US Army War College considers removing Confederate portraits

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rgrokelley
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by rgrokelley »

The KKK was formed in 1866 by six former Confederates in Pulaski, TN (some sources say December 1865). The first KKK was formed as a “good ole boys” club more than a threat. To put it in the words of one of the original founders, Captain John Lester, “let's start something to break this monotony, and to cheer up our mothers and the girls. Let's start a club of some kind.” Nathan Bedford Forrest was not part of that original group.

About a year later the Klan had grown in size and they had become a political movement against Reconstruction. Unfortunately many Americans do not know what happened during this dark period of our history. When the 14th Amendment was created by Congress it needed ¾ of the States to ratify it to make it law. The 14th Amendment was written to punish the South. It states that if anyone served in the Confederate military or supported them, they could no longer vote or be counted towards representation in Congress. It also said that no one who had been in the Confederate government, or military, could be a Congressman or Senator. With that Amendment ¾ of the Southerners were no longer able to vote or have a say so in Congress. Of course the Southern states refused to ratify the Amendment… but the north had to have them ratify it, or it would not become law. By the way it just wasn’t the South that said the 14th Amendment was fucked up, but New Jersey and Oregon also refused to ratify the Amendment.

So Congress told the refusing states that if they did not ratify the Amendment, then they were no longer states and the 13 states of the South would now fall under just a few military districts. The only people who were allowed to hold office were the newly freed slaves, who were uneducated by the circumstances. Northern businessmen and politicians exploited this ignorance of the law and raped the land (these are the folks known as carpetbaggers). Anyone who opposed what they were doing would be beaten, jailed or even killed by the occupying US Army. Most of the Army had been disbanded at the end of the war, but there were large numbers of Black soldiers still serving. The newly freed slaves, Black soldiers and carpetbaggers became the enemy.

Some turned to individual violence. If you ever wondered why there was so much violence with men like Jesse James and Cole Younger, it was because they had been pretty good killers and since the government denied them any chance of furthering themselves, they picked up the gun and continued to wage war against Federal banks and Federal trains.

Some turned to organized resistance, through either political or violent methods. Forrest learned of the KKK and that his former chief of Artillery, Captain Morton, was a member. Forrest approached Captain Morton at the Maxwell House in Nashville and asked to join the organization (yep, that Maxwell House… the one with the coffee). Morton initially didn’t tell Forrest whether he was in it or not, since they were doing some subversive shit at the time. Nothing deadly yet, but incidents that violated the military occupation during Reconstruction. Any former Confederate who was thought to still bear allegiance to the Confederacy could be imprisoned. After taking a ride with Forrest, Morton was convinced that Forrest was sincere and he swore him into the Nashville chapter of the KKK.

Though Forrest was a big fish, they wanted THE big fish and some of the Tennessee members of the Klan rode to Virginia to ask Robert E. Lee to either join or meet them in a meeting in Nashville. Lee declined due to his health, but he did tell them in a letter that he approved of the Klan. Again, this was before the nefarious shit started happening. Lee, worried about possible repercussions against his family told them that his support would need to be “invisible”. The Klan seemed like a good way to get a political point across during the oppressive time of the Reconstruction.

At the meeting in Room #10, of the Maxwell House the Klan and its bylaws was laid out. One suggestion was to take Lee’s wording of his “invisible” support and use it to name the Klan the “invisible Empire”. When it came time to name the commander of the Klan, a suggestion was made to have Forrest command, “the Wizard of the Saddle”. Forrest was elected as the commander and the title of “Wizard” due to his nickname used during the war. Only veterans of the war were allowed to join, since it was to be a veteran’s organization.

On July 4, 1867 the Klan had a general parade to show their strength. To conceal their identities against any possible repercussions from the US military presence they wore robes that covered themselves and their horses (a man could be identified by his horse). A skyrocket went up at night to give the order to mount up and the KKK rode through the town, in total silence, for 2 ½ hours by marching out one side of the town and marching in another, like a figure 8. It gave the impression of a massive secret army. Though Forrest said he could command an army of 40,000, there was only about 400 in the march though the city.

Forrest was suspected as being the leader of this organization, and was called to testify in Washington, DC. During these hearings he denied being part of the Klan and denied that he knew of anyone who was in the Klan.

I said that Forrest resigned within a year of joining the Klan, but I was going from memory. Forrest did disband the organization in about two years. One of the reasons for this is that he did not like the violence that some of the Klan was creating. He did not like the idea of the members of his organization hiding behind their masks to do violence. Due to this he issued General Order Number One: "It is therefore ordered and decreed, that the masks and costumes of this Order be entirely abolished and destroyed." The other reason the Klan was disbanded was that Reconstruction was finally coming to an end, and the whole point of the KKK was to end the occupation by the US military forces. To do violence with the end in sight might lead to further occupation. Being the leader, Forrest disbanded the KKK.

As for Forrest’s personal beliefs about Blacks, he gave a speech in 1875 to a Black audience. I won’t include all of it, but one paragraph that he told them was “I will say to you and to the colored race that men who bore arms and followed the flag of the Confederacy are, with very few exceptions, your friends. I have an opportunity of saying what I have always felt - that I am your friend, for my interests are your interests, and your interests are my interests. We were born on the same soil, breathe the same air, and live in the same land. Why, then, can we not live as brothers? I will say that when the war broke out I felt it my duty to stand by my people. When the time came I did the best I could, and I don't believe I flickered. I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe that I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to bring about peace. It has always been my motto to elevate every man- to depress none. I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going.”

Sources
Letter from Reverend Thomas Dixon, Jr. supported by Captain Morton
Testimony of Judge J. P. Young, 7th Tennessee Cavalry and member of the KKK
Lytle, Andrew Nelson: Bedford Forrest and his Critter Company
Hurst, Jack: Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Biography
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by Jim »

I sent am e-mail to the Commandant(I was in class of 1993). He feels like it is settled. The pictures stay up.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by cams »

Fantastic history lesson O'Kelley, very interesting.

Thanks for taking to the time to post it.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by hobbit »

I especially like this qoute from the Allen West link above:

"If there were a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forest, I would have a different assessment, since he was instrumental — along with Democrats, lest we forget — in establishing the Ku Klux Klan."

Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2013/12/revisioni ... 38leEyX.99

The US Congressional Record makes the same accusation, as do many other relevant sources.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by rgrokelley »

hobbit wrote:I especially like this qoute from the Allen West link above:

"If there were a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forest, I would have a different assessment, since he was instrumental — along with Democrats, lest we forget — in establishing the Ku Klux Klan."

Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2013/12/revisioni ... 38leEyX.99

The US Congressional Record makes the same accusation, as do many other relevant sources.
The US Congressional record also states there is global warming, the Spanish sunk the Maine, North Vietnam attacked us in Tonkin Gulf, the Lusitania was just a passenger liner with no munitions, there are WMDs in Iraq, and Bill Clinton is not guilty of perjury.

Not exactly a good source for truth.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by Jim »

rgrokelley wrote:
hobbit wrote:The US Congressional Record makes the same accusation, as do many other relevant sources.
The US Congressional record also states there is global warming, the Spanish sunk the Maine, North Vietnam attacked us in Tonkin Gulf, the Lusitania was just a passenger liner with no munitions, there are WMDs in Iraq, and Bill Clinton is not guilty of perjury.

Not exactly a good source for truth.
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