Captain Robert Cobb Kennedy was a former Union war prisoner and an escapee from Johnson's Island in Ohio. Captured by Union forces in Louisiana, Kennedy endured the terrors of the prison camp and gained a bitter resentment of the Union. After escaping prison he linked up with Confederates in Canada to form the Confederate Army of Manhattan. He came to New York pretending to be a French-Canadian businessman from Trois-Riveres in order to find support for his plan. Working together with Confederate sympathizers and powerful New York businessmen, he plotted to bring in shipments of Greek fire to burn the city down if Lincoln was re-elected. However, due to Detective Corcoran's and Major Morehouse's efforts, the locations of the fires were quickly found and put out. Kennedy was the only person captured and convicted in the plot.