What in the early 1860s, before the Civil War was officially underway, as a result of the slave owner military forces firing on Fort Sumter, a racist Ku Klux Klan group was already attacking federal forts across the South. These attacks, though hidden in Texas and southern history, were the first aggressive actions taken in the coming war. This group was known as the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC). The KGC was dedicated to promoting southern rights, preserving slavery, and dedicated to creating a slave empire in a circle from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and the southern U.S. Centering in Havana, this empire would be some 2,400 miles in diameter.
Leaders of the K.G.C. argued that their empire “would have a virtual monopoly on the world’s supply of tobacco and sugar . . . and have the strength to preserve slavery in the South from constant attacks by northern Abolitionists.” Fortunately, these fanatical lunatics lost that opportunity when the slave owning system was crushed. In 1860, Elkanah Greer, an avowed racist, spoke at a Marshall, Texas rally and spoke of the “Foul breath of Abolitionism.” KGC offered troops if Lincoln were elected to defend the South and slavery. The KGC then called for secession from the Union, and plotted with southern governors to leave the Union if Lincoln and “black rule” succeeded. The KGC also plotted to take Federal forts across the country in the southern states and seize Federal property. The KGC plotted to seize Washington, DC to prevent the inauguration of Lincoln. Plots were also discovered to blow up the Capitol.
Meanwhile, Texas was hijacked by the KGC to secede from the Union. John “RIP” Ford, a KGC colonel, and Texas Ranger, was the slick ringleader of a quickly held convention to leave the Union. Fifty three percent of the delegates of the Texas convention to secede came from KGC strongholds. Sam Houston warned Union General Twiggs that KGC planned to attack the Federal arsenal, which is located in the King William area in San Antonio, but General Twiggs was a pro-slavery sympathizer. The convention voted 152 to 6 to leave the Union. Ben McCulloch then assembled a 400 man force of criminal renegades on the Salado Creek and was dubbed,“McCulloch’s Army of the Knights of the Golden Circle.”This army of racist bigots and criminals reached San Antonio, and on February 16, 1860, the U.S. Flag was hauled down and replaced by the Lone Star flag, which was raised by KGC men. Wait, there's more to discover about the Civil War in Texas and slavery.
What is the importance of all of this? Well, here is the ringer! George Nelson, an archaeologist and historian, and author of a well-done research book titled, “The Alamo: An Illustrated History,” found a telling piece of hidden history. He said, “One of the KGC units was called the ‘Company of Alamo Guards’ and was led by Capt. Edgar . . . . Charles T. Smith, a veteran of the Confederacy, was interviewed by the San Antonio Express newspaper in 1917, during the First World War. He stated he stood guard at the Alamo as part of Bill Edgar’s ‘Alamo Guards.’ When asked if the Alamo appeared any different during the Civil War than it does now, Mr. Smith said, ‘Yes, there were some changes. For instance, at that time there were some outside steps which led up the center of the building to the second floor. The steps ended in a platform. That platform was one of the old slave markets where Negroes were put up at auction. A stout, hardy Negro brought anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. The thin ones were not rated so high. Men brought bigger prices than women and boys because they could pick more cotton.”
Yet, another point! Years before the Civil War, Mexico abolished slavery in 1829 when Mexico’s black president, Vicente Guererro, issue an order abolishing the hated institution. General Santa Anna was not quite the bad guy slave owners said he was. After the Battle of the Alamo, and just ten days after the pro-slavery defenders were killed, General Santa Anna issued an order on March 20, 1836. According to George Nelson’s research, Santa Anna issued the following decree: “In compliance with said laws, the persons of all colored people, of both sexes, are from this moment declared free, and this whatever may be of nature of the contracts which bind them to their masters; should said contracts be, in a direct or indirect manner, contrary to the existing prohibitory laws of the Republic of Mexico and slave trade, in which case they shall be considered as null and of no value.”