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Did the KKK and similar organizations cause the Union Army and state militia to cower during Reconst

Discussion in 'Post Civil War History, The Reconstruction Period' started by leftyhunter, Sep 17, 2017.

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  1. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    The purpose of this thread as the title suggests is very narrow. It does not concern morality or cause of Reconstruction Era violence. Does who wish to discuss those topics should post seperate threads.
    This thread is in response to @CSA Today 's assertions.
    Starting on post # 457 from the thread"By what metric was the Confederate Army the best"
    "U.S. Army shied away from engagement during Radical Reconstruction.
    Post #486 "the Occupying army avoided contact with the Klan"
    Post #468
    "Do you have sources the U.S. Army ever got close enough to the Klan to cause them to runaway"?
    Post # 487 "Kirk ( former Union Army Col and then commander of the North Carolina State Troops in 1876) turned tail and fled back to East. Tn"?
    We will explore those questions with sourced information.
    Again no debates about morality . I would propose to my friends @Pat Young @ForeverFree a separate thread about the effectiveness of or lack there of concerning Reconstruction era counterinsurgency.
    I will use the following book for my source
    "A question of command Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to Iraq" Mark Moyar director of research at Orbis Operations and the author of "Triumph For
    saken: The Vietnam War 1954-1965 and Phoenix and the birds of prey: Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism in Vietnam Yale University Press
    p.46
    "The primary counter insurgency armed forces were the federal army and the state militias . The Army could cover little territory, for it had 20,000 soldiers for the entire South for most of Radical Reconstruction . When federal troops came to a county rife with insurgency ,the insurgents almost always avoided attacking them , for army units tented to be well equipped and proficient in combat, and antagonizing them could cause the terrible swift sword to swoop down , in the form of hundreds or thousands of troops. The damage inflicted on the South by the likes of Sherman and Sheridan had instilled a ghastly fear of federal forces that would not go away , no matter how small their current presence in the South.
    White insurgents usually evaded capture by dispersing and staying low. "
    There is of course more to the page but so far no evidence of white insurgents taking on the Army or the Army trying to avoid contact with them.
    Feel free to dispute the above but while sourced information is not required it would help support one's assertions.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  3. Hawkins

    Hawkins Private

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    Hello all,

    Long time reader, first-time poster. So, please forgive if I make a mistake. While I can not speak for the entire South, I can say that for Arkansas cower isn't the word I would use. If anything, the actions by the KKK and similar organizations spawned a military response. In my limited study of the Freedmen's Bureau records, I have found several instances of Bureau agents reporting violence by groups of "lawless characters" and requests troops to suppress these individuals were made. I have even found an instance in which General Edward O. C. Ord, assistant commissioner for the Bureau in Arkansas, gave a verbal order to an agent to request troops from the HQ in Little Rock to go after these types of individuals in 1867. Before and after the accession of Powell Clayton to the governorship in 1868, we see the continuation and expansion of the violence. The response wasn't to cower but is referred to as the Militia Wars. However, I would note that Arkansas might be the exception and not the rule during this era. Please examine the following links for more information.

    Militia Wars of 1868-1869: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=7904
    Powell Clayton: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=94
    Daniel Phillips Upham:http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=1790

    Randy

    P.S. Fun fact. Two of the commanders of the militia, Capt. Samuel W. Mallory and Major James T. Watson, were former Bureau agents.
     
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  4. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    I do not believe the northern military effort against the KKK was ever looked at as a long-term solution to the growing southern problem of suppressing and lynching African-Americans. Eventually the North after a long and bloody war had had enough the will of the people was gone and most Northerners felt enough was enough and by leaving the South to its own demise. We turned our back on the people that need us most that's the sad part.
     
  5. Specster

    Specster First Sergeant

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    If Lee agreed to continue the fight with Bushwaskers and KKK types, who would have been the biggest losers? More often than not civil wars officially ended but went on another 50 years with horrible consequences. This is complicated exponentially by the assassination of Lincoln but given the losses up to April 1865, If the North had to press on to obliterate the South the y could have.....their army was at the pinnacle of its power at the close. I think it was all about reconciliation and the KKK did not gain significant numbers for decades
     
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  6. atlantis

    atlantis First Sergeant

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    I do not see evidence that combatting the Klan was the primary mission for US army, since the Klan was not fighting to break away from the USA.
     
