The Knights of the Golden Circle was a secret order, comprised of Southern Sympathizers during the Civil War. Their members were known as Copperheads. During that time of the War between the States, the word Copperhead, was considered a sinister word. It was a word used to cover all groups of Peace Societies and even militant groups that were working to overthrow the government. At one time they had been called traitors to the Union.
Innocent bystanders thought they were simply people fighting for freedom of action and the pursuit of their own convictions.
The KGC members were a feared people. They were organized in 1854, with their headquarters in Cincinnati. They had secret symbols, passwords and other conspiratorial paraphernalia. They created real violence for many years. The management of the Knights, spread like wildfire all through the South. Their many rituals turned quickly to violence and conquest as they attempted to establish a slave empire encompassing Florida in the Southern United States, the West Indies, Mexico and parts of Central America.
This was an area comprised of nearly 2400 square miles, -hence the name Golden Circle.
The Knights had hoped to control the commerce of the area and have a virtual monopoly on the worlds supply of tobacco, sugar in the hopes of the Southís rising to power again in the future. To accomplish this mission, meant finding the ability to accumulate millions of dollars, to include gold coins, goods and weaponry, and have it set aside for later use. The Knights buried their accumulated possessions in elaborate man-made mine shafts, in many of the Southern States, and also included several hidden caches in the Western United States. South Dakota is one of those states. It is estimated that 4 million dollars in gold, weapons and the like was hidden in the western part of South Dakota. Several of these caches have been located, but many still remain as an unfound secret. There have been lives lost in the attempt of recovering these caches. The majority of these caches employ unique death traps to keep them out of the hands of treasure hunters. There are several words and statements that have been used in reference the KGC. They were known to be the wealthiest and the deadliest, most secretive underground organization in the history of the world. They were closely associated with the Ku Klux Klan. So you wonder, why havenít I read about them in my history books, or for that matter even heard about them. Thatís a hard question to answer. The stories may have been purposely omitted, but why? It is known that the vast amount of money and valuables these die hard southern rebels were accumulating was for the purpose of restarting the Civil War, but it never happened. Instead, most all the wealth that they had accumulated, still lies buried in many different spots throughout the United States. Some of these caches have been located, but many more are still secreted away. Jesse James, a devoted train robber, was a full fledged member of the KGC. They used many signs, clues, carvings and even Latin phrases, Code words and even buried gun barrels(pointing a certain direction). Animals carved in stone(especially Turtles), and tree trunks forced to point to a certain direction.
For further information try:
for a starter, and then
BE VERY CAREFUL
should you stumble upon one of these caches. They were so placed so as to cause the death of an unsuspecting treasure hunter.
Along with Jesse James other members included Jefferson Davis, Bedford Forrest, and William Quantrill (leader of the Confederate guerilla outfit Quantrill's Raiders, with whom James rode). Some believe the society was created by the notorious Albert Pike, the subject of many a Masonic conspiracy theory. The South did in fact have an extensive intelligence infrastructure and Albert Pike was a key figure in that intelligence network. The only real news here is the claim that Jesse James was a key figure within that intelligence community as well and of course, the business about The Knights of the Golden Circle.
The James Gang's train and bank robberies, it is claimed, were fundraising operations to finance the activities of the Knights of the Golden Circle, as well as to wreak general havoc with the plans of the Northern reconstructionists. James is also said to have been involved in supplying weapons and training to the Plains Indians, as a means of waging proxy war against the Union Army.
The Knights of the Golden Circle was "the most powerful subversive organization ever to operate within the United States." (Getler & Brewer, op. cit.) First, they schemed to have Abraham Lincoln elected president, so as to inflame the South and cause secession. Later, their subordinate, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated Abraham Lincoln and with KGC assistance, Booth escaped. (what was behind that?) The KGC did not officially disband until 1908.
According to Norma Cox, in her book, The New Spoilers, she has the 12 charter members of the Golden Circle as including Jefferson Davis, Bedford Forrest, Jesse James, and William Quantrill. Some say Albert Pike was the creator of the Knights of the Golden Circle, but Cox doubts it. "Important to remember about such secret organizations is the fact that only the men at the top know the truth..."
Unfortunately for our tale, The Knights of the Golden Circle are linked to the infamous Ku Klux Klan, an organization responsible for many hateful acts over the years