Bedford Jines The Klan

Savez

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Location
Alabama
There were just as many honest men in the south as the north. Take that as you will, if it's offensive to you... it's the truth. I think Davis was venal & corrupt, to quote a Southerner, I think Early and a whole bunch of other supposed gentleman were prolific liars. I think Lee & Johnston among a host of others were honest & honorable men.

When all I have to judge "Southern Gentlemen" are the words of men I've dealt w/ who call themselves true southerners or southern gentlemen... and they clearly don't think the truth is vital in a discussion w/ a non true southerner. When they determine my view is worthless because it fails to line up w/ theirs. When a decade down south, hasn't shown me the solid south mythos they would project. Well at least I can say I've spent a decade down south. I've read the letters and diaries of many a southern soldier; the majority of which I would call good honest god fearing men... few of those letters were from "gentlemen" dandies as they were busy sharing the mud and blood w/ their US counterparts while those who lacked the courage of their convictions were back home sitting safe & pretty. The last group still have their worshipers/supporters... plenty of them here are fond of one liner replies and hide behind anonymous screen names.

Pray god nobody ever calls me a gentleman if it's to put me in the same catagory as a men like Davis or Cobb.

Really? What soldiers? What were their names? How many exactly? I personally think you are full of BS but that is just my personal opinion. I think your "experiences" you speak of in the "solid south" are exaggerated or perhaps dreamed up. You've been offered several times to back up some of your claims and also your claims of southern outrages in the Civil War and you fail to present any documentation citing "they wouldn't be believed because a Yankee wrote it" or "I can't exactly remember". Give me a break. Your contributions to these discussions are full of a deep seething disdain for anything southern. And that's about it. You bring nothing else to the table.
 

jpeter

1st Lieutenant
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Location
Dallas, TX
Here's the other question.

Are we putting too much moral weight on any involvement on the earliest KKK?

Some of the earliest attraction to the KKK by post-war Confederates was because of federal intervention - not racial hatred. There was resentment of free blacks as well, but the motives were much different than the KKK of the early 20th century. The war still had a deep grip on the Confederate psyche the first few years after the surrender. The outward interest in finding someone to blame was very strong among the southerners who lost their homes and .... well, everything else. The southern soldier, after he returned, was staring at a bleak situation.

Early Reconstruction was a period seething with resentment that could not be expressed outwardly because of federal intervention. I have a little more sympathy for the southern mind right after the war. Just as we see post-war stress on out soldiers coming home, I can imagine the horror of dragging yourself a hundred miles back to your home after a surrender only to see that the "winner" has ruined your house and your livelihood.

This is not meant as sympathy. Even the early KKK was a very violent club. No southerner or northerner gets a free pass joining that violent group. But the Civil War was an earth-shaking war, and had a strong effect on the winners and losers. The reaction of Southerners in those early years has to be seen in a different light in my opinion.

The KKK of the early 20th century, on the other hand, was born of no such event. By then, the resentment of blacks came from a different generation .... young males knew no war of any kind. The KKK of that period was eager to start an ideological war ....a war against blacks. That's a war they could win. White supremacy as a serious notion was born then, not 35 years earlier in my opinion.

And in fact, during those early very years in the South of the 1870s and 1880s, southern society actually made great strides with the race issue. We tend to think of southern ideas about race as linear and simple, but there was almost two decades of relative peace and some advances made in certain types of integration. Even southern newspapers mentioned their new racial liberalism. There were no Jim Crow Laws then. Whites and blacks interacted in a world where social barriers had broken down.

As I understand it, the real cultivated hatred to race and ethnicity began in the late 1890's - well after federal soldiers had left the South. Once the South felt it could take back its political power in the 1890s, it did so.... and in the process took pride to keep a race of people subservient, especially in the Deep South. By the 1920's the KKK membership was at it's highest, and it's mission was singularly aimed.

A Confederate soldier (I'm not speaking of Forrest, but in general) who went home to nothing but humiliation could try and strike out by joining such an organization .... even if they never sought to participate actively. That doesn't excuse the brutality of the organization, but I can see it as a kind of reaction to post-war stress in that first decade after the war.

I sometimes feel we put too much weight on on the idea of KKK membership after the war. I think there's always something like this from the losers after every war. Losing is hard on the mind. People who fought don't get over it quickly.
 

Savez

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Location
Alabama
I consider referring to a man as a Southern Gentleman one of the highest compliments that can be paid. My father and his seven brothers fit into that catagory and were the finest men I ever knew. Some of them were born in the late 1800's to give a timeline. Polite, reserved, but don't cross them. Better put me in the same pot with Savez and Lazy Bayou if they'll have me.

Your in !! But I wouldn't murder any abolitionist. Maybe just tar and feather but not murder. That wouldn't be gentlemanly !
 

Savez

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Location
Alabama
Here's the other question.

Are we putting too much moral weight on any involvement on the earliest KKK?

Some of the earliest attraction to the KKK by post-war Confederates was because of federal intervention - not racial hatred. There was resentment of free blacks as well, but the motives were much different than the KKK of the early 20th century. The war still had a deep grip on the Confederate psyche. The outward interest in finding someone to blame was very strong among the southerners who lost their homes and .... well, everything else. The southern soldier, after he returned, was staring at a bleak situation.

