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Columbia County, Pennsylvania

Does anyone have any information on it?

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I have a lot of info on the Fishing Creek Confederacy Send me an email at sthomas at gmail. I also have a book that I can do a look up in to see where William is mentioned. I am also researching William E. Roberts, he was my great great grandfather. I have been trying to figure out who his parents were, but cannot prove a connection I believe is his family.

I would also like to figure out where he was buried, as well as his wife Mary Hess.


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His son, Samuel Paul my great grandfather was around 7 years old when Willliam E. Would love to get in touch with you! I have done some searching on Find A Grave and I have not been able to locate his burial. I haven't been able to find his or his wife, Mary's grave either. I assume they didn't send the body home. Exaggerated statements went forth over and over, louder and louder, until outsiders began to believe there might be something in them. Representations were lodged in Harrisburg and Washington, and a thousand federal soldiers were rushed to peaceful Columbia County.

After some drilling, and a wait for re-inforcements [sic] at Bloomsburg, a fully equipped "army of occupation," cavalry, infantry, artillery, drums beating and flags flying, marched up the astounded countryside -- along the peacefully beautiful Fishing Creek, to capture deserters who had never deserted; to destroy rifle pits that had never been dug; to hurl its proud strength against a phantom fort manned by phantom soldiers. Before proceeding toward the purported objective of its campaign, the supposed fort with its big brass cannon, tucked away in a gorge of the looming mountains, the army encamped in a maple-sugar grove below Benton.

From here, scouting parties were sent out in various directions, and, true to military tradition, the soldiers "lived off the land" quite sumptuously. On August 28th, , Major-General Cadwallader arrived to assume command. At an appointed time, at break of day, one hundred homes were surrounded, one hundred doors were pounded upon, one hundred citizens were aroused from their beds and arrested without the process of law, in defiance of their constitutional rights, by the armed force of a thousand soldiers. No resistance was made to the arrests.

The prisoners were marched to a nearby church and taken before an officer who blasphemously occupied the pulpit. The proceedings were hurried and summary. About one-half of the prisoners were discharged with no reason given for either their arrest or discharge. The forty-five retained under arrest were marched to Bloomsburg, taken by train -- without breakfast -- to Fort Mifflin, on the Delaware below Philadelphia.

Civil War bullets, coins and another Cannonball found metal detecting in the creek ! - Nugget Noggin

At Fort Mifflin they were herded into an underground unventilated, vermin-infested, bomb-proof chamber. Here they were denied air, exercise and the light of day. They were denied free correspondence with friends or counsel, denied knowledge of the charges against them and of the names of their accusers. It must be born in mind that these men were not riff-raff or scoundrels.

The Fishing Creek Confederacy

They were citizens of good repute and prominent in their communities. In the veins of most of them flowed the blood of patriots who had helped to make this nation beloved of those who had fought for the colonies in the French and Indian Wars, who took part in the Revolutionary War and in the War of After the round-up of those who, according to local plans, were to be punished for something or other, General Cadwallader marched his army to the head-waters of Fishing Creek, and encamped his army at the foot of the close-crowding mountains. Then followed an intensive hunt for that fort, with its two field pieces, its big brass cannon, and its five hundred desperate men.

General Cadwallader was an officer of experience and military reputation, and the search of the upper part of Columbia County was made with thoroughness, according to all the rules of military science. The soldiers who had had such pleasant, well-fed times down among the prosperous farms, fat barn-yards and orchards of the lower valley, had to clamber up steep ravines, around dangerous precipices and numberless waterfalls, through briers and huckleberry brush and almost impenetrable laurel thickets. They scoured the region; they went over into Sullivan County; they captured two old bear traps and a place where huckleberry pickers had picnicked.

But never did they find any fort, any cannon, any desperate men. Like that famed horde of ancient Spain they "Marched up a hill and they marched down again. He went down to Bloomsburg and declared, "The whole thing is a farce.


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Freeze, eminent attorney and Colonel Tate, editor of the "Columbia, Columbia County's leading newspaper. General Cadwallader returned to his quarters in Philadelphia, but the soldiers remained in the county like hostile forces in conquered territory under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Stuart, who was subsequently court martialed and discharged as a proven scoundrel.

Fishing Creek Confederacy | Revolvy

The men who had been arrested at Benton by soldiers were held in the Fort Mifflin dungeon with no charges brought against them, without a hearing of any description. The soldiers remained in the county until after the Presidential election. At time [sic] of the State election in October and the Presidential election in November, contrary to U. Law, armed soldiers were stationed at polling places and along highways in nearly every voting district to prevent Democrats from going to the polls.

As a result Columbia County went Republican in a Presidential election. Along this line it may be noted that all of the forty five men chosen to suffer at fort Mifflin were Democrats; also it may be noted that, with a single exception, none of the arrested men had been drafted or was liable to the draft. All of the Fort Mifflin prisoners were of equal standing and all are equally deserving of honorable remembrance. Daniel McHenry was the only one of the prisoners who was able to prepare a vigorous fight for a full fair defense and his case was the last to be tried. Friends collected witnesses for him and he was ably represented by counsel including Hon.

John G.

The Fishing Creek Confederacy: A Story of Civil War Draft Resistance

Freeze, Herman Alricks or Harrisburg and U. Senator Charles R. The Military Commission postponed his trial three times, each delay adding greatly to the cost of defense. He was secretly approached with offers of release but spurned such offers with a demand for a fair trial that would secure not only his own vindication but also the vindication of his fellow prisoners as the articles of accusation were practically the same in all cases.