The Circle Is Unbroken

By Roger Dale Miller 

From page 42 of the January issue of Treasure Cache magazine. 

Copyright © 1996, 2000 Lost Treasure, Inc.

The Confederate Knights Brentwood Cache 

The Brentwood area was picked by the Knights mainly because of its location. It lies between the big cities to the north and the major cities, such as Atlanta, to the south. The roads had to be good enough to bear the weight of gold-laden wagons as they made their way deep into southern soil. 

Somewhere deep in the Brentwood Hills, 10 miles south of Nashville, Tenn., lies a fortune so vast that it staggers the imagination. The mere thought of tens of thousands of gleaming gold bars and other valuables buried deep in the hillsides tends to make treasure hunters sweat with anticipation.

But hunters beware. Barrels of black powder are ready to explode at the wrong touch. Hidden and trapped pools of water are ready to cascade downward and drown the foolish. Camouflaged wires leading to the triggers of loaded weapons are just waiting to be pulled. Guillotine-like devices are ready to drop from above. And who knows what else lies waiting deep in the tunnels that smell of death, but also speak of fabulous fortunes.

Today, Brentwood is a parade of homes of the wealthy. Immaculate lawns and well-trimmed hedges spread out for many miles. Retired lawyers and doctors spend their days on the golf courses or around their swimming pools. Even those people who still work from 9 to 5 come home to fantastic splendor. Most of them have never heard of the treasure. A few have heard but do not believe. They have their own lives to live and do not care to go out on wild goose chases. But it is a chase that could make them richer than they could ever imagine. 

The Knights of the Golden Circle appear to all have been Scottish Rite Masons who were most active between 1861 and 1864. They did not believe that the War between the States was fought over states rights or the issues of slavery. Instead they saw it as a cloak-and-dagger struggle between the northern bankers and the southern wealthy for financial control of the Old South.

The South was ill-prepared to fight any kind of battle. Realizing early in the war that the South could not win, the Knights began paving the financial foundation for a second great civil war, one in which the South would be victorious.

Using a vast network of southern spies, the Knights infiltrated all aspects of northern business. They also joined the army and navy and entered politics. They used the vast information they uncovered to steal gold, silver and other valuables from the northern bankers, or other northern businesses insured by them. 

By re-investing these stolen moneys into legitimate business ventures, gigantic fortunes were amassed over the years. Railroads and mining operations were a favorite target and often led to quick profits. Eventually, these profits were converted back to gold and silver, then carefully hidden in more than 500 locations across the United States.

Many of these cache locations are still intact, although a few of the largest ones like the Doc Noss-Victorio Peak cache at White Sands, N.M., have been found and probably recovered by the U.S. Government. (Editor’s note: The story of this cache was told in the 1994 edition of Treasure Cache.) 

This location alone contained 68,240 40- to 60-pound gold bars and other treasures. This cache location had to be one of the eight enormous depositories created by hollowing out several levels of tunnels under mountains, hills and mesas. By comparison, the Brentwood, Tennessee site is located in a hillside. The Brentwood area was picked by the Knights mainly because of its location. It lies between the big cities to the north and the major cities, such as Atlanta, to the south. The roads had to be good enough to bear the weight of gold-laden wagons as they made their way deep into southern soil.

As the wagons neared Nashville, they probably used part of the Natchez Trace Parkway nearby for easy travel and for possible burying of some of the gold. Most of the gold, silver and other treasures, however, ended up at the Brentwood cache location.

The amount of this treasure is enormous beyond belief. According to secret records, it is reported to contain tens of thousands of gold and silver bars worth perhaps as much as $350 billion today. Also, a large supply of weapons of every description are believed to be hidden at this site. These antique pieces would be priceless in today’s market. All this would surely make it one of the largest hidden treasures in recorded history. 

Several years ago, a blueprint copy of the tunnel complex housing this huge treasure surfaced for a brief period. The document was in the possession of a former intelligence agent. Since he obtained the copy by unknown means, there is a great possibility that a few other copies exist and are carefully hidden by descendants of the original Golden Circle members. The copy shows the immediate site of the treasure, but gives no directions on how to get to it. The surrounding landscape has probably changed greatly since the treasure was first buried.

The blueprint copy showed a large vertical shaft that had been dug at the base of a hill. Tunnels then branched off horizontally at different levels. These contained the gold and weapons. The shaft, perhaps as deep as 60 feet, appears to have been sealed with rock and dirt. The blueprint also shows the placement of both black powder and water booby-traps.

This treasure site was the pride and joy of the Confederate elite, especially the 12-member ruling council called the Knights of the Inner Circle. (The Outer Circle contained the vast majority of the members.) The original Inner Circle was made up of some of the most important historical figures of all time. They included Confederate President Jefferson Davis, brutal guerrilla leader William Clarke Quantrill, the heroic General Joe Shelby and the famous rebel cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. But perhaps the most famous of them all were the brothers Frank and Jesse James. There is no doubt that all 12 original members knew the exact location of the Brentwood treasure, as well as the other seven large ones hidden all across the United States.

The Golden Circle was led with a iron hand by Quantrill. After his death, Jesse James took over and led the organization until the time of his real death in Granbury, Texas, in 1951. Jesse passed away at the ripe old age of 109, and is buried in Granbury. (While official records of the life of Jesse James dispute this claim, recent information shows it is possible James lived on well into the 20th century.)

Jesse and Frank James had several relatives who lived in the East Nashville area and visited there often. On Friday, March 25, 1881, a member of the James gang was arrested by magistrate and ex-constable W.L. Earthman. Earthman had been tipped off that gang member Bill Ryan was at one of the local saloons. In fear of their lives, Frank and Jesse James and their families left the Nashville area the next day. Witnesses reported to have seen them heading south toward Brentwood, but they were never caught.

It is only natural to assume that Frank and Jesse, on their way out of the middle Tennessee area, went right by the location of the treasure to make sure nothing was disturbed. This would also account for so many of his relatives living in the Nashville area. (Jesseís relatives were probably members of the Outer Circle. They lived here to keep a sharp eye out for any one else looking for the treasure.) 

Here are several clues that will be useful in your search.

1. The treasure is probably in a hillside or series of hillsides within a mile or two of a large supply of water. This water was needed for the many booby-traps and also for watering the many horses who pulled the wagons. A large creek or small river, like Harpeth River, would fit into the plans perfectly. It would also have to be shallow enough in places for wagons to cross. 

2. Search the nearby woods close to the water supply and look for old wagon trails or parallel ruts in the earth. Look for old roads and shallow paths. This could still be a long shot, since the ones who buried the treasure may have cleaned up afterward and made sure there were no tell-tale signs leading to the location. 

3. Look for areas of clear pastures near the woods. A large operation, such as a ranch or perhaps some sort of mining camp, would have been in the area. This would help explain the many wagons coming and going at all hours. 

4. Look for strange markings on old trees and unusual rock formations. Coded messages could help newcomers quickly find the area. The trees may have long ago been cut down by loggers, but it still doesn’t hurt to check the bark and trunks of old trees still standing. 

5. Look for hillsides and bluffs with small cave openings ó these may resemble groundhog burrows. It would be so easy for people to fill such holes with treasure and then use explosives to blast them shut. 

6. Always have your metal detector going. A heavy concentration of Civil War bullets, Confederate coins and other items should be in the area. With so many people coming and going, things had to get lost now and then. 

7. As always, get permission to search on private land. This huge treasure may never be found by one person working alone. One may find small hoards here and there, but the mother lode is well protected and it will take teamwork and plenty of extreme caution. 

During March 1995, I spent a whole day driving and walking the roads and streets of Brentwood. I took pictures and tried to interview at least four people. I wanted the people to be elderly, because I figured the young generation would be totally lost when it came to the history of the treasure. 

One gentleman told me he had just retired and moved to the area from Illinois. This was the first time he had heard of the treasure. Another gentleman sitting on his front porch seemed suspicious of me from the start, probably because there is a lot of crime in the Nashville and Brentwood area. He told me he didn’t do interviews for anyone, and seemed relieved when I started to walk away. He got up and went into the house. An elderly lady was working in her flower garden and had very little to say. 

Finally, I encountered an elderly man who was willing to talk to me. He was swinging in his yard under a huge shade tree. He was a regular reader of Lost Treasure magazine and agreed to be interviewed, but only if I promised not to use his real name and address. The following is part of what he told me: “Of course I know about the legend,” he said. “I had distant relatives who fought in the Civil War and at least three of them were members of the Circle. When I was growing up, I heard plenty of backyard conversations when a bunch of my kin got together for a reunion of sorts. I overheard whispered words about gold and silver. I heard words like ‘rocky hills’ and ‘water troughs.’ As a kid I had no idea what the words meant, and even today I am not sure. I do know that they often spoke of general directions, but that is something I cannot tell you, out of respect for all my relatives.”

“I can tell you this much. If I were interested in searching for the treasure today I would narrow my search down to one part of Brentwood. Be it north, south, east or west, that is the part I must keep secret.”

It seems there lot of secrets still hidden deep in the hills of Brentwood. One day they may be revealed and the treasure found. There are many people who want to find the treasure and still a few who wish it to stay hidden. 

The Confederate Knights Brentwood Cache 

The treasure: 

Thousands of gold and silver bars worth up to $350 million today. In addition, there are likely hundreds of well-preserved Civil War-era relics.

How to find it:

The cache is located in the hills of Brentwood, Tenn., most likely near a large creek or river. Look for wagon ruts and large nearby pastures. 


Tennessee State Library and Archives. 

A Guide To Historical Markers In Nashville And Davidson County, 1993, page 19. 

World Book Encyclopedia. 

Lost Treasure magazine, November 1991, page 54; April 1992. 

Tennessean newspaper, Nashville, Tenn., March 6, 1995

© Lord Gazmuth 2012