Back to top

George W.L. Bickley, notorious Copperhead and founder of the the Knights of the Golden Circle, dies in Baltimore.

George Washington Lafayette Bickley, woodcut, 1865, detail

George Washington Lafayette Bickley, the mysterious but notorious Copperhead activist and Confederate surgeon who spent three years in a federal prison during the Civil War, died at his home in Baltimore on this day. Virginia born, he was imprisoned as a preventative measure, largely because of his reputation. He claimed to be one of the founders in the pre-war years of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a Southern organization with the goals of expanding the number of slave states by "filibustering" into Mexico and Central America. At the end of the war, he was released from his long imprisonment without trial but died at the early age of forty-four.  (By John Osborne) 

Source Citation: 

"Obituaries," The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1867 ... (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1870), 572.