society organized between the Northern and Southern armies, the object of which is to deplete our ranks by desertion." One of the names mentioned is James Ooten, enrolling officer. I had found the reference in Confederate papers to this society a few years ago, and I believe this James Ooten is actually James M. Wooten, my great-grandfather. It was always family tradition that James had been a spy for the Union during the Civil War. He was a resident of Winston County at the opening of the war, and lived later in Blount Co., in and near Blountsville. His obituary stated that he had been a member of the Republican party from its inception, "because he truly believed in the principles of the party". Also, there were no Ootens or Hootens in Winston, Walker or Blount counties in 1860 or 1870, and my grandfather and his mother were the only Wootens in those counties until his children grew up. Following the war, James was appointed US postmaster, and held that position in Blountsville and other towns in northern Alabama until just prior to his death. (His wife and mother also served as postmasters.) There was also a town named for him, but Wooten, Alabama now no longer exists except for one kudzu-covered building, which the family visited during a reunion two years ago. James was able to swear to his mother-in-law's (Nancy McPherson) loyalty to the Union in the 1870s when she applied for an 1812 widow's pension based on her husband's service in the War of 1812. For these reasons, I believe he is the individual named in that secret society.


KGC Research and Archive said...

Thank you for this expansive list! I have reposted it in its entirety with link and credit back to you at our forum on K.G.C. research at

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