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CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
3 1924 083 530 117
The original of this book is in
the Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.
MOUNTED KU KLUX.
THE KU KLUX KLAN
Mrs. S. E. F. Kobe
"The U. D. G.—Its Object and Mission"
"The Confederate Picture Gallery"
"Arlington — Its Past and Present"
L. Graham Co., Ltd.,
New Orleans, La.
MRS. S. E. F. ROSE,
West Point, Miss.
All rights reserved, including that of Dramatization
and Translation into Foreign Languages.
THIS book is dedicated by the author to the
Youth of the Southland, hoping that a
perusal of its pages will inspire them with
respect and admiration for the Confederate soldiers,
who were the real Ku Klux, and whose deeds of
•courage and valor, have never been surpassed, and
rarely equalled, in the annals of history.
THE Ku Klux had no written history. Their
Constitution declared, "That the origin,
mysteries, and ritual, of this order shall
never be written, but shall be communicated orally."'
This secrecy was made necessary by existing condi-
tions, and in no sense reflected 1 upon the bravery of
its members, for they were the "bravest of the
brave." Even at this late day, it is difficult to se-
cure information in regard to this mysterious
Brotherhood, and many books of reference contain
false statements about the Klan. To give a detailed
history of the Ku Klux Klan, would require many
volumes, for Klans were formed in all the Southern
States, and their membership reached large numbers,
estimated at half a million, but in this book may be
found true and authentic history answering the fol-
Who were the Ku Klux? Where did the Klan
originate ? What was its object and mission ?
For the purpose of giving the youth of our land
true history about this remarkable organization,
whose services were of untold value to the South,
during a dark period of her history, this book is
written. The facts herein contained are absolutely
authentic, being recorded from the lips of the sur-
MRS. S. E. F. ROSE.
THE Author acknowledges with deepest grati-
tude the kind assistance of many Confederate
Veterans and prominent men who were
members of the Ku Klux Klan, who have furnished
data and written incidents related in this book, also
for the permission, so willingly given by Prof. Wal-
ter L. Fleming, Professor of History in the Louisiana
State University, and author of book, entitled
"Ku Klux Klan," to use paragraphs and pictures
from his book. Also to many noble Southern
women and to the widows of those brave men,
Major James R. Crowe, and Mr. John B. Kennedy,
last surviving Charter Members of the Klan, who
furnished valuable data and photographs. The
Author has been bidden "God Speed" by Confede-
rate Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans,
Daughters of the Confederacy, in the preparation
of this history, which is a complete vindication of
the Ku Klux Klan borne out by facts that are ab-
solutely authentic, and statements from men who
were members of the Klan, whose integrity is un-
questioned. This book goes out to the world with
a mission to perform: "To bring these truths of
history directly to the youth of our land." The
Author prays that its mission will be accomplished.
The attractive illustrations and true history should
make interesting reading for young and old, and
for all those who hold the glorious deeds of our
Southern Heroes in everlasting remembrance.
THIS Book was unanimously endorsed by the
United Daughters of the Confederacy, in
Convention assembled at New Orleans, La.,
November 12-15, 1913, and co-operation pledged
to endeavor to secure its adoption as a Supplemen-
tary Reader in the schools and to place it in the
Libraries of our Land.
A Resolution to endorse this Book was
adopted, without a dissenting voice, by the Sons
of Confederate Veterans at Reunion May 6-8,
1914 at Jacksonville, Florida, and their efforts
pledged to have it placed in the schools through-
out the South.
I. The En Klux Klan — Seasons for Its Ex-
II. Where First Organized 18
III. Original Letters of Last Two Surviving
Charter Members 20
IV. Members, and Objects of Klan 25
V. Carpetbaggers — Scalawags — Negroes .... 30
VI. Eeal and Bogus Klans 34
VII. Departments and Officers 37
VIII. Ku Klux Banner 39
IX. Constitution, Creed and Oath 40
X. Costumes and Parades 43
XI. Notices and Warnings 48
XII. Lessons Taught by the Ku Klux Klan 51
an. Ku Klux Stories 53
XIV. "Pen-Picture of a Ku Klux Escapade". . 55
XV. "A Messenger of the Ku Klux Klan". . . 60
XVI. The End of Eeconstruction . . . ; 68
XVH. Disbandment 71
XVIII. Closing Reflections 74
Biographical — (General Nathan Bedford
General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Grand Wizard of
the Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Empire 3
Photo of Major James R. Crowe, a Charter Member
of the Klan 12
Photo of Mr. John B. Kennedy, Charter Member of
the Klan 23
Home of Mr. Thomas Martin, where the Ku Klux
held their first meetings 25
Ku Klux Banner 37
"Ole Black Mammy" 51
"Ole Uncle Wash" 59
Mississippi Ku Klux 67
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THE KU KLUX KLAN.