Early Reconstruction was a period seething with resentment that could not be expressed outwardly because of federal intervention. I have a little more sympathy for the southern mind right after the war. Just as we see post-war stress on out soldiers coming home, I can imagine the horror of dragging yourself a hundred miles back to your home after a surrender only to see that the "winner" has ruined your house and your livelihood.

This is not meant as sympathy. Even the early KKK was a very violent club. But the Civil War was an earth-shaking war, and had a strong effect on the winners and losers. The KKK of the early 20th century was born of no such event. By then, the resentment of blacks came from a different generation .... young males that knew no such event as a war of any kind. The KKK of that period was eager to start a war against blacks. White supremacy as a serious notion was born then, not 35 years earlier in my opinion.

And in fact, during those early very years in the South of the 1870s and 1880s, southern society actually made great strides with the race issue. Even southern newspapers mentioned their new racial liberalism. There were no Jim Crow Laws then. Whites and blacks interacted in a world where social barriers had broken down.

As I understand it, the real resentment began in the late 1890's - well after federal soldiers had left the South. Once the South felt it could take back its political power in the 1890s, it did so.... and in the process took pride to keep a race of people subservient, especially in the Deep South. By the 1920's the KKK membership was at it's highest, and it's mission was singularly aimed.

A Confederate soldier (I'm not speaking of Forrest, but in general) who went home to nothing but humiliation could try and strike out by joining such an organization .... even if they never sought to participate actively. That doesn't excuse the brutality of the organization, but I can see it as a kind of reaction to post-war stress in that first decade after the war.

And what do you think happened during that time? I've heard this before. It couldn't have been the simple fact that the federal soldiers were leaving. Do you think during the 70's and 80's the average Southerner finally had a voice but once the federal's were gone they begin to lose it to the old aristocracy that was left over and saw their chance to gain back the power? I've heard it said here before that the fire eaters chose secession when they did because they thought they were starting to lose their voice.
 

jpeter

1st Lieutenant
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Location
Dallas, TX
And what do you think happened during that time? I've heard this before. It couldn't have been the simple fact that the federal soldiers were leaving. Do you think during the 70's and 80's the average Southerner finally had a voice but once the federal's were gone they begin to lose it to the old aristocracy that was left over and saw their chance to gain back the power? I've heard it said here before that the fire eaters chose secession when they did because they thought they were starting to lose their voice.

It's a good question, but I haven't see editorials to explain it. Blacks were voting and were being elected to state congresses. By the 1990s, it stopped.

I can only guess on this one. It's hard to know what was going through the minds of Southern males at the point where the first Jim Crow law appeared. Many of the people who were enacting those Jim Crow laws were children during the war.
 

jpeter

1st Lieutenant
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Location
Dallas, TX
The key might lie in who's children they were?

I agree. I think that's right. I think attitudes were passed on, and the people who had those political attitudes before the war passed them to their children... who just so happened to be the same ones being elected to office to control the politics of the next generation.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
I think you're right in large part. One historian thought the problem was the progressiveness of the blacks. They wanted to move forward rapidly in everything from education to infrastructure and it was a little too much coming on the heels of the great losses of white Southerners from the war, particularly the planter class. For quite some time the South had been slowing, even to stagnation in some places, and the planters were resistant to things like railroads and so forth. McPherson mentions statics showing that white Southern literacy was actually beginning to fall behind that of Northerners. He suggests there was actually a regression beginning due to slavery.

Southern society at that time was becoming very stratified and even rigid. Although Forrest became a very wealthy man and socially well off in Memphis, he wouldn't have been considered a real gentleman in Charleston or Richmond. I do think black equality was the problem many Southern white males had. No matter how ignorant or shabby they were they could say at least they weren't the n-word. The fear of black equality was what got Lincoln killed.

I agree with you that too much moral judgement is placed on being in the original KKK. As you mention, those men had been through a devastating war that destroyed all they had worked for and radical Reconstruction disfranchised and marginalized many of them. Dr Blight has a good lecture about this very thing in the Open Yale lectures that were posted a while ago. I also agree that all of this doesn't excuse joining that crew or others like it. Lee and many more wouldn't touch such groups wearing a haz-mat suit. It was, basically, a reaction that morphed - with some help - into a covert insurgency.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Quite right; this is not news to anyone who's looked at Forrest with anything like an objective eye.

I put up this blog post specifically to counter a claim that I've heard lately online, that there's "no evidence" that Forrest had anything to with the Klan, apart for ordering it to stand down. It's a ludicrous claim, which I replied to by pointing to accounts by both Crowe, one of the Klan's founders in Pulaski, and Morton, who includes a detailed essay in his own autobiography describing how he himself swore Forrest into the group. People can (and will) believe what they choose to about Forrest, but the claim that he had no involvement with the group is simply willful denial.

Regarding Joe Johnston, I was careless with my wording, and for that I apologize. My intent was to ask why if (as some claim), Forrest's only involvement with the group was his order to disband, why that order didn't come from someone even better known and senior to NBF. Johnston was simply a quick example.

