The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging

was hunting for. We then rode some distance together and dismounted
when he informed me that If I desired to receive any communications
from him I would be required to take an oath of secrecy. I requested
him to proceed. He then administered to me the following oath:
"You do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God, that you
will forever keep secret the information now about to be commu-
nicated to you, so help you, God."
He then continued-"My friend-I propose to tell that ours is a
secret organization existing in this country, and it is believed by all
good men to be necessary for the protection of life and property. Its
greatest good may not be realized or appreciated for awhile; but when
the northern army comes into this country, and it most assuredly will
in a very short time, this organization will be the means of saving the
lives and the property of those attached to it 8 able to give the signs,
grips and passwords."
I then asked him questions generally, concerning the origin and
main objects of the organization. He replied that the Order had its
origin in the necessity for organized resistance to the Confederate
Conscript Law, and all laws passed by the so-called Confed. States
without authority of the United States, and for the safety and pro-
tection of those who maintained the indestructibility of the Union.
And sustained all means and measures of coercing the seceded states
into obedience and subjection to the national authority, and that
having conferred with military commandants in the Federal Army,
the order through them had been circulated far and wide. That the
design of the Organization was to avoid fighting against the North
and on the first opportunity to rise in masse and fight the rebels and
drive them out of the country and take their property. He then in-
structed me [in] the duties and obligations of the members and gave
me, in detail, the plan of the order, saying in substance that each and
every member of the order should recognize each other as brothers,
and when any member should be arrested by the local authorities, all
the other members were required to rally to his rescue, and set him
at liberty.
He said that every member had more or less of ammunition, and
it was the intention to organize to [sic] companies and seize some
public ammunition then deposited at Gainesville and at Sherman, in
Grayson County-that a time had been once fixed to capture the
ammunition but it was concluded to postpone it for awhile. He said
the ammunition was watched very closely by members of the order,
and that it was impossible for the rebels to remove or conceal it. He
said that they intended to act on one of two plans; first if the Northern
Army came near and the militia should be ordered out from the border
counties, they were to march into the ranks organized into companies
and move on cheerfully until the ammunition should be issued, and

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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 April 18, 2014.