The Knights of the Golden Circle was an American secret society organized in the South in 1855 to promote slavery and to extend it, particularly into northern Mexico. Later, during the American Civil War, the society spread to Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana and also functioned in the border states of Kentucky and Missouri. During the war, the Northern members pressed for peace and for reducing the increasing powers of the federal government. Public charges were made that the Northern groups were engaged in treasonable activities such as spying and planning armed insurrections against the Union. In 1863 the organization was renamed the Order of the American Knights, and early in 1864 the group was reorganized as the Sons of Liberty under the leadership of the American politician Clement Laird Vallandigham. In 1864 the membership reached a maximum, estimated to be between 200,000 and 300,000. Some of the members interfered with the Union war effort chiefly by hindering enlistments in the Union army and encouraging desertions from it. It was during this time period that the Knights of the Golden Circle began to bury large amounts of gold and silver. They also began to stockpile weapons in secret locations.
Many of the smaller caches have been moved to larger, combined caches, and as a result, many of the legends will end up leading to an empty hole. For this reason, it is best to acquire information on as many as possible, research them in advance, and pick the most likely ones out before going out into the field. Whenever a K.G.C. cache was emptied or moved by the K.G.C., additional symbols were placed on the stone markers to alert fellow members that the cache was no longer there. By examining photos of known markers, it is possible to determine which caches are worth going after, and which are long gone.
K.G.C. researchers talk about needing a series of two or three transparent overlays in order to make any sense out of the K.G.C. maps. This is not true. When K.G.C. operatives buried some of the larger caches, they marked them with several stones having symbols cut into them as directions. The markings were accurately inscribed with the help of these so-called "overlays." In reality, the "overlays" were tracings, taken from each stone and transferred to the next stone, made onto the semi-transparent oil cloth material of their "slickers" (raincoats). To relocate the cache, all overlays would be placed and aligned (according to specific instructions) over the "key" stone to produce a very specific map. Losing the overlays made no difference, since they were made from the markings on the stone in the first place, they could be easily reconstructed in a matter of minutes once the original stone was found.
"It is said that no records exist of the K.G.C. after 1916." The locations of all the smaller caches (and larger ones too) were recorded on maps. Each map was rolled up and put into a cylinder made from rabbit fur treated with cosmoline. This tube was then tarred, and finally waxed with bees' wax.
"The maps from all the caches in a particular surrounding area were then sealed in a safe or chest and buried near a large or well-known river." Sixteen such safes exist throughout the country, each containing the maps for a specific area. Each safe (chest) was buried on a pillar of criss-crossed railroad ties to prevent it from sinking into the ground.
"One "master" safe contains the maps showing the location of each of the other sixteen safes." Should the location of the "master" safe be lost, the locations of the other safes could be determined from a carefully worked out code using letters of the alphabet in conjunction with the Confederate code. It is possible that the contents of the "master" safe may no longer be retrievable. If so, the job is only made tougher, not impossible.
It is a well-established fact that over twenty million dollars in jewels, rare artifacts and precious metals have been recovered from cleverly concealed Spanish treasure vaults by latter-day treasure hunters. What is more astonishing is that it is estimated that there are billions still awaiting discovery in places where it requires only the patience and time to be recovered. Reading and studying is only the first step to being able to make a big discovery.
Far too many treasure hunters spend thousands of dollars in fruitless efforts simply because they fail to first nail down their quarry, and because they never learn the proper methods for interpreting and understanding the Spanish and K.G.C. symbology. Research and knowledge of the signs and symbols remain the only keys to success for the serious treasure hunter. Some say it's senseless to even consider a search for a lost mine or K.G.C. location unless its existence can be verified by either, (1) church or courthouse records, personal diaries or waybills, or documents stored in various archives, or (2) the actual discovery and correct interpretation of ancient Spanish and K.G.C. symbology in places where Spanish mining operations or a K.G.C. location are known to have existed. When either of these conditions prevail it becomes very important that the correct interpretation of the documents or symbols be arrived at. Since incorrect interpretations will provide nothing but mind-boggling frustration, extensive loss of time, and eventual failure for the weary treasure hunter.
The three steps are- learn the meanings of the Spanish and K.G.C. signs and symbols and the correct way to apply those meanings when interpreting them. Research any records or other evidence that will help establish the existence of the treasure. Patience's is the secret of success. Untold wealth could be within inches of your grasp...