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 South’s 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 haven’t I read about them in my history books, or for that matter even heard about them. That’s 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.
should you stumble upon one of these caches. They were 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 novelist 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.
*"It is Important to remember about such secret organisations is the fact that only the men at the top know the truth..."*
So the KGC have dispanded but what happend to their treasure and the maps leading to it?
*What to do if you find a Treasure Map*
Knights of the Golden Circle Treasure Maps of the KGC and the on-sight signs include many objects other than animals. If it is an object, consider what the object does. What is the item used for? Is it the item a tool? What does that tool do? This could give you a clue for what they are saying but you must consider the context. Always take a series of photographs of each item and place in the picture an indicator for direction and an indicator for size. That way you can sit next to the fire on a cold winter night and examine the object and understand the direction it points and the size it is. Many times there is much information in the measurements of each part of the object.
Now examine the item (non-animal) for its use. It if were say a knife, look to see where it is pointing but watch carefully for any reversal signs. The hilt might even divide the treasure and the point show the direction. The lengths may indicate how far to the two treasures. You see, a knife is designed to cut or divide. And although that may not be the use of your knife, it could be. You must read it all within the context. Spanish signs were usually incorporated into a KGC site. Many times the signs were merged to confuse a Spanish sign interpreter. .
Source - Treasure Maps of the Knights of the Golden Circle, Article 15, Map Signs
©2010, Dr. John Melancon
*Potential Burial Locations*
*Old Mill Sites*: It's said that KGC members were fond of burying treasure caches in and near sites that could be easily remembered and sought out again later. These locations included old grain or grist mill sites (and adjoining terrain), which were often used as cache burial locations.
*Smelters or Furnaces*: In days past, smelters and furnaces were commonly known and easily recognized focal points for folks living within a specific geographical area. These included not only furnaces or smelters for precious metals like gold and silver, but also included coal or coke ovens as well as charcoal ovens. According to a number of KGC researchers, KGC members or "Sentinels" buried treasure around or near sites such as these.
*Cattle Trails: *Cattle trails can be found throughout the Plains states, and the West and Southwest in general. The KGC buried caches along cattle trails, especially those that were well known at the time or were the most prominent or frequently used. Here's a tip for you, however: Don't get sidetracked by focusing on your average, cattle-going-to-water type of trail....place your focus instead on those trails where large numbers of cattle were driven, regardless of direction (for example, the old Chisholm Trail).
*Livery Stables and Blacksmith Shops: *Sites such as these were very prominent in the day-to-day life and society of the 1800s. Often, these two types of sites were combined in many rural communities of the day. If you're able to pinpoint the location of one of these as a potential KGC cache location focus your search efforts on the area immediately adjacent to or near the old livery or smithy, not inside the perimeter of the old structures themselves.
*Railroads:* Old railroad lines covered very large expanses of territory. When you're pursuing a KGC cache lead along railways consider the following points: Rights-of-way, water towers, switches or switch stations, and so on. Remember, something on or along that old railroad line was a key visual clue for the burial (and recovery) of KGC treasure caches.
*Coach Stations or Traveler's Inns/Taverns:* These sorts of early "motels" or lay-over locations were often used by KGC members because of their "strategic" locations along roads, trails, or rail lines. Again, your search efforts should be focused on the immediate vicinity and not the inside or atop the old structure sites themselves.
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.