The following is borrowed from the Black book and rather than tell you the story, I am going to include the entire article so that you have a clear picture of a seemingly unrelated story that follows so that you can make the clear connection, partly because I could not relay the story as good as the author has written it… but mostly because it is just plain interesting. It's long but well worth it.
like to wrap up their efforts into neat little packages, expecting their
product to last until the end of time. For instance, history books report the
Civil War or War Between the States began with the bombardment of
Quoting statistics, the history books report the Civil War cost the Confederate
The statisticians were busy when it came to casualty figures. The Union forces had 2,666,999 men under arms and lost 359,258 in killed and wounded. Meanwhile, the Confederates had only 500,000 men under arms during the fouryear "official war" and 95,000 were killed and wounded, but "fatal diseases and accidents" put the Rebel casualty figures closer to 200,000.
Col. Jesse W. James, who lived a long time - from April 17, 1844, to August 15,
1951- knew the Civil War "inside and out." He told his grandchildren,
"Historical dates and statistics don't always tell the true story - far
actually began in border areas like
"And how can historians get on an adding machine and total up the real
cost of the Civil War? Why, the economy of the South was completely shattered
by 1865 and the thieving Carpetbaggers were still to come! What about the gold
and silver which was hijacked from the
History gives a few lines or none at all to the
While busy with the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was worried about the presence of Napoleon III's French troops in
To set the stage for the recovery of Emperor Maximilian's treasure, one must peek behind the scenes into a labyrinth of
Confederate secrets, including a look at Col. Elbert DeWitt Travis. Col. Elbert
DeWitt Travis was better known and feared as William Clarke Quantrill, a roving
Confederate colonel of the
But, as we shall see, the wily old fighter was not dead. Old Jesse not many years before he died said, "It is unbelievable the number of Confederate lies the Yankees believed. The most dangerous, hard-hitting plans we concocted were done in utter secrecy. Secrecy is the most effective weapon you can use if you can just learn to keep your damn big mouth shut!"
As the "official" Civil War drew to a close, Gen. J. 0. Shelby and
2,000 Missouri cavalrymen, plus a full regiment of Confederate-led Red Bone
Indians from East Texas, had slipped below the
Emperor Maximilian. In addition, Maximilian's French troops took occasional potshots at the American invaders.
By 1867 the 35-year-old Mexican Emperor's position had deteriorated and
Napoleon III began withdrawing French troops. Empress Charlotta had gone to
Word reached Colonels Quantrill and Jesse James that the Missourians and Red
Bone Indians must be rescued or face sure death. The Knights of the
Colonel Quantrill gave quite a speech. "I first want men who do not fear
death. Second, I want men who have skills to bring out
had made one raid with Quantrill - the one on Lawrence, Kansas - as a young
lad, was chosen as joint commander with the guerrilla chief by The Knights of
meeting broke up, but James and Quantrill spent a few days briefing their 92
charges along a secret bayou. Southern gunsmiths delivered a thousand Colt,
Remington and Smith & Wesson cap-and-ball pistols which had been converted
into cartridge-type .45s and .44s. Each man would carry two Henry rifles.
Colonel James brought in leather makers to devise harnesses so that each member
of the rescue team could carry ten pistols in the U-shaped harness which hung
down from neck and shoulders. The best available maps were checked and a route
was laid out. Bolstered by
attracting Yankee attention, the soldiers traveled in smaller groups through
Once on Mexican soil the men formed two parties of 46 each with Quantrill and James as commanders. The two parties of experienced guerrillas kept in sight of each other, and tried and tested Confederate signs, passwords, and contact techniques were employed. Although terrorists were busy raiding villages and shooting up the countryside, they were no match for the American guerrillas, who easily avoided contact with them. They made amazingly fast time.
In a small
village about half way between
"And then there's the matter of treasure,
Herr James," he said.
perked up his ears. Treasure? He was
convinced that the Second Civil War was certain and the South would need money
to finance it.
elaborated. He was entrusted with valuable
House of Hapsburg jewels and heirlooms, there was his own great wealth, but
more important, Aztec Indians knew where
a large Aztec treasure cache was located.
Some of the gold and jewels had been hidden by Montezuma's loyal servants to keep it out of the greedy Conquistador’s hands, while the rest of it had been stolen by Aztec porters lugging it from Mexico City to Vera Cruz where it would be put on ships bound for Spain. Maximilian could not estimate its value because he had never seen it, but he said, "It is vast, Herr James."
"The treasure, Your Highness, must not be
allowed to fall into the hands of
three or four years, Herr James, I have not been able to help your Confederate
cause too much. Your war was almost decided when I was placed on the throne of
Southern doctors treated General Shelby's sick troopers and Quantrill was
stalling for time so the soldiers could recover their strength for the long
trek back to
sadly shook his head. "I know the situation is hopeless, but I must stay
with my court and faithful Indian servants." After a quick handshake,
Colonel James put on his sombrero and serape, climbed on his horse, whistled
for John Trammell, who appeared from behind a tree, and the pair rode off from
A half day's
ride from where Jesse bade goodbye to Maximilian the news caught up with him.