Reasons For Its Existence.
THE Ku Klux Klan, or the Invisible Empire as
it was also called, was an organization formed
at the close of the war between the States,
during the period known as Reconstruction, for the
purpose of protecting the homes and women of the
The war terminated suddenly, and finally in the
Spring of 1865. All resources of the Southern
Armies were completely exhausted, and they laid
down their arms as the result of being overpowered.
General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of
Northern Virginia at Appomattox, April 9, 1865,
and this was quickly followed by all the other com-
mands, so that in two months after the date of the
surrender, there was not a Confederate soldier under
arms throughout the entire South. The surrender,
on the part of the Confederate armies, was uni-
versal and sincere; there was no reservation, and
no desire to continue the struggle in any way.
14 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
Complete submission was given to the authority
of the United States Government by all, those in
official and private station as well. Notwithstanding
this, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate
States, was thrust into prison; other leaders of the
Confederacy and distinguished citizens were arrested,
and members of the Confederate Cabinet were
forced to become exiles.
The condition of the South was deplorable indeed.
Business destroyed, farms gone to wreck, homes
laid waste, many of the returning soldiers disabled
and broken in health. There was a track of desola-
tion and devastation, without a parallel in history,
estimated fully five miles wide, from the Tennessee
line through Georgia to Savannah, through South
Carolina, by Columbia, to North Carolina, and the
desolation in the valley of Virginia, if possible, was
No money, no stock to work the ground, and
nothing at hand with which to begin life again, so
it seemed. Four million slaves suddenly emanci-
pated, with no realization whatever of the responsi-
bilities that freedom brought.
Many negroes conceived tbe idea that freedom
meant cessation from labor, so they left the fields,
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 15
crowding into the cities and towns, expecting to be
fed by the United States Government. So agricul-
ture the chief means of support in the South, was
at a standstill. Railroads and other means of trans-
portation were almost wrecked, and chaos reigned
To the general confusion was added a flood of
adventurers from the North, called Carpet-baggers,
who were not generally Northern soldiers ; but mere
camp followers of the Northern armies; men im-
bued with passions of the lowest order, settling in
the South for the purpose of controlling the South-
ern States by becoming leaders of the negro voters,
the best class of white people being excluded from
voting by the Reconstruction measures of Congress
These men hated everything that bore the name
"Southern," and at once began to inflame the
negroes against their former masters. (They were
told by these unprincipled men that the Southern
people expected to put them back into slavery, and
the United States Government was going to give
every able-bodied negro man "Forty acres of land
and a mule.
In this demoralized state of affairs, in many in-
stances, private property was seized, and taken pos-
J 6 THE KU KLUZ ELAN,
session of in the name of the United States Govern-
ment. This was the situation, in 1865, at the
South, exhausted, prostrated, disarmed, "overpow-
ered, but not degraded."
And yet Hope remained, for many of those brave
heroes, — the Confederate Soldiers — who endured all
the hardships of those four terrible years of war,
were still left to protect, with their last drop of
blood, their beloved Southland.
These conditions, as described in the above lines,
at the close of the War between the States, called
into existence the Ku Klux Klan, and, this organiza-
tion proved the solution of ^a problem that con-
fronted the South during the dark days of Recon-
struction, and relieved a situation fraught with more
terrors than the war itself.
The South was soon under what is known as the
CarpetrBag Regime; men without principle were in
power, and negroes, already demoralized by their
freedom, were elevated to the highest positions.
The Black and Tan Government, composed of
Republican Carpet-baggers, home-made Yankees, or
Scalawags, and ignorant and brutal negroes, now
held full sway.
Union Leagues, whose members were mainly
negroes, and the lowest element of whites, were
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 17
"hotbeds for engendering race strife, and negro equal-
ity and plans to place the "black heels on the white
necks." Orders from the Freedman's Bureaus were
carried out by negro militia. In addition, there
were the home Yankees, despicable traitors to the
South, who were ready for any deed, no matter
how dark, to curry favor with those in power..
