The Confederate Yellow Fever Conspiracy

The Germ Warfare Plot of Luke Pryor Blackburn, 1864–1865

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About the Book

Defeat was looming for the South—as the Civil War continued, paths to possible victory were fast disappearing. Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn, a Confederate physician and expert in infectious diseases, had an idea that might turn the tide: he would risk his own life and career to bring a yellow fever epidemic to the North. To carry out his mission, he would need some accomplices. Tracing the plans and movements of the conspirators, this thoroughly researched history describes in detail the yellow fever plot of 1864–1865.

About the Author(s)

H. Leon Greene is a cardiologist living in Bellingham, Washington. As emeritus professor of medicine, he has published two books, authored or co-authored more than 30 book chapters and sections and more than 250 medical scientific articles.

Bibliographic Details

H. Leon Greene
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6890-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3100-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 4
1. Luke Pryor Blackburn, Lover of the South and Its Culture 7
2. The Scourge of Yellow Fever 19
3. The Canadian Confederacy 23
4. Maritime Shipping and the Union Blockade of Confederate Ports 28
5. Civil War Medicine and Dr. Blackburn 38
6. Dr. Blackburn’s Early Confederate Service 46
7. Godfrey Joseph Hyams, ­Co-Conspirator 53
8. Nefarious Schemes and Diabolical Plans 68
9. Plans for the Importation of Pestilence: The First Shipment of Articles Contaminated with Yellow Fever 86
10. The Second Shipment of Articles Contaminated with Yellow Fever 119
11. Trials in Canada 142
12. Trials in the United States 153
13. Jefferson Davis: His Involvement in the Plots and the Consequences 170
14. The Fate of the ­Co-Conspirators 185
15. Godfrey Joseph Hyams: The Aftermath 195
16. Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn: Ghoul or Governor? Is This the Same Man? 205
Chapter Notes 221
Bibliography 242
Index 245

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A thoroughly researched history…recommended”—Midwest Book Review
  • “Greene makes a convincing solid contribution to the history of the Civil War, and to secret service operations during it.”—The NYMAS Review.