Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging
armies, and that within the last eight days he had sworn in and
initiated over fifty members.
I asked him if he had taken their names. He replied, "No; but
we know each other by the signs." He then drew from his pocket a
small blank book and showed me that they used dots, or characters
other than words, as he said, to avoid detection.
He then read from the book the obligations which bound them
to protect and defend each other at all times and under all circum-
stances, even unto death. He said they would not probably take up
arms against the State until the Northern army should come in, when
they were to rise and fight against the Secessionists, or fall in the rear
of the Federal army. He said that a new governor would soon be in-
augurated and take his seat in Austin-that Jim Lane"1 of Kansas was
talked of for the place, but that he thought Sam Houston would be
selected, as the most available man & popular with all parties.
I then inquired of him from what quarter the Northern army was
to come into Texas. He said from above this place, or from Kansas
and Galveston, the two divisions of the army to meet at Austin-
that there was a regular correspondence kept up between the Order
and the Federal army, the latter being well and fully posted as to the
strength and objects of their organization and the weakness of the
rebels, and that through the energy and influence of the Society, the
Northern army & our friends were informed that they might now
enter Texas in perfect safety.
Having spoken of "our friends," I asked him who were our friends?
He answered, "the Union men." I asked who were our enemies. He
answered the Southern secessionists. Having in the conversation used
the word "tories," I asked him who he called tories. He replied, the
secession party [of the] South. I asked him what would become of
them, in the event of the success of the order and the occupation of
the country by the Northern army. He said in reply that "when our
friends come in, if they should not submit, the last one of them would
He then informed me that he could give me signs, words and grips
by which I might know any member of the order, if I would consent to
be sworn again. He said he desired to swear me, and give me power
to swear in others. I declined for the want of time then, but told him
I would call again soon, and learn all about the organization.
81James Henry Lane (1814-1866) resigned from the United States Senate as a
Senator from the State of Kansas in 1861 to command a brigade of volunteers
as a brigadier general. Born in Indiana, he served as lieutenant governor of that
state and then as a representative in Congress before emigrating to the Territory
of Kansas in 1855. He was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln and an organizer
of the Republican Party.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed May 5, 2015.