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[258] About this time the Democratic convention was held in Chicago, and it was at first the intention to take advantage of this meeting to make the attack. Four thousand Confederates were in Chicago during the session of the convention, waiting for the word to strike the blow, but Early's delay in attacking the capital caused a postponement of the plans in the West. This delay and the miscarriage of the plot at Johnson's Island saved the North.

The man who figured most proliniently in this movement was Major C. H. Cole, a man of wonderful coolness, nerve and courage. He was barely of medium height, but his frame was wellknit and muscular, and his cold gray eye indicated firmness and daring. An estimate of his reckless bravado may be formed when it is known that shortly after his capture, upon being arraigned before Major-Generals John A. Dix, Heintzelman and Hitchcock, he attempted to drop a lighted cigar into the powder magazine of the Michigan, and blow all on board, himself inclusive, into eternity. This was the man selected by Jake Thompson to strike the keynote in the great conspiracy.

Cole was a member of the Fifth Tennessee Confederate Regiment, of which his brother was colonel. He was called to Richmond, and there assigned to the secret service, with orders to report to Jake Thompson, formelly Secretary of the Interior tender Buchalllan, but at that time supposed to be the Confederate leader, with he; adquarters in Canada. Major Cole was given command of the Department of Ohio, with headquarters at Sandusky. Major Tom Hinds, afterwards a judge at Bowling Green, Ky., was in command in Illinois and located at Chicago, while Major Castleman had Indiana, with headquarters at Centralia. At all these places Northern allies were working in conjunction with the Confederates. The plan was to make the attack on Johnson's Island, Camp Douglas, Camp Chase, and Camp Morton simultaneously, on Monday, September 19, 1864. Major Cole's part was to capture the Michigan, release the prisoners on the island, cut all the telegraphs wires, seize a train, run down to Columbus, help release, the prisoners at Camp Chase, return to Sandusky and establish temporary headquarters of the Confederate Department of the Northwest. General Trimble, of Maryland, who was ranking officer on Johnson's Island, was to have been made commander-in-chief. Major Hinds, of Chicago, in addition to attacking Camp Douglas, was assigned to capture one of the iron steamers that ran between Grand Haven and Milwaukee.

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C. H. Cole (4)
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September 19th, 1864 AD (1)
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