This Week in the Civil War - #970
On Friday, November 25, 1864 Confederate agents from Canada attempted a flamboyant, but poorly executed scheme to burn New York City. An eight man team, calling themselves the Confederate Army of Manhattan, attempted to simultaneously set fires in nineteen hotels, a theatre, and at Barnum’s Museum. None of the fires were successful, and the blaze at Barnum’s caused little more than temporary excitement. With New York Copperheads failing to rise up in armed rebellion, the eight agents immediately escaped to Canada after their plan failed, and only Confederate R.C. Kennedy was later captured in January 1865 when he tried to slip back into the United States at Detroit. Kennedy was subsequently tried, convicted and executed in March 1865 in New York City for his role in the failed plot.