The white men of the South were not allowed to
vote or carry firearms, and no indignity was too
great- to be offered them, or their families.
The negro considered freedom svnonymmrs.with
equality, and his greatest ambition was to marry a
~WMe wife. Under such conditions the negro
clothed with all authority and outnumbering the
white, two to one, open resistance would have
"meant instant death, or being sent to some Northern
dungeon, there to languish and die, leaving loved
ones exposed to dangers too terrible to contemplate,
at the hands of these brutish despots, f Under such
-conditions there was only one recourse left, to or-
ganize a powerful Secret Order to accomplish what
x:ould not be done in the open So the Conferedate
soldiers, as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and fully
equal to ally emergency, came agairTfo the rescue,
and delivered -the South from a bondage worse than
WHERE FIRST ORGANIZED.
THE Ku Klux Klan had its birth in the town of
Pulaski. Giles, County Tennessee, during the
winter of l865-'66. There were six charter
members, all having honorable records as Confede-
rate soldiers. The word Ku Klux was really coined
by them, being formed from the Greek word, "Ku-
klos," meaning a circle. They added Klan, which
made the name at once unique, mysterious, and
Pulaski, the birthplace of the organization, is the
county seat of Giles County, a town of importance,
of culture and refinement, and at that time had a
population of 3,000 or more. It was a town of
churches, schools and colleges and not a community
that would have produced desperadoes and cut-
throats. It is well to note that the very concep-
tion of the Ku Klux Klan was amid influences ele-
vating and refining, and its charter members were
gentlemen of education and refined tastes, and could
not have conceived the organization of an order that
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 19
had for its objects low purposes or brutal usages.
Pulaski always, in a way, remained headquarters
for the Klan, as many of the officers lived there,
and the town was proud of being the birthplace of
this great organization, which was destined to play
such an important part in the history of the Recon-
struction period, 1865 to 1870.
The superstition of the negro! is well known, and
through thi& element in his makeugThTKu Klux
gainedranixoL They made the negroes believe that'
they were the ghosts of their dead masters, and
under the conviction 1 that if they did wrong, spirits
from the other world would visit them; the negroes
became, very quiet and subdued.
The Klan spread rapidly, and in a year had
reached such large numbers, it was found necessary
to have some one of experience and influence to
become the leader. v So General Nathan Bedford
Forrest, the distinguished cavalry leader of the Con-
federacy, was chosen. He took the oath in Room
No. 10 of the Maxwell House, Nashville, Tennessee,
in the fall of 1866, almost a year after the organi-
zation of the Klan, and was made Grand Wizard
of the Invisible Empire. General George W. Gor-
don prepared the oath and ritual for the Klan.
ORIGINAL LETTERS FROM THE LAST TWO
SURVIVING CHARTER MEMBERS OF
THE KU KLUX KLAN.
Sheffield, Ala., Oct. 25, 1908.
Mrs. Laura Martin Rose,
My Dear Madam: Your letter in regard to the
origin and object of the Ku Klux Klan was received
in due time. It affords me pleasure to comply with
your request. I am glad to see the U. D. C. taking
so much interest in getting a correct history of the
eventful days of '61 to '65. You would, no doubt,
be surprised to know the number of letters I receive
from various parts of our country in regard to the
Ku Klux Klan. The Order was organized in Pulaski,
Tennessee, in the winter of 1865 and '66, in the
office of Major Thomas M. Jones, by the following
named men, all of whom had honorable records as
Confederate soldiers: Richard R. Reed, John B.
Kennedy, John C. Lester, Frank O. McCord, Cal-
vin Jones and James R. Crowe.
Frank O. McCord was the first Grand Cyclops; I
MAJOR JAMES R. CROWE.
Major James R. Crowe, one of the last two surviving charter
members of the Ku Klux Klan, who died at Sheffield, Ala., July
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 21
was the next officer in rank, which was Grand
Turk. We held several meetings at the office of
Judge Jones; then we held several meetings at the
home ,of your grandfather, Mr. Thomas Martin.
