By Carman Cumming
The 1st book-length learn of 1 of the Civil War's so much outlandish and mysterious characters, "Devil's online game" strains the superb profession of Charles A. Dunham, double agent. Dunham used to be a undercover agent, forger, journalist, and grasp of soiled tips. Writing for quite a few papers (including New York's "Tribune", "Herald", and "World") lower than trade names, he often faked tales, even writing contradictory debts for various papers. Dunham extensively utilized his journalism to create new identities after which boldly forged himself to play the jobs. With the aid of his spouse, Ophelia, he handed out and in of not less than a half-dozen personae.His characters incorporated the vicious 'Colonel' Charles Dunham, less than the command of normal Early; Colonel James Watson Wallace, a wounded Virginian recuperating in Montreal; and Colonel George Margrave, 'one of the main cool and reckless villains within the Confederacy'. within the South, he was once referred to as Isaac Haynes, with nonetheless extra aliases for his Canadian travels. Dunham could toughen his residence of playing cards through going as far as to have the invented characters in his ersatz tales accuse one another of heinous crimes. Dunham accomplished his maximum infamy on the war's finish. known as to testify in Washington, he used to be the main infamous of the witnesses to swear that Lincoln's assassination have been plotted by means of conspirators in Montreal and Toronto, on orders from Richmond. those intrigues endured even from at the back of bars, as he labored tirelessly to construct a community of proof implicating President Andrew Johnson within the assassination.Although this testimony used to be later discredited, previously many components of Dunham's wartime (and postwar) occupation have remained shadowy. Carman Cumming sheds new gentle on various escapades, together with Dunham's attempt to promote Lincoln on plans for a raid to seize Jefferson Davis and a posh attempt in Canada to devise - after which betray - cross-border raids. Exhaustively researched and unheard of in its intensity, "Devil's video game" is a surprising portrait of a consummate chameleon. Drawing jointly all past Dunham scholarship, Cumming deals the 1st unique journey of Dunham's convoluted, high-stakes, foreign deceits. a delicately crafted review of Dunham's explanations, character, and the complicated results of his schemes make "Devil's online game" an incredible and unique paintings that would switch a few uncomplicated assumptions concerning the mystery operations of the Civil warfare.
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Extra info for Devil's Game: The Civil War Intrigues of Charles A. Dunham
After Bull Run, the enthusiasm dried up, recruiting became cutthroat, and news items about units took on a shrill, huckstering tone. A Times note on the Cameron Legion two weeks after the approval claimed the regiment was “rapidly ﬁlling up” and that young men desirous of serving their country would do well to enroll: “The men have most excellent barracks on a ﬁne camp ground. . ”22 A similar New York Herald story on August 8 added the incidental information that the Legion’s colonel had gone to Washington with his quartermaster (identiﬁed in a later report as Nate Auser),23 leaving Lieutenant Colonel Bishop in charge.
Congressman James Ashley of Ohio, a victim of Dunham’s trickery, testiﬁed about prison conversations when his nemesis would talk a half hour at a stretch. “Some of his conversation when I ﬁrst knew him was entertaining, and I listened to him, hoping to get something of importance from him. . ”15 He was also a man with notable weaknesses, including a seeming lack of conscience, a need for instant gratiﬁcation, and a tendency to ﬂare into bitter resentment over real or imagined wrongs. He was vindictive, sometimes waiting years to get back at those who had hurt him.
He apparently had links with a bizarre secret group called the Knights of the Golden Circle, who envisioned an American slave empire in the tropics. 20-34_Cumm 25 2/9/04, 9:14 AM 26 devil’s game limited military experience in Central America. He boasted as well of a network of friends in Tennessee, and on one occasion he offered to ﬁght with Mexican republicans against the French puppet regime of Emperor Maximilian. He thus shows at least tenuous links with “spread-eaglers” (a fairly large group at the time, especially among Democrats like George Sanders) who wanted to throw out the European imperialists and expand American power southward or even to take over the continent.