Benito Juarez' patriots had used a ruse to capture the Emperor, and he and his
entire staff were stood up against a wall and shot by patriots using old
muzzle-loading rifles. One of the first to fall was Emperor Maximilian.
Emperor dead, Jesse and Trammell avoided towns where demoralized French
garrisons were being slaughtered. The Americans spurred their horses and
"rode hell for leather" to the hideout. Quantrill had already heard
the news of Maximilian's death.
to get out of this ungodly place in a hurry!" he told the joint commander.
"I suggest we break camp at once and head north."
With the addition of General Shelby's troops, Quantrill and James now had to worry about 3,000 men. In addition, the party had appropriated several dozen wagons to accommodate sick troopers too weak to walk or ride horses. And, of course, there was the vast quantity of treasure. Many of General Shelby's troopers had regained their strength, which was fortunate because they needed every gun that could be mustered.
rear-guard, Jesse chose only 14 men, each armed with a harness containing 10
pistols and carrying two rifles. An hour before the quick tropical twilight the
colonel had a chance to test its effectiveness. A French captain and six
cavalrymen were observed hot in pursuit of the procession. "Listen
carefully," Jesse commanded. "We'll set an ambush. You men kill the
cavalrymen, but the captain belongs to me."
Frenchmen reached the ambush, Confederate pistols barked and six riders tumbled
lifeless from their mounts. The French captain, armed only with a pistol and
sword, drew his blade and bravely charged Jesse who had stepped from the
shadows. One bullet at such short distance killed the captain's horse and the
officer tumbled into the dusty road. As he got up, Jesse shot him in both arms.
Then he walked warily up to the Frenchman.
He asked in French, "Why do you attack us, Mon Capitaine? We are friends of your Emperor Maximilian."
thieves and brigands. Maximilian is dead and you are stealing the Hapsburg
Capitaine, you die a liar!" Quickly, the young colonel raised his pistol
and fired, hitting the officer above the right eye.
around a campfire, Jesse discussed the French attack with his two first
cousins, Alexander Franklin James and his kid brother, Jesse R. (Dingus) James,
chief said gruffly, "We'll have enough trouble with the Mexicans - I
didn't anticipate trouble from the French, too."
Jesse lit a
cigar. "That's why I shot him, Quantrill, I didn't want him carrying
The third day
of their journey 10 Frenchmen led by a fuzzy-cheeked lieutenant tried a rear
assault. "Kill every one of the bastards!" Jesse shouted, and his
order was carried out. The horses were uninjured and the rearguard men chose
The party encountered no more Frenchmen but Mexican harassment increased. Although they occasionally attacked the head of the column where Quantrill rode or at the sides, generally the enemy chose to sneak up on the supposedly unguarded rear. Always Jesse and his men, now reduced from 14 to 11, set an ambush. Once they successfully fought off a band of about 200 marauders, leaving the road littered with broken bodies.
Colonels James and Quantrill split the remaining party into two sections. All
and John Trammell set forth for a visit to Nashville, the Confederate
underground capital. When the men arrived there after a leisurely journey,
Quantrill had sent a coded message which was waiting for Jesse. When decoded it
read, "Urgent. Bring doctor and come at once to
had ridden once with Quantrill in the Missouri- Kansas feud, wondered if
Quantrill himself was sick. Because of the urgency of the message, they used
the Hoot Owl Trails System, part of the Confederate underground system which
provided fresh horses every 30 or 40 miles and food and shelter when needed.
When they arrived in
Maximilian told the story of his miraculous escape from death at the hands of
the Mexican patriots' firing squad and his equally fantastic escape from the
chaotic nation south of the border. The Emperor had heard the crack of the
muzzle-loading rifle and then everything went black. Carts were standing by to
haul the bodies to a hastily-dug mass grave. At graveside, a priest stood by to
give the last rites. At this moment a small party of Red Bone Indians slipped
up to the yawning grave, all eyes on their dead Emperor.
Mexicans were about to toss His Highness into the grave, one of the Red Bones
spotted a movement of Maximilian's right arm...then he started to gasp for
breath. Quickly, the Indians talked the Mexicans into allowing them to bury the
Emperor in his own grave. The Mexicans shrugged. A dead man was a dead man. Y
por que no?
