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C.W. Soldiers

Belgian Civil War soldiers in Missouri 



The Order of American Knights : 

Les organisations secrètes qui ont fleuri dans le Sud occupé par les troupes fédérales ont été brièvement - et de façon anecdotique - liées à la Belgique par le biais de son consul à Saint Louis, comme le montre ce rapport de fin 1864 destiné à Stanton, Secretary of War du président Lincoln :

This secret association first developed itself in the West in the year 1862, about the period of the first conscription of troops, which it aimed to obstruct and resist. Originally known in certain localities as the Mutual Protection Society, the Circle of Honor, or the Circle or Knights of the Mighty Host, but more widely as the Knights of the Golden Circle, it was simply an inspiration of the rebellion, being little other than an extension among the disloyal and disaffected at the North of the association of the latter name, which had existed for some years at the South, and from which it derived all the chief features of its organization.

During the summer and fall of 1863 the order, both at the North and South, underwent some modifications, as well as a change of name. In consequence of a partial exposure which had been made of the signs and ritual of the Knights of the Golden Circle, Sterling Price had instituted as its successor in Missouri a secret political association, which he called the Corps de Belgique, or Southern League, his principal coadjutor being Charles L. Hunt, of Saint Louis, then Belgian consul at that city, but whose exequatur was subsequently revoked by the President on account of his disloyal practices. The special object of the Corps de Belgique appears to have been to unite the rebel sympathizers of Missouri, with a view to their taking up arms and joining Price upon his proposed grand invasion of that State, and to their recruiting for his army in the interim. Meanwhile, also, there had been instituted at the North, in the autumn of 1863, by sundry disloyal persons-prominent among whom were Vallandigham and P. C. Wright, of New York-a secret order intended to be general throughout the country, and aiming at an extended influence and power and at more positive results than its predecessor, and which was termed and has since been widely known as the O. A. K., or Order of American Knights.

Le Corps de Belgique devint une des branches de l'O. A. K. et Charles Hunt - "grant commander" de l'Ordre au Missouri -  fut arrêté en juin 1864 mais relâché le mois suivant.