previous next


Systematic work.

Cole went about his work systematically and skilfully. He established himself at Sandusky under the guise of a wealthy oil speculator of Titusville, Pa., and organized the Mount Hope Oil Company. Judge Filmore, of Buffalo, being elected president, and Cole secretary. The day the Major reported to Jake Thompson he received $60,000 in gold, part of which was deposited in a bank at Sandusky, to Cole's credit. Accounts were also kept in Philadelphia with Drexel & Co., in the name of John Bell, and at Belmont, N. Y. The Confederacy had ample means in its secret service, one authority placing the amount at $86,000,000.

With such comfortable bank accounts to his credit, Major Cole at once took rank as a substantial business man. He became noted for his good dinners, his fine brands of cigars, and the excellent quality of his wines. He assiduously courted the friendship of the officers of the man-of-war Michigan. In Sandusky he was known as a jolly good fellow. He managed to have two Confederates enlisted as seamen on board the Michigan, and ten were enlisted as soldiers and stationed for duty on Johnson's Island. By this means he kept thoroughly posted as to what was going on inside the lines of the enemy's stronghold.

Associated with Cole was John Yates Beall, a native of West Virginia, and a college-bred man. When the war broke out Beall was the owner of a large plantation in Jefferson county, W. Va., and was estimated to be worth nearly $2,000,000. He organized Company G, Second West Virginia Infantry, which was afterwards a part of the ‘Stonewall Brigade.’ Beall was a man of unquestioned bravery.

Another character who played an important part was Annie Davis, an English woman, who acted as a messenger between Cole and Jake Thompson.

On the morning of September 19, Cole had his plans for striking the final blow all complete. He left Detroit for Sandusky, where he had arranged to dine with the officers of the Michigan on board the ship that evening. The wine was to be drugged, and Beall, at a given signal, was to attack the man-of-war from a steamer which was to be seized that same day. Just before he left Detroit, Major Cole sent the following telegram to Major Hinds' assistant, Charlie Walsh, of Chicago:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
C. H. Cole (8)
John Yates Beall (4)
Jake Thompson (2)
Charlie Walsh (1)
Tom Hinds (1)
Filmore (1)
Drexel (1)
Annie Davis (1)
John Bell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 19th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: