In Toronto, Canada, one September day in 1864, two men, rounding a street corner from opposite directions, met suddenly face to face, stared in astonishment for a moment, then warmly clasped hands, and turned into a near-by hotel. Captain John Beall thus met the man whom he had least expected to meet—Bennett Burley, one of his old privateersmen, the man who now was about to become second in command in the historic raid on Lake Erie.
When they had shut the door of Beall's room, “Burley, ” said Beall, slowly, “I want you. I want you for my lieutenant. My old plan at last— my big chance. I am to capture the Michigan, free the Johnson's Island prisoners, burn Sandusky, Cleveland, Buffalo—all the rest! You know the old plans. Will you come?”
Burley nodded. “I am with you, ” he said. “When do we begin?” The plans, Beall explained, were not yet complete, but that very night he was to confer with “Captain Carson, ” and the ﬁnal details were to be arranged. Until then there was time for a good old talk. Since leaving his, Beall's, command, what had he and Maxwell done? How came he to be in Canada?
And so Burley told how he had privateered on the Potomac and the Chesapeake until May 12th, when his partner, John Maxwell, had been killed at Stingray Point in a ﬁght with negro troops that were removing the torpedoes that he and Maxwell had planted. For himself, since then, a Yankee prison, Fort Delaware, until he swam out of it through a drain