Knights of the Golden Circle.
Below we give a copy of an affidavit, showing the nature and objects of the "Knights of the Golden Circle." It was sent from Jacksonville, by the gentleman at whose instance it was taken, to the editor of the Jerseyville Union, and was subsequently published. This gentleman seems to think that its publication would do good and says that he has other corroborative evidence of the truth of the statements therein made which leads him to believe them true. The affidavit confirms the fact of the existence of the Knights, and also establishes the truth of all the charges brought against them by loyal men. Ceaseles vigilance is the price of liberty, and we cannot watch too closely the machinations of these dangerous men.
Scott County, State of Illinois — s. s. — On this 2d day of December, before me Wm. H. McConnell, an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said County, personally appeared George D. Mayes, and who being be me duly sworn, according to law, on his oath deposes and says that he belongs to company "B," 97th Regiment Ills. Vols., that in the early part of September, 1863, he was at work for and boarding with Wm. Thompson, that he told said William that he was a deserter, that said William employed him well knowing that he was a deserter, that while affiant was so in the employ of said William, he solicited affiant to join an organization which he told the affiant was a "Democratic Organization," that in order to induce affiant to join said "Organization" he told affiant that the object of it was to protect deserters, that they got all the deserters they could to join it, that all the deserters around there belonged to it, that if affiant would join, they would protect him, that if any Provost Marshal should come to arrest him, they would defend him, or help him to get away. Affiant says that a few days after said William had so solicited affiant to join said "Organization," and at the persuasion of said William he (affiant) did join the same at a meeting thereof, held at the house of John Thompson, that said John was one of the officers of said meeting and helped to initiate affiant. Affiant says that, the time he was initiated, he was told by officers and members of the meeting that the "Organization" was the order of the "Knights of the Golden Circle," and that the meeting was a meeting of a "Lodge" of that order. — He also says sometime prior to said meeting he had told said John that he (affiant) was a deserter aforesaid, that said John told affiant he had better join the "Organization," as he would be protected from arrest, that the object of the "Organization" was to protect deserters, that all the deserters round there were members of the same, that said John well knew that affiant was a deserter when he so helped to initiate him. Affiant says that there were in the Lodge the night he was initiated said John Thompson, William Thompson, Isaac Fisher (deserter,) James Gardenhie (deserter,) Isaac Strait (deserter.) (Here affiant gave the names of numbers more that were in said Lodge at that time, whose names are not now given to the public.) Affiant says that a certain Doctor (name withheld) was in said Lodge that night, who stated in a speech before it, that they would soon hear a noise like thunder, and when they came to find out what it was it would be the Copperheads firing on the Capital with Yates in it; that on said Doctor's motion money was raised to buy surgical instruments with for the use of said Doctor as Surgeon of the Lodge in case of a fight — said Doctor also stated that arms were coming from Chicago for the use of members of the Lodge.
(Signed,) GEO. D. MAYES.
Attest: H. H. HOWARD,
Deputy Provost Marshal 10th Dist. Ill.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2d day of December, 1863.
WM. H. MCCONNELL, J. P.