Now the Red
Bone Indians had their Emperor, but what would they do with him? The kindly
priest pointed to a blanket and His Highness was wrapped up in it and spirited
away. Other Red Bone Indians arrived on the scene, safe from the suspicious
Mexicans. A captain considered sending word to the two colonels James and
Quantrill, but thought better of it. The Red Bones would take the barely living
Most of the
Red Bone regiment had already headed back to Texas, but a couple of dozen of
them, two Negroes and a dozen peons riding burros, put Maximilian in a cart and
headed north for the Rio Grande.
priest who had been at Maximilian's graveside, dressed him in priestly old
robes and a hood which hid his face. For several days Maximilian was more dead
than alive, but a Red Bone medicineman and the priest nursed him through the
crisis as he was jostled through
brought tears to the Emperor's eyes as he continued, "I know now how badly
Jesus must have suffered. The terrible road, I was scorned, sneered at, dying
over and over with every breath I took. I worried about my dear wife, the
Empress, wondering what our enemies in
you, dear Jesse, I worried about you and your brave men. Every night we slept
in a Catholic Church and the priest would tell us that the Rothschilds had put
a price of $50,000 on your head and a price of $25,000 on the heads of the men
with you who ambushed and slew perhaps a thousand men as you fought your way
Maximilian, overcome by emotion, broke into long sobs. Dr. Frank clapped him on the shoulder and said in German, "Regen sie sich nicht suf, Mein Herr, beruhigen sie sich." (Calm down, don't get upset, settle down.)
reached into his satchel, brought forth a bottle of brandy, and poured
Maximilian two fingers in a glass. After he drank it, Maximilian resumed
past year I have been a harsh man. I have wielded stern penalties against those
who disobeyed my orders. I ordered men shot for desertion, when as a matter of
human milk, they wanted only to take a day off to see their mother, or sister
or children. Never again will I ever order a man beaten, chastised, hung or
shot for any infringement of military or civil laws. I owe my new salvation to
this tremendous lesson which God brought about. But, if I can only in some
miraculous manner learn of the fate of Charlotta and my loved ones."
Dr. Frank James again mentioned the examination he would perform tomorrow and what he hoped to do. But Maximilian changed the subject.
to send a letter to my dear Empress and if necessary give myself up to the
enemy so that she can live in safety here in
Dr. James the next day began a series of operations. He opened up old wounds, treated them and then sewed them up. It was an early-day therapy, but Frank had a brook dammed and ordered John Maxi to go swimming twice a day in its pool. He no longer walked side-ways, but he suffered pain the remainder of his life.
Jesse, the Negroes and Indians were busy hauling in dug-up buried treasure from the far parts of
to tending to John Maxi's recovery, Dr. Frank was busy writing letters to
When the last
of the treasure was stored, Jesse
approached Maxi one morning. "John, I'm going to line my pockets with some
of your gold and then John Trammell and I are going to
his hand. "Jesse, bring back my wife and I'11 give you all my gold!"
Trammell headed for
mid-Atlantic, John and he stood at the rail and Jesse mused, "John
Trammell, you seem to have all the answers. I wonder whose gold we're spending
on this trip."
grinned broadly, "Yeah, ah wondeh."
be," Jesse said, flipping his soggy stogie into the ocean, "it's
Rothschild's gold. Let's see now. Rothschild lent it to Napoleon III, probably
with the Pope as a cosigner. Napoleon lent it to Emperor Maximilian and now we
borrowed it from John Maxi. I find high finance rather interesting."
Jesse recalled years later, "Watching John Maxi and Charlotta embrace after all they'd been through was one of the greatest satisfactions of my life. I'm not one given to tears;, but my eyes were sure kind of misty."
John Maxi sat down for a quiet talk with his friend, Jesse James. "While
you retrieved my treasure and went
For an hour
he told of his plans. First, he wanted to build a sawmill and put his Indian
friends to work. He wanted to get into mining, horse and cattle breeding and a
dozen other projects. "But for you, Jesse, I want to make a personal gift
of $5 million. You can always get more if you need it. You say there will be
another Civil War and I believe you, if you say so. I want to make a
contribution of $12.5 million to your Knights of the
The men stood
up and Jesse thanked John Maxi, who then presented him with a special cowhide
with a contract written in India ink for $12.5 million. Jesse paused and read
it, then handed it back to Maxi. "I move pretty fast around the country,
John, so I won't be needing a contract. Your word is good enough for me - it
should be after what we've been through."
saddlebags bulging with gold bars, Jesse took his leave of Maxi and Charlotta
next morning, and headed north with his three Negro helpers, who also had
saddlebags filled with gold. On the long road leading to
At a meeting
of The Knights of the
As long as
John Maxi lived, he and Jesse were close friends, but they saw each other
infrequently. When the oil boom hit
treasure set Grandpa up in business,
making him a millionaire five times over at age 23. I don't say that Grandpa
never robbed a bank nor a train, but he didn't do it for chickenfeed, and he
didn't do it for personal gain. He was a very rich man. When he robbed or
hijacked he was trying to fill a long list of Confederate depositories,
preparing for the Second Civil War, which never came."
But who lies
buried in Emperor Maximilian's grave in
accorded an imperial funeral by Emperor Franz Josef was badly decomposed and
unidentifiable. Golden Circle agents claimed it was the corpse of a seaman of
German ancestry who had been killed in a drunken gunfight behind a bar in Vera
Cruz. Switching bodies is a subterfuge as old as mankind, and the
Now if you were paying attention, Maximillion
miraculously survived a firing squad in
If you haven’t bought the Black book yet, you are missing out…
Amazing!!! Some of this hoard is surely still out there!ReplyDelete