War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0072 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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[Sub-inclosure Numbers 2.] Mr. H. M. HOXIE, U. S. Marshal, Des Moines, Iowa:

DEAR SIR: You may have an imperfect knowledge of the existence and workings of the Knights of the Golden Circle, now entitled Union Relief Society, but a statement of facts that can be proven, if necessary, will but strengthen your present knowledge, and may aid in accomplishing great good: A man that has gained membership of the above-named order, but that has the good of the country at heart and in view, in becoming a member has given me an insight into their organization, which I will give to you. They are formed, in the usual manner of secret societies, in every township throughout the State. Every four townships makes a sub-district. The secretaries of these four townships meet monthly to compare works and select one of their number to represent them at the county seat and report to the head man of the county, and receive instructions for the ensuing month. Each county is represented at a district meeting held at a selected point in this old Congressional district to report and transact business for a State meeting to be held at Des Moines between the 1st and 10th of April next, unless and emergency should demand a meeting sooner, or policy appoint one later. I will advise you of any change of time. The oath required to become a member is, to support the Constitution of the United States and of this State; to resist draft and all acts of the present Administration; to unite the Northwest with the South; to divulge none of the secrets or workings of the order, under penalty of death. Their passwords and signs are the same throughout the United States, Southern States included. They now claim 42,000 members in this State. They have a large quantity of arms at the residence of Mr. Warner, in Leon, Decatur County; also a large amount of ammunition at the same place at te store of a Mr. Hurst. Their ammunition and arms are got in Missouri, and there is at this time a Mr. McClelland, of Decatur County, after ammunition in Missouri. At one of their late meetings there was an order issued for the removal of a colored man in the lower part of Clarke County to Missouri. If not sent away, they would take by force. There was a load of arms sent from Decatur County to Madison County last week. There is an ample guard at each of their meetings. They have no regular night of meeting. They meet at such times and places as the surrounding circumstances demand. If any member thinks that by volunteering in the Federal Army he can promote the interests of the order he is at liberty to do so. And if at any time they wish to send a member into the army for the benefit of the order, they select such a one as they think best, and if agreeacate a defensive position at all times, but claim the right to utter their sentiments at all times and in all places. I will give you future movements as I become in possession of them.

Yours, truly,

PITTSBURG, March 13, 1863.


Secretary of War:

Can the colored men here raise a regiment and have their own company officers?