A month after Lincoln’s assassination, William Alvin Lloyd arrived in Washington, DC, to press a declare opposed to the government for funds due him for serving because the president’s undercover agent within the Confederacy. Lloyd claimed that Lincoln individually had issued papers of transit for him to pass into the South, a wage of $200 a month, and a mystery fee as Lincoln’s personal top-secret secret agent. The declare confident Secretary of struggle Edwin Stanton and choose suggest normal Joseph Holt—but was once it actual?
For decades Lloyd were hawking his Southern Steamboat and Railroad consultant throughout Dixie, and it used to be this thorough familiarity with the South and its people—and their familiarity with him—that could have given him an excellent conceal whilst the time got here. In July, 1861, and now determined for funds, Lloyd crossed enemy traces to assemble accounts owed through advertisements consumers within the South.
After quite a few days within the Confederacy, officers jailed Lloyd for bigamy, now not for being a Yankee undercover agent as he later claimed. After bribing his manner out, he crisscrossed the Southern states, attempting to gather sufficient funds to stick alive.
Between driving the rails he discovered time to marry lots of unsuspecting younger ladies simply to ditch them a number of days later. His habit drew the eye of accomplice specialists, who nabbed him in Savannah and charged him as a suspected undercover agent. yet after 9 months, they couldn’t locate any incriminating proof or a person to testify opposed to him, in order that they allow him move. A loose yet damaged guy, Lloyd persisted roaming the South, earning money although he may possibly. In may perhaps 1865, he went to Washington with a unprecedented declare and little else: a number of coached witnesses, and a go to pass the traces signed “A. Lincoln” (the so much cast signature in American history), and his personal testimony.
So used to be he quite Lincoln’s undercover agent or not anything greater than a con guy? And used to be Totten vs. United States—inspired by means of Lloyd's declare and which set precedent for espionage legislations in line with a huge fraud? discover during this thoroughly impossible to resist and totally unique work.
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Extra resources for Lincoln's Secret Spy: The Civil War Case That Changed the Future of Espionage
I had a talk with normal Mercer a short while in the past, telling him your intimately. He says he thinks it top that you just swap your quarters. i discussed Augusta as a delightful aspect, yet he stated he couldn't ship you there this day, as that they had no army prisoners there, & it is going to placed the govt. to an pointless fee in holding a protect with a dossier of fellows, yet that he may ship you to Macon in case you needed, the next day to come evening within the area to ten p. m. teach, your self, spouse & baby, who should be allowed to go to you day-by-day and also you are to be allowed the freedom of the criminal backyard. i'm very sorry because of Mrs. L that you'd now not visit Augusta. Virginia had neighbors or family members in Augusta, the place accomplice Powder Works, the most important gunpowder manufacturing facility within the Confederacy, made town an armed camp that contained an important arsenal. Dr. King keeps: i attempted my good for you, yet observed that the Gen had cause, for the refusal stated not anything extra approximately it, yet should still [illegible] for any prisoner despatched there'll [illegible] you. He says he can't say whilst your trial will come off, because it would require time to gather proof, witnesses & papers, yet that he'll do what he can for you, & i feel you could depend on him on your absence to guarantee I shall do all i will to lead to & extra your reason. I passed the Gen your be aware this morning. I worry i cannot have time to determine you this afternoon, consequently i'm scratching you those hasty traces. i'll see you within the morning. I stay, My expensive Sir & shall ever, Very basically Yours, Wm Nephew King. P. S. I ship you powders which positioned with � tumbler filled with water and brought each 2 or three hours after consuming. WNK. 275 it isn't identified what those powders have been or how they could have helped Lloyd, nor what precisely used to be improper with him. And this, from Dr. King, on July 15: Savannah. Mr W. Alvin Lloyd. My expensive Sir, i've got needed to exit to White Bluff, and don't imagine i will come again in time to make my adieu to your self & Mrs. L, which I remorse a lot, as I must have been completely satisfied to understand your prior to beginning, yet i am hoping, in spite of the fact that, you're far better, and that you're going to take a good flip through your swap of locality & surroundings. I will likely be satisfied to listen to from you & will do all in my strength to help you, to hasten your trial. i do know the Gen will do what's correct. i am hoping you won't imagine something through my no longer featuring you a invoice for my companies, yet i've got none opposed to you. Your thank you are relatively reimbursement adequate. I purely want i may have performed extra for you. With sort needs for your self and Mrs L. I stay, My expensive Sir, Very in actual fact Yours, Wm Nephew King. Excuse haste. 276 Alphabetical Boyd, in 1872, truly forgetting his prior testimony whilst he claimed Lloyd wasn’t imprisoned, acknowledged, “He remained, altogether in legal in Savannah, approximately 9 months, whilst he used to be despatched to Macon through order of a doctor, approximately June 1862 [it was once mid-July]. ” Boyd additionally says, “His healthiness was once a lot decreased whereas he was once in Savannah.