The individual members were called Ghouls.
Control over local Dens was not as full as this organization would seem to indicate, and reckless and even lawless local leaders sometimes committed acts that the leaders could not condone. General Forrest, in Jan., 1869, seemingly under some apprehension as to the use of its power, ordered the disbandment of the Klan and resigned as Grand Wizard. Local organizations continued, some of them for many years.
What the Klan Actually Did -- Versus What it is Remembered For
The Klan was particularly efficacious in systematically keeping black men away from the polls, so that the ex-Confederates gained political control in many states -- in many ways, arguments were made in the last two general elections in the United States that the Republicans did something quite similar, but in a de facto manner, especially in close states such as the hotly contested Florida and others. Congress in 1870 and 1871 passed legislation to combat the Klan (see force bill). The Klan was especially strong in the mountain and Piedmont areas. In the Lower South the Knights of the White Camelia were dominant. That order, founded (1867) in Louisiana, is reputed to have had even more members than the Ku Klux Klan, but its membership was more conservative and its actions less spectacular. It had a similar divisional organization, with headquarters in New Orleans.
Now, in straying from the intent of this article's intent, let us briefly consider where we are today with the Ku Klux Klan and its influences, as compared to the past few centuries.
Today we are more subtly oppressed by our federal government, in such a way, taking almost unnoticeable encroaching steps forward, that we are made to feel we still have as much freedom and liberty as our founders had. Today's government has successfully made guns a fearful taboo in the eyes of modern American's, removing them from the hands of most sane citizen's, and creating such stringent intrusive laws against getting them, that the common man no longer has a way of protecting himself or family would the need arise.
According to today's Klan, due to the dumbing down education of the indoctrination camps we call state run public schools, the inward fight for truth and liberty is all but flushed from the souls of the American people. This along with the overwhelming amount of America's citizen's held captive in the government funded systems of social security, welfare, etc., most would do nothing to jeopardize their hand-outs. So, this government's regime have successfully created a society of spinelesss, unarmed, dependant slaves, that just go along with whatever they are fed from their leaders. There are almost not even enough weapons in the hands of common man these days to successfully raise a militia force like in the Patriot, if it became necessary at all in any way.
Most are too fearful to even whisper a derogatory word against those in places of authority, as they are constantly reminded of the power that will come against them in the media. According to the Klan, it is truly a sad state of affairs today if you compare this nation to what it had two centuries ago (or even one and a half centuries ago). The Klan's wish is that many more will study these issues on their own and see how much they have been indoctrinated in false lies of history.
Noting all of this, the Klan wishes to place a strong emphasis on the differences between such a group as the Klan of the 1860's, and that of the Klan of the 1900's to present. The agenda is radically different, the urgency and necessity is absent, and the justification for the actions is weak. The Klan simply makes no claim to defend the modern Klan, but I feel that much of what was happening during Reconstruction more than justifies such militia style groups and activities that came about during the time. Obviously not every action can be deemed acceptable, but the overall purpose and results of the group, in our opinion, can be seen as necessary.
The Klan During the 1920s
The Ku Klux Klan was most powerful during the 1920's when membership rose to nearly three million members. The Klan aimed to alienate non-whites and other religious groups from the rest of American society. The Klan was a hate group and displayed their hatred by killing thousands of people and destroying the lives of many others . The Klan was based in the South, but spread their hate across America -- and never was this more apparent than during the 1920s when Southern whites felt alienated from the general feeling of wealth in the nation among whites; and then again during the 1930s during the Great Depression.
The Klan is one of the most evil groups as portrayed by history books and by the media. But at the time of its origins, its goals were much different, and the logic behind the group's existence is far from murky -- it was almost forced by the North's violent and negative treatment of the South in the years following the Civil War and the poverty of the 1930s and the income disparities during the 1920s.
Chalmers, David. (2004) How the KKK Helped the Civil Rights Movement. African-American Review: Winter, 2004.
Webb, Samuel. (2004). A Revisionist View of the…