The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a secret society formed in 1854 by George W.L. Bickley, an Indiana Doctor. The original objective of the KGC was to annex a "golden circle" of territories in Mexico, Central America, Confederate States of America, and the Caribbean as slave states, to be led by Maximilian I of Mexico.

As abolitionism in the United States increased after the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, the members proposed a separate confederation of slave states, with U.S. states south of the Mason-Dixon line to secede and to align with other slave states to be formed from the "golden circle". In either case, the goal was to increase the power of the Southern slave-holding upper class to such a degree that it could never be dislodged.

As War loomed, several Northern states, such as New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa had a strong KGC following.  The KGC was so strong in New York that the state was expected to secede from the Union (per John Surratt’s Diary). Maryland was a bastion for the KGC.  It has been estimated that their were over 3,000 KGC members in Baltimore alone.

Some known notable (exposed) KGC members:

-John Wilkes Booth

-John Surratt

-Col. George Proctor Kane (former Police Marshal)

-Franklin Pierce (former President)

-Jefferson Davis

-Gen. John C. Brekinridge (also former Vice President USA)

-Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard

-Gen Joseph E. Johnston

-Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston

-Brig. Gen. Albert Pike

-DR. Samuel Mudd

-John Floyd (Secretary of War)

-Gen. Paul Semmes

-Jesse James

800px-Knights of the Golden Circle History of Seccession book, 1862

 Co “D” 2nd MD INF C.S.A. 2014