Afterwards, our regular den was made in the old
residence of Dr. Benjamin Carter. The house had
been wrecked by a tornado, only one room left,
and that was hidden by the debris of the large build-
ing. The house was supposed to be toasted, this
served our purposes well, as we played, upon the
superstitious, fend made them believe we were the
spirits of dead Confederates. The word Ku Klux
was coined by us. We chose the Greek word for
circle, "Kuklos," as the name of our circle and
afterwards called it Ku Klux, then added Klan and
made it from that day -historical. The youngeri
generation will never fully realize the risk we ran,
and the sacrifices we made to free our beloved
Southland from the hated rule of the "Carpet-
bagger," the worse negro and the home Yankee.
Thank God, our work was rewarded by complete
success. After the order grew to large numbers,
we found it was necessary to have someone of
large experience to command.
We chose General N. B. Forrest, who had joined
22 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
our number. He was made a member and took
the oath in the Room No. 10 of the Maxwell House
at Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall of 1866, nearly
a year after we organized at Pulaski. The oath was
administered to him by Captain John W. Morton,
afterwards Secretary of State, Nashville, Tennessee.
There is only one besides myself of the original
six who organized the Ku Klux Klan, Mr. John B.
Kennedy, of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. If you will
write to him he could give you more information.
Trusting the sketch I have given you will help
you in your work,
I am, sincerely, your friend,
JAMES R. CROWE.
Lawrenceburg, Tenn., March 15, 1909.
Mrs. S. E. F. Rose.
Dear Madam : Your kind letter reached me yes-
terday, and I hasten to reply, for we old Ku Klux
appreciate any interest manifested in our order.
The Ku Klux Klans were composed of the very
best citizens of our countrv: their mission was'to
protect the weak and oppressed during the dark
days of Reconstruction. To protect the women of
fhe South, who were the loveliest," most noble and
MR. JOHN BOOKER KENNEDY.
Mr. John Booker Kennedy, one of the last two surviving charter
members of the Ku) Klux Klan, wiho died at Lawrenceburg, Tenn.,
FVhninrv IS 1013.
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 23
best women in the world. The survivors are old
-mermow, old with their memories of other days
long past, to cheer them during life's twilight.
They are proud they were Ku Klux, and could give
aid to these dear Southern women again during the
Reconstruction period, for it was a dark and dis-
tressing era in our beloved Southland. We did
nothing to make us ashamed ; our acts were always
for the good of our country and those we loved.
After the lapse of all these years, the survivors of
the Ku Klux Klan are gratified to hear the verdict
of many who say to us, "Well dorte ; you undoubt-
edly saved the beautiful Southland during the Re-
It is pleasing to us, for we did our duty as we
saw it then; we are grateful for the kind apprecia-
tion and interest of our people now. Pardon me
for speaking once again of the dear Southern women,
the heroines, who so bravely bore the heavy burdens
and hardships of those long years of war. The
world has never known lovelier, braver women
than they were. They were ministering angels to
the soldiers. They were our inspiration, and will
live in our hearts forever. Their m'emory is a
sweet benediction to our lives as we near the last
river. We would say to younger women, teach
24 THE KU KLTJX ELAN,
your children to love and honor the memory of
those noble women of the South, the women of the
Wishing you much success in securing facts and
truths for your history, 1 am willing to give you
any information possible.
JOHN B. KENNEDY.
Note : — The original letters, as per the above, are-
the valued possessions of the author of this book :
These letters from the pens of those charter mem-
bers of the Ku Klux Klan, Major James R. Crowe
and Mr. John B. Kennedy, contain the truth of his-
tory, and nothing could prove more interesting, or
more valuable in order to preserve the facts for
future generations than these records from the pens
of the last two surviving charter members of that
mysterious brotherhood of men known as the Ku
Since these letters were written, both of these
noble men, who served their country well, both in
war and in peace, have crossed over the river of
death, and their lips are now forever sealed, and
these written words from them leave a record, deep-
ly significant, and of priceless value.
MEMBERS AND OBJECTS OF THE KLAN.
