Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More on the Confederate Treasury

This one might make all of you KGC hunters out there curious. You can thank my buddy in Tennessee for this one; he found the story you are about to read.

This information is from a New York Times newspaper article printed on September 30, 1883. The New York Times article tells of another article about to be published in the Atlanta, Georgia Constitution. This Georgia article is from an “anonymous” source that makes several references to “Yankees”, apparently in a very unflattering way.

Here is part of that article;

“According to the story now told, the Confederate treasure, in the early part of June, 1865, was kept in part in a store-house, part in the old bank, part at the station and the bullion in the cellar of a storehouse in Washington, Ga. It was guarded by a number of persons appointed by Jefferson Davis, and these persons, the new historian says, had stolen a good part of the gold. At this juncture a man named Wiseacre appeared in Washington with the authority to take the treasure to Richmond. He gathered together the bulk of the gold and bullion, placed it in wagons, and started for Richmond by way of Abbeville, S.C. accompanied by many of the same men who had watched the treasure in Washington, and who went along as guards. They went about five miles beyond Danbury, Ga. And camped for the night in a lot belonging to Mrs. Susan Moss.”

The article continues;

“A man whose names is indefinitely given as Capt. M-----, who had belonged to Gen. Vaughn’s brigade, gathered a band of his soldiers together, and at 10 o’clock at night he charged on the guard protecting the wagons. Capt. M---- was dressed in the uniform of a Union officer, and this fact was made use of to charge the robbery to the “Yankees.” The guard made but slight resistance, and the wagons were captured without firing a gun or a pistol. The boxes of gold and silver were broken open, and each man took as many double eagles and silver dollars as he could carry, and hastened away to hide it. Holes were dug in the ground by some of the men, while others hid their stolen treasure in the branches of trees, and still others sunk it in ponds, marking the places so that it could be found when the excitement sure to be caused by the robbery had died away. All night long the work of hiding went on, and only the gray dawn drove the robbers from the scene. The ground is said to have been literally covered with gold and silver coins.”

The article goes on to say that some of the robbers were captured and basically tortured until they gave up the location of the gold and silver they personally had taken. The anonymous source also states that he can’t accurately guess at the amount of gold and silver stolen but “he insists it was much less than has been stated in published stories.” He also says that some of the men guarding the treasure were in collaboration with the robbers. That to me sounds like an understatement at best!

Now here’s the kicker; according to the original and anonymous story teller, the men that were guarding the treasure in Washington before this Wiseacre guy shows up to move it had already stolen a large portion of the treasure before it ever left town. It is said that these guards collaborated with the robbers so that the wagon train would be robbed and the treasure scattered out everywhere. By having, and letting the wagon train get robbed then no one would know that a large amount of the Confederate treasury had already been looted prior to leaving Washington. If it happened this way then that’s not a bad plan to cover up an earlier theft.

Now for the questions; if it did happen this way then there ought to be lots of gold and silver coins still in the area of Mrs. Susan Moss’s property to find with a metal detector, right?

Also, if the Knights of the Golden Circle were said to have a large portion of the Confederate Treasury that they hid, would this mean the K.G.C was guarding it at Washington and actually stole it from the Confederates?

Is it more likely that some or all of this story is just that, a story? I’ll let you decide. There are lots of stories out there about what happened to the Confederate treasury and they all have different answers.

I’ve got another article sent to me by my buddy in Tennessee about the Confederate treasury. It talks about two million dollars in “specie” that went missing. The funny thing is the other article written in 1881 says the money was in Richmond when it disappeared and this article I just wrote about says it was in Washington, GA, on it’s way to Richmond when it disappeared. Hmmm?

I'll post more on the second article in a few days.

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