Plot To Burn New York Foiled By NYFD


Confederates Hoped to Find New York City The Same Turmoil As 1863

Confederates Hoped to Find New York City The Same Turmoil As 1863

 

 

On this Date in History:  When you get to late 1864, the prospects of the South were running low.  The west was pretty much subdued and General William T. Sherman was making his march to the sea.  Now, in a post from last October, I told you about how Confederate raiders in October 1864 made the northernmost attack on the Union in Vermont as they raced into St. Albans, Vermont and robbed several banks before fleeing back to Canada.  Well, the Candian plot wasn’t done just yet.

Harper's Weekly Rendition of Arsonist

Harper's Weekly Rendition of Arsonist

The Confederate Canadian agents, perhaps emboldened by their Vermont excursion came up with a bolder plan.  They would burn New York City.  The agents had been assured that the city was ripe for rebellion.  Now, that may have been true earlier in the war when there was the infamous New York Draft Riot  against the war, but by late in 1864, it was no longer the case.  A case of bad intelligence.  Undeterred, the plotters decided that they would bring the horror of war home to New Yorkers and carried out their plan on November 25, 1864.  Happy Thanksgiving, right?  Here was the plan:  An agent would check into a Gotham hotel, concealing a incendiary liquid in glass.  Its called a Greek fire in a valise.  The perpetrator would set his room ablaze and then leave.  After several of these firebugs successfully created several infernos, the city streets were filled with rumors as panic people ran about and firemen ran helter skelter from hotel to hotel.    One thing the arsonists didn’t count on was the famed New York Fire Department.  Today’s heroes of

Kennedy: Bad Timing

Kennedy: Bad Timing

New York were yesterday’s heroes of New York as well.  Twelve fires broke out almost simultaneously but the firemen reacted so quickly the damage was limited and the fires were extinguished.  So much for the great Greek fire.

Well, it turned out to be a Greek tragedy for one of the perpetrators.  Two were captured, including Confederate Captain Robert Cobb Kennedy.  On this date in 1865, Kennedy was hanged for his failed enterprise and received the distinction of being the last soldier hanged before the end of the Civil War…which effectively came a little more than 2 weeks later with the surrender of Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865.    They say that timing in life is everything, but I’d say this is one of the greatest examples and consequence to bad timing. 

SPC Wed Convective Outlook

SPC Wed Convective Outlook

SPC Thu Convective Outlook

SPC Thu Convective Outlook

Weather Bottom Line: 

The storms that were so ferocious out west did pretty much what I said that they would do which is to fall apart.  But, they were even more benign than even I thought.  Temperatures will back off a bit but be far from cold for the rest of the week. Generally in the low to mid 60’s.   We could still see some showers for Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday.  Wednesday would be post frontal and Thursday would be the fringes of an area of low pressure that will move through the Dixie states and may cause some mischief there.  Now, on Saturday we move back toward 70 and that is the day that I have been suspicious about possibly giving us some action.  There will be a strong low coming out of the west on Friday.  The ETA is advertising some pretty decent rain Friday night and the GFS concurs though its less intense and doesn’t seem as interested in t’storms as the ETA.  The SPC isn’t too enthused either but…if the low trajects northeast a bit sooner than the current data suggests then it may be a different story.  I suspect that what is happening is that the Friday night rain will settle things down enough that anything on Saturday won’t be that exciting.  However, the possibility remains and I do note that in the SPC discussion, they keep the option open to issue an area of concern for Saturday, though they seem to be more focused on areas to our south and southeast.  The air behind the weekend system is still not too terribly cold because there is another in the series of storms coming out of the northwest that will prevent the cold air from moving too far south.