IT is for the sake of the home that almost all
things are wrought and achieved. It was the
home instinct that prompted the valiant Virgin-
ians, the persistent Puritans, and the determined
Dutch to dare the waves of an unknown and un-
charted sea, and come to America, where they hoped
to find an opportunity for the establishment of that
for which their hearts yearned, a home. Upon these
sacred principles, love and protection of home, was
founded the Ku Klux Klan; and no organization
ever held loftier ideas or nobler purposes. It was
composed of the soldiers of the Confederacy, who,
for four years, had thrilled the world with their
deeds of courage and valor, and returning to their
desolated homes, were forced to confront the war
penalty imposed upon the States of the Confede-
racy, slave confiscation and Reconstruction under
At first this circle was formed for social pleasure
and recreation, and on discovering that the queer
26 THE KU ELVX ELAN,
costumes, the great secrecy and weird mystery
operated on the minds of the ignorant and vicious
negroes and undesirable whites, they turned their
objects into more useful channels. The element of
superstition in the negro, and the bold villainy of
the depraved white man were appealed to, and the
one was scared nearly to death, while the other
gradually disappeared. The Ku Klux knew the
character of the whites and blacks with whom they
had to deal, and with each they used the needed
treatment. Initiation into this order is said to have
tried the souls of men, and tested their courage as
no other secret order, before or since, has done.
They bound themselves to allegiance to the laws of
the United States. The question then arises, Why
a secret organization? Because ex-Confederates
were denied the 'right of ballot^ "the right to testify
in the courts or to carjy firearms. There were
negro soldiers, legislators and magistrates, and as
negroes held all offices, the white men were com-
pletely at their mercy, and they could tie them up
by their thumbs whenever they chose, The only
thing to do in order 'to preserve some form of just
government and have some degree of freedom was
to organize a compact secret body to do what
openly they could not do.
OB INVISIBLE EMBIBE. 27
It is not to be inferred because the Ku Klux
operated under the cover of darkness and disguise,
that they were cowards, for their courage was of
the highest order. But with the South disarmed,
and under Carpet-Bag rule, to have acted in the
open, would have been equivalent to offering their
wrists for handcuffs, and being sent to some North-
ern prison by the United States Marshal, there to
slowly die of starvation or torture, thus leaving the
women and children in the South to be subjected to
insults from negroes; and scalawags, with no one to
The Ku Klux were opposed to the shedding of
human blood, and violence was never used except
as a last resort. Repeated warnings were given to
offenders, and it was only when they were not
heeded, that the Ku Klux resorted to extreme
It has been said that the methods of the Night
Riders are similar to those of the Ku Klux Klan,
but never was anything more erroneous. There is
no similarity except, perhaps, the secrecy, the mov-
ing at night and the masked figures, and there it
ends. The methods of the Ku Klux Klan were
generally peaceful and without undue destruction
28 THE KU KLUX KLAN,
to life and property, and when its objects had been
accomplished, there was no persecution, nor pillag-
ing, nor hounding of anyone. ( And when tranquility
was restored to the land, the Klan "folded their
tents like the Arabs, and as silently stole away.^jf
It is true that some negroes were killed by the
Ku Klux, but in every instance, it was because they
offered violent resistance. The Ku Klux would
visit a negro who had been guilty of wrong doing,
and who had been repeatedly warned to conduct
himself in the proper manner, they would carry
him out to give him a severe whipping as a punish-
ment, and in order to scare) him into behaving him-
self, and the negro would make an attack on the
Ku Klux, who were then forced to kill him in self-
defense, The truth about it would never be known,
and the report would go out that the Ku Klux had
murdered a negro in cold blood, the true facts in
the case always being suppressed. As on the
frontier, many crimes were charged to the Indians,
which were really committed by some mean white
men, so ihe Ku Klux got credit for many things
they did not do^nd motives they never entertained.
The following incident shows how the Ku Klux
were feared, not only by the negroes, but Scala-
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 29
wags and Carpet-baggers, as well. Down in Mis-
sissippi, during the high tide of Reconstruction, a
Carpet-bag Justice of the Peace was trying a white
man for assaulting a negro. One of the Ku Klux
leaders of that State walked into court, and placed
a pistol on the table in front of him, and moved,
"that .the court adjourn." It immediately did ad-
journ, and that Justice never held court again, al-
thought he remained in office more than a year
CARPET-BAGGERS— SCALAWAGS— AND
HESE were the parties with whom the Ku
Klux had to deal. fThe first were Radicals
from the North who came South at the close
of the war between the States, hoping to hold the
reins of government. As they were backed up by
all the power of the North, they had authority to
do whatever they saw fit. No measures were too
atrocious, no humiliation too great to be offered to
the people of the South by these Carpet-baggers.