  7. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    The KKK and similar groups had numbers significant to deny equal rights for a good one hundred years. Unfortunately for blacks and Unionists the federal government would throw them under the bus untill circa 1964.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  8. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Your right from President Hayes onwards it was not. It took the grandson of a Confederate soldier to turn that around. Your also right the KKK while a white supremacist terrorist group was not a seccessiont movement by any means. Thus they were not a threat to the federal government and were the armed wing of the Democratic party untill the mid 1960s.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  9. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Moyars definitely gets into the history of the Arkansas State Milita although all sourced accounts are welcome. Arkansas should of been the model on how the KKK should of been fought.
    Later on we shall see if the North Carolina State Troops were cowered by the KKK.
    Leftyhunter
     
  10. atlantis

    atlantis First Sergeant

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    Equal rights was a domestic issue for individual states to resolve not the US army. Mission of the army was to prevent rebellion and repel external threats.
     
  11. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Not after the 1965 Civil Rights Act. Even during Reconstruction many congressmen wanted to protect the rights of African Americans and so did President Grant. The U.S. Constitution does give the federal government the right to suppress rebellion such has in the case of terrorist organizations such has the KKK.
    However we should stayv on topic which I outlined in my first post.
    This thread is in reply to the already outlined assertions from @CSA Today .
    Leftyhunter
     
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  12. atlantis

    atlantis First Sergeant

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    With regard to your question was the army and militia cowed. The army no, the militia on the other hand had families there to be concerned for.
     
  13. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    True but as we shall see and one of our new posters @Hawkins has already posted that was certainly not the case in Arkansas .
    Leftyhunter
     
  14. atlantis

    atlantis First Sergeant

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    I should have worded my response more clearly. Looking at that period the army was shrinking and at same time engaged in active operations out west plus until 1867 you had the French in Mexico. So I think logic concludes choices were made resulting in AA and unionists getting shortchanged.
     
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  15. atlantis

    atlantis First Sergeant

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    Lefty I want to say thanks for your bringing light on coin. Coin has proven a difficult problem for US forces to solve in many wars.
     
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  16. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Plus the U.S. govt was more or less financially broke and the American people were burnt out. However at the same time as the links provided by @Hawkins show by no means were Arkansas Milita intimidated by the KKK.
    Leftyhunter
     
  17. Specster

    Specster First Sergeant

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    Without Nathan Forrest I dont think the KKK would have got off the ground. They were weak in numbers and powers up to 1900 IMO. I think w/o the Nativist - anti immigrant movement between 1900 and 1920 I dont think the Klan would have gone anywhere. In order to succeed, it seems like history bares out that in order to succeed you have to have someone to hate
     
  18. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    To be fair I know of no military force on earth that has a magic solution to the problem of COIN. Counterinsurgency is just plain hard. My son fortunately so far knock on wood hasn't had to fight but he has observed Philippines Marines conduct counterinsurgency patrols while stationed and training with them.
    The Philippines has an over 100 year history of more or less constant counterinsurgency plus the Armed Forces of the Philippines sent a 3,500 man civi action brigade to Vietnam. No military has a magic wand when it comes to counterinsurgency strategy and sucess.
    The Union Army in the Civil War is about has good had it gets.
    Leftyhunter
     
  19. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com Sergeant Major Forum Host

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    One thing you have to remember is a LOT of the State Militia were members of the "Secret Societies"
     
  20. Specster

    Specster First Sergeant

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    I think Lee stated that a Bush-wacker type war would have been hard on all sides but hardest on one particular group.....Southern civilians. That is why he said, basically, no way. Imagine Sherman and his ilk cutting 20 more swaths thru the South in the next 10 years? Industry - gone.....trade foreign and domestic gone. What sense would any of that make. At the end of the day there are few winners in war, but there are far fewer winners by any stretch of the imagination in a guerilla/counter insurgency conflict. It becomes tit for tat inevitably and the consequences are ugly......we have seen this in our lifetimes...even with "Smart Weapons" and trying to "win Hearts" it never works out - never can be counted as a good thing.
     
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  21. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Possibly true. The counterargument is that there were many similar Democratic party paramilitaries or terrorist movements such has the Red Shirts in Louisiana and the Knights of the White Camilia.
    The 2nd Klan which started in 1915 to the mid 1920s was as you pointed out more of an anti Catholic and immigration movement although not pro civil rights by any means. The Third Klan is from 1954 to 1965 afterwards it splt into varioys smaller factions.
    True no hatred no reason to join a terrorist group got to have one to get the other.
    But we disgress .
    Leftyhunter
     
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