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

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leftyhunter

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One thing you have to remember is a LOT of the State Militia were members of the "Secret Societies"
Any evidence of that? Also I know there has been some digression but did state militias run from the Klan were they willing to fight them? It certainly appears that the Arkansas State Milita was not intimidated by the pointy hat folks.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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On page 47 of Moyar, Gov Brownlow of Tn was able to make a deal with former Confederates. If they stopped Klan violence he would not send the militia to their county. It does not appear that what ever faults the Tn militia had being afraid of the pointy hat people was not one of them.
Leftyhunter
 

Borderruffian

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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
You do realize of course that Klan wae founded in Pulaski Tn by former officers of NBF's Division. They were not a nationwide or even Southern states wide group yet?
And a big part of them forming was the excessive punitive measures by the Parson Brownlow administration. Yes that did include voting rights etc for African Americans .I'm not in any way attempting to defend the Klan, however there is often the case there is more too it than the pop-culture history.
 

Hawkins

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Any evidence of that? Also I know there has been some digression but did state militias run from the Klan were they willing to fight them? It certainly appears that the Arkansas State Milita was not intimidated by the pointy hat folks.
Leftyhunter

I believe he might be referring to the Union League or perhaps the lesser know Knights of Pythias. However, I am unaware of a study that links membership in either organization to service in the state militia. Now, I wouldn't be surprised considering the links between those organizations and the spread of Republicanism in the South, but I haven't seen the data.
 

Hawkins

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You do realize of course that Klan wae founded in Pulaski Tn by former officers of NBF's Division. They were not a nationwide or even Southern states wide group yet?
And a big part of them forming was the excessive punitive measures by the Parson Brownlow administration. Yes that did include voting rights etc for African Americans .I'm not in any way attempting to defend the Klan, however there is often the case there is more too it than the pop-culture history.

However, the Klan isn't the only organization or pseudo-organization that existed at this time. While it might be true that most individuals involved in the violence of era might not have been official Klan members, if their aims were the same then does it matter if they had a membership card?

Furthermore, I might avoid terms like "excessive" given the developing situation on the ground in the South between 1865-1869. If anything, then I find the government to be more reactive than proactive. You have the Radicals saying, "You will free your slaves," and you have the Conservatives saying, "Fine, but we won't treat them grant them the same legal status as whites." In response, you have the Radicals passing the Civil Right Act of 1866 and saying "you will grant them equal treatment under the law." In response, you have Conservatives saying, "But we elect the officials that are going to be enforcing those laws and they are going to do what we want." Responding to that, the Radicals saying, "Alright, we will take away your rights, fire your officials, give the right to vote to the Freedmen, and they will install officials who will enforce the law." This back and forth continues with violence being the end result. While the Radicals might have been for harsh punishment, it seems the rest of the political establishment was reacting to an increasingly deteriorating condition in the South. YMMV.
 
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Some new students of the American Civil War may not be familiar with the name Brownlow.

Tennessee Governor William Gannaway Brownlow was a major figure during the reconstruction era in Tennessee.
His name will always be associated with the formation of the first incarnation of the KKK.

There have been many discussions about this man on CivilWarTalk, but this thread is one of my favorites:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/parson-brownlows-daughter-10-gallon-bucket-of-worms.105480/
 

Hawkins

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Some new students of the American Civil War may not be familiar with the name Brownlow.

Tennessee Governor William Gannaway Brownlow was a major figure during the reconstruction era in Tennessee.
His name will always be associated with the formation of the first incarnation of the KKK.

There have been many discussions about this man on CivilWarTalk, but this thread is one of my favorites:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/parson-brownlows-daughter-10-gallon-bucket-of-worms.105480/

I thank you for the thread. I found it to be very interesting. While I claim no expertise on the history of Tennesse, I am familiar enough with the Most Hated Man in the Tennesse History to have a vague opinion on him. I take no offense to the term "punitive" as that seems to be an apt description of the man. Now, "excessive" seems to be a little too subjective for my taste without a clearly defined metric by which to judge. I don't doubt Forrest would agree with the assessment, but also don't doubt that some Radical wondered when the hangings start.

However, I think a better question isn't whether it was excessive, but if it was necessary. Again, YMMV.
 
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leftyhunter

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You do realize of course that Klan wae founded in Pulaski Tn by former officers of NBF's Division. They were not a nationwide or even Southern states wide group yet?
And a big part of them forming was the excessive punitive measures by the Parson Brownlow administration. Yes that did include voting rights etc for African Americans .I'm not in any way attempting to defend the Klan, however there is often the case there is more too it than the pop-culture history.
True but per the OP I did state that the purpose of the the thread us to respond to specific assertions made that the U.S. Army and various state militas were cowered by the KKK. I know we always get a bit off topic.
More sourced evidence will be provided that the specific assertions made about the U.S. Army and state miltias being cowered by the KKK and similar terrorist organizations is false.
Yes ultimately the white supremacist organizations did ultimately win for 100 years there political goals.
However ultimately the above terrorist organizations did loose thanks to efforts of the federal government.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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Well said.

But as you know, current (pop-culture) seems to always trump the (Look at what actually happened) card.
The purpose of this thread is clearly outlined. It is in response to the specific assertions made that the KKK intimidated the U.S. Army and state militias. This threads purpose is to show sourced examples if those assertions are true or not.
One could add to an exsisting thread or create ones own about what the motivations were for forming white supremacist organizations. One could also argue if one beleives they were necessary and proper.
One could also blame them on Brownlow and other politicians and state that it was tgen necessary to practice legal discrimination for the next one hundred years.
Leftyhunter
 

Artemis Barca

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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


Cower?!?!