SPC Friday Convective Outlook

SPC Friday Convective Outlook

 DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0332 AM CDT TUE MAR 24 2009
  
   VALID 271200Z – 011200Z
  
   …DISCUSSION…
  
   LATEST MEDIUM-RANGE GUIDANCE REMAINS RELATIVELY CONSISTENT /IN BOTH
   INTER-MODEL COMPARISON AND INTRA-MODEL RUN-TO-RUN TENDENCIES/ IN THE
   EVOLUTION OF THE LARGE-SCALE PATTERN THROUGH D5 /SAT MAR 28TH/.
   THROUGH THIS TIME FRAME…A POWERFUL MID/UPPER-LEVEL LOW WILL
   TRANSLATE EWD THROUGH THE CNTRL/SRN PLAINS ON D4 /FRI MAR 27TH/
   BEFORE LIFTING RAPIDLY NEWD INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION ON D5.  IN
   THE LOW LEVELS…SURFACE LOW OVER THE SRN PLAINS WILL DEVELOP NEWD
   THROUGH THE MID MS VALLEY…AND EVENTUALLY MORE NWD INTO THE GREAT
   LAKES.  MEANWHILE…TRAILING STRONG COLD FRONT WILL SURGE EWD
   THROUGH THE SRN PLAINS…LOWER MS VALLEY…EVENTUALLY REACHING THE
   MID/SERN ATLANTIC COAST BY LATE D5 OR D6 /SUN MAR 29TH/.
  
   ON D4…A MOIST AND UNSTABLE AIR MASS IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD NWD/NEWD
   ACROSS THE LOWER MS VALLEY IN ADVANCE OF EWD-MOVING COLD FRONT.
   THIS INSTABILITY WILL COMBINE WITH STRENGTHENING WIND FIELDS AND
   INCREASED FORCING FOR ASCENT TO FOSTER WIDESPREAD TSTMS ACROSS THE
   REGION FRI AND FRI NIGHT.  SOME MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT A
   FAIRLY LARGE AREA OF MODERATE INSTABILITY WILL DEVELOP WITHIN SYSTEM
   WARM SECTOR.  SHOULD THIS OCCUR…THE POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR A
   FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER EPISODE…INCLUDING THE THREAT FOR
   STRONG TORNADOES.
  
   THE THREAT FOR SEVERE STORMS WILL CONTINUE INTO D5 OVER PORTIONS OF
   THE CNTRL AND ERN GULF STATES EWD TO THE SERN ATLANTIC COAST.  GIVEN
   THAT THE PRIMARY SURFACE LOW AND STRONGEST DYNAMIC FORCING WILL
   REMAIN DISPLACED WELL TO THE N OF THE REGION…THERE IS SOME
   QUESTION AS TO HOW WIDESPREAD THESE SEVERE STORMS WILL BE.
   THEREFORE…NO AREA WILL BE DELIMITED ATTM.
  
   BEYOND D5…MODEL SOLUTIONS BEGIN TO DIVERGE…LEAVING THE REMAINING
   PORTION OF THE EXTENDED PERIOD QUITE UNCERTAIN.
  
   ..MEAD.. 03/24/2009

4 Responses

  1. I’m not sure about the logic of burning someone’s city down to get them to be sympathetic to your cause. I mean if confederate sympathy had been high in New York at that time, I think that having the South razing the city might turn people the other way. I guess Captain Kennedy was hung as a spy, I suppose. My guess is that they probably hurried things along to make sure he got hung before the war ended. Espionage is a dangerous business, that’s for sure. I have some pity for Captain Kennedy, I guess, but a guy needs to know that arsonists are not held in much esteem even when they’re doing it for a noble cause.

    I’ve had a busy few days but have been reading faithfully, of course. I hope that all is well with you and the family.

  2. Good to hear from you. My one forecast came correct. This weekend I heard “when we get warm weather, we have to pay for it with thunderstorms!” Naturally…there were no thunderstorms to speak of. I love it when I’m right. Forget about the losses, exaggerate the wins. Did you watch Thomas Paine?

  3. I did watch them both, believe it or not. He was pretty close on most things. His approach was very revolutionary in its flavor–but he was doing Thomas Paine so I guess that he was being true to his character. The problem is that most folks are too busy living their lives and taking care of our large (in relative terms) stores of material goods to mount any sort of serious “counter-insurgency” against the assaults on our way of life. A working stiff with a home and family doesn’t have much time for anything else. The sad part is that folks like us are holding this world together while the ne’er do wells slowly turn up the heat on us. Pretty soon we’re all going to be a bunch of “boiled frogs” and by the time we wake up it will likely be too late. Sad.

  4. Tell you what though…this is the first time in my lifetime I’ve ever heard of even small talk of revolution or people holding teabag parties or talk of people with pitchforks. I believe that gunsales have also gone through the roof. There may be something afoot.

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