Hope that helps clarify my blog post, and the reason for it.

Welcome to the forum, Andy. I hope you'll stay and lend your very considerable expertise and knowledge.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
That's a good point. The slaves had been trained to a certain mentality - many were just wanting nothing more than to survive free, didn't have great expectations. Their grandchildren, though, were the ones who took great strides ahead. The Harlem Renaissance for example. Sometimes it takes a couple generations for certain patterns of thinking to change. We've had that same problem in Indian country. There were a few generations who learned to be dependent and hang around the fort - that way of thinking is finally changing with the younger people.
 

Savez

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Location
Alabama
Welcome to the forum, Andy. I hope you'll stay and lend your very considerable expertise and knowledge.

That is Andy, as long as you agree with him on every aspect. If not then you will just be simply wrong. The books he reads say so.
 

Robtweb1

2nd Lieutenant
Retired Moderator
Annual Winner
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Location
Grand Junction, TN
I only have a few minutes right now, so bear with me. There were three distinctly different versions of the KKK. The 1st during the reconstruction period.

The 2nd, in the early 20th century and was very popular across the country, particularly in the midwest. There are pictures and a video of 40,000 Klansmen in their regalia marching down Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. This group's platform was as much against immigrants as blacks, although there were lynchings both in the South and the midwest. They turned into something like an organised crime syndicate and the government brought them down the same way they did Al Capone, prosecution for income tax evasion.

Today's KKK is what I call the Idiot's Club. They have no purpose other than to make a lot of noise for no explainable reason other than just hate.

There are plenty of websites that document all this and plenty of photos if everyone wants them posted here.
 

Lazy Bayou

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Location
Mississippi
That is Andy, as long as you agree with him on every aspect. If not then you will just be simply wrong. The books he reads say so.

Glad I read this because I was about to post pretty much the same thing. Its some sort of personality disorder he has.
 

Glorybound

Major
Retired Moderator
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Location
Indiana
Please everyone, can we lighten up with the reported posts on this thread. The mods are all aware of the friction between some posters. Let's make a little more effort to stay civil in our posts, and keep the sharp jabs and parries out of them. Thank you for your help.

Posted as Moderator
 

Savez

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Location
Alabama
Please everyone, can we lighten up with the reported posts on this thread. The mods are all aware of the friction between some posters. Let's make a little more effort to stay civil in our posts, and keep the sharp jabs and parries out of them. Thank you for your help.

Posted as Moderator


Sorry for that. I know which posts that is probably being reported. But I stand by that earlier post #41.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Quite right; this is not news to anyone who's looked at Forrest with anything like an objective eye.

I put up this blog post specifically to counter a claim that I've heard lately online, that there's "no evidence" that Forrest had anything to with the Klan, apart for ordering it to stand down. It's a ludicrous claim, which I replied to by pointing to accounts by both Crowe, one of the Klan's founders in Pulaski, and Morton, who includes a detailed essay in his own autobiography describing how he himself swore Forrest into the group. People can (and will) believe what they choose to about Forrest, but the claim that he had no involvement with the group is simply willful denial.

Regarding Joe Johnston, I was careless with my wording, and for that I apologize. My intent was to ask why if (as some claim), Forrest's only involvement with the group was his order to disband, why that order didn't come from someone even better known and senior to NBF. Johnston was simply a quick example.

Hope that helps clarify my blog post, and the reason for it.

Andy, thanks for commenting. I read your blog "Dead Confederates" regularly, and recommend it to all members of this forum. Whether its research into individuals, or on blockade running, its always enlightening and worth reading.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
I'll simply say I've posted more references on this board than you ever have. I'll also call BS on the "seething disdain for all things southern" I have a seething disdain for slavery, a corrupt CS Govt that treated its soldiers & citizens very poorly. The South does not and never has equalled the CS. Too many southerners served in the US military trying to put down the CS for that to be so. I can & do respect the soldier of the CS for what he was but not those who sent him.

You have repeatedly called me a liar here and on other boards; just because you don't like what is said, disagree w/ it or don't want to believe it doesn't make it untrue.

With that I've said my bit. If requested by a mod, I'll not only leave the thread but the board. I'm no longer required to suffer lies & slander about me from those who lack even the courage of their own name.

Sorry for that. I know which posts that is probably being reported. But I stand by that earlier post #41.
 

Savez

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Location
Alabama
I'll simply say I've posted more references on this board than you ever have. I'll also call BS on the "seething disdain for all things southern" I have a seething disdain for slavery, a corrupt CS Govt that treated its soldiers & citizens very poorly. The South does not and never has equalled the CS. Too many southerners served in the US military trying to put down the CS for that to be so. I can & do respect the soldier of the CS for what he was but not those who sent him.

You have repeatedly called me a liar here and on other boards; just because you don't like what is said, disagree w/ it or don't want to believe it doesn't make it untrue.

With that I've said my bit. If requested by a mod, I'll not only leave the thread but the board. I'm no longer required to suffer lies & slander about me from those who lack even the courage of their own name.

What other boards? This is the only forum I post on. I don't have to suffer your **** either,

Clint
 
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