From the leftovers of a war that was always going to fail?!?!?

No lol...

I'm sure the army had orders to avoid blood shed if at all possible. But the US army had just crushed an organized multi state rebellion .

The kkk would have been corralling a toddler.. except for any political ramifications maybe.
 

Borderruffian

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However, the Klan isn't the only organization or pseudo-organization that existed at this time. While it might be true that most individuals involved in the violence of era might not have been official Klan members, if their aims were the same then does it matter if they had a membership card?

Furthermore, I might avoid terms like "excessive" given the developing situation on the ground in the South between 1865-1869. If anything, then I find the government to be more reactive than proactive. You have the Radicals saying, "You will free your slaves," and you have the Conservatives saying, "Fine, but we won't treat them grant them the same legal status as whites." In response, you have the Radicals passing the Civil Right Act of 1866 and saying "you will grant them equal treatment under the law." In response, you have Conservatives saying, "But we elect the officials that are going to be enforcing those laws and they are going to do what we want." Responding to that, the Radicals saying, "Alright, we will take away your rights, fire your officials, give the right to vote to the Freedmen, and they will install officials who will enforce the law." This back and forth continues with violence being the end result. While the Radicals might have been for harsh punishment, it seems the rest of the political establishment was reacting to an increasingly deteriorating condition in the South. YMMV.
However Klan or Kulxer"and KKK are specific terms referring to a specific organization. If any and all were being referred to "Night Riders " would have been better to include all groups in a "catch all" .
 

colt45texan

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I've read some history of Hopkins Co., Texas during Reconstruction that the occupying yankees had to build a stockade in the middle of Sulphur Springs (the county seat). They had free roam during the day but kept to the stockade at night. Family history says that the yankees came looking for my great grandfather & some of his brothers but they knew they were coming and hid out. The family lived in Pine Forest community which was 10 miles east of Sulphur Springs. They searched the home for them and my g g grandmother sat in a chair with her hoop skirt covering the hatch down into the root cellar where their provisions were kept. She did this because the yankees were also confiscating food and giving it to the Freedman's Bureau.
 

leftyhunter

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@CSA Today I dud find one example of federal soldiers being intimidated by the KKK.
From www.georgiaencylopedia.org/articles/history-archaelogly/ ku-klux-klan
"In Columbia County armed Klansman not only intimidated viters but even cowed federal soldiers sent to guard the polling place".
To be fair with few horses isolated detachments of soldiers are vunarable.
The artucle also points out that the Klan murdered and beat blacks as well has burning down their schools and cgurchs . Black Geogians fought back and rebuilt their schools and churchs.
Leftyhunter
 

WJC

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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.
Leftyhunter
My understanding is that the early 20th century Klan, though decidedly anti-immigrant, was still very much a white supremacy organization. The goal of this resurrected Klan was to “insulate the sacred principles and noble ideals of chivalry, the development of character, the protection of the home and the chastity of womanhood, the exemplification of a pure patriotism toward our glorious country, the preservation of American ideals and the maintenance of white supremacy.”
<http://listverse.com/2016/11/23/10-hard-facts-about-the-ku-klux-klan-in-the-early-20th-century/>
Anyone interested in what they themselves saw as their guiding principles (at least those they were willing to write down) can read The Klansman's Manual. <David Rothman and Sheila M. Rothman, Editors, Sources of the American Social Tradition: volume II, 1865 to Present. (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1975), p. 175.>
 

leftyhunter

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My understanding is that the early 20th century Klan, though decidedly anti-immigrant, was still very much a white supremacy organization. The goal of this resurrected Klan was to “insulate the sacred principles and noble ideals of chivalry, the development of character, the protection of the home and the chastity of womanhood, the exemplification of a pure patriotism toward our glorious country, the preservation of American ideals and the maintenance of white supremacy.”
<http://listverse.com/2016/11/23/10-hard-facts-about-the-ku-klux-klan-in-the-early-20th-century/>
Anyone interested in what they themselves saw as their guiding principles (at least those they were willing to write down) can read The Klansman's Manual. <David Rothman and Sheila M. Rothman, Editors, Sources of the American Social Tradition: volume II, 1865 to Present. (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1975), p. 175.>
No doubt as I acknowledged the Klan was always racist. It's just that the 2nd Klan of roughly 1915 to 1927 was more focused as an anti Catholic, anti immigrant movement.
Leftyhunter
 

Hawkins

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Hi Hawkins,
I just read the article. It doesn't appear to be a battle between the Klan vs Republicans unless I missed something. The fedeal forces certainly don't appear to be cowed. Catterson was an effective Arkansas State Milita leader who was not cowed by the KKK to say the least.
Absolutely Reconstruction was not a textbook example of effective counterinsurgency.
Leftyhunter

I would agree with your assessment of the Brooks-Baxter War as would my classmate Mike who did his Master's thesis on the Brooks-Baxter War. However, if the citations attributed to John Chodes's work found on certain "Southern Heritage" site are indicative of the scope his work concerning Arkansas during Reconstruction, then that would be a detraction for the claim that "Grant's threat to use troops seemed sufficient to restore to power Carpetbagger governors in Louisiana and Arkansas" or that it refutes any claim you have made regarding Arkansas. I guess that neither Chodes or @CSA Today are aware that Baxter was from North Carolina and couldn't be classified as a carpetbagger nor did the war restore any lasting support for the Republican government in Arkansas. But why let those facts get in the way, right?
 
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