The second were the Scalawags — also called in de-
rision, the Home- Yankees.
The Scalawags were of all men most detested.
They were native born whites, miserable traitors
to the South, and playing for favor with the suc-
cessful side. They preached equality to fhe negroes,
telling them 'that, "They were just as good, if not
a little better, than the whites." They would march
the negroes to the polls and make them vote, under
a banner inscribed, "Down with Democracy."
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 31
There might be some excuse for the negro, ignorant,
his freedom suddenly thrust upon him, and crazed
by a sudden elevation to power, but for these de-
praved whites, who proved that a white skin does
not always mtean a white man, there was no pos-,
sible excuse. They made themselves the lowest of
the low, and deserving of the contempt in which
they were held by all, even the negroes themselves.
It is impossible to portray in language how these
Scalawags were detested, despised and ostracized.
The great Irish orator and patriot, Emmett, once
declared — "That the meanest of all mean things is
an anti-Irish Irishman." If he had lived in the
South during Reconstruction, he would have said,
"That the meanest of all mean things is an anti-
These two classes of negro leaders, the Scala-
wags and Carpet-baggers, were the instigators of all
the trouble in the South, the negroes being used by
them simply as a means to an end, viz: to control
their votes, and handle the reins of government for
their own nefarious schemes. As to the third class
mentioned in the heading, the negroes, many of
them proved most faithful. Some followed their
masters to the war, others remained with "ole
32 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
Mistis and de Chillun," looking after their wants ar
protecting them by every means in their powe
Even after the war, many negroes declined to a
cept their freedom, seeming to regard it as som
thing thrust upon them which they neither apprec
ated nor desired, and preferred to remain wil
"their white folks." Even the promise of "Fort
•acres and a mule"- held out to them by the Federa
had no attraction for them, and they longed f<
the "good ole days befo de war," when "Ole Mas:
and ole Missis" looked after all their bodily ar
Spiritual needs. These faithful negroes were calle
"if >ld Confeds," a title of honor so they considere
it, vind they were shown all consideration which the
faithfulness deserved. If all the negroes had bee
like these, the horrors of Reconstruction would ha-\
been averted. However, the majority of the negroe
ignorant and credulous, dazed by the emolumen
of office and rich rewards offered them becan
tools in the hands of unscrupulous Scalawags ar
The negro population was largely iliterate, ar
most of the negroes holding office during Recoi
struction could neither read nor write, and yet the
sat upon the petit and grand juries, were electa
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 33
magistrates and constables when they did not know
even the meaning of the words. \s members of
the Legislatures, many of the negroes could only
sign their pay rolls by means of signs and marks.
This was the galling yoke that was to be thrust
upon the necks of the white men of the South, in
whose veins coursed the purest and best blood of
the ages. Relief from this desperate and humiliat-
ing condition came through the Ku Klux Klan and
the South was redeemed from Carpet-Bag, Scala-
wag and Negro rule.
REAL AND BOGUS KLANS.
MANY outrages were committed in the name
of the Ku Klux, by parties who did not
belong to the Klan; reckless firebrands,
with private hatreds to appease, and having the
audacity to call themselves Ku Klux. Thus the
impression was made that the Ku Klux were
a set of vicious men with no regard for law
and order, but these outrages were committed
by bands of thieving Scalawags, who used the
name as a cloak for their evil deeds. No genuine
Ku Klux would have been guilty of a deed or an
act that would bring the blush of shame to any
brave or honorable man. They belonged to the best
class of citizens, once soldiers of the Confederacy,
who had only the best interests of society in view,
and would scorn to 'do a meah^or cowaTdly "act.
Nothing in connection with the war, or rather the
period at the close of the war, known as Recon-
struction Days, is of greater interest than the Ku
Klux Klan. Its mystery was so fascinating, that
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 35
stories of this great organization were always list-
ened to with eagerness and delight.
Those delightful books, "The Clansman," and
its sequel, "The Traitor," given us by Thomas J.
Dixon, have a most intense and thrilling interest.
"The Clansman," places before us the real Klan,
with its high and noble purposes, and shows the
great good accomplished by them, while "The Trai-
tor," in striking contrast, shows the bogus Klan and
its many evil deeds, which inspired such a reign of
The white robes of the original Klan, and the
red robes of the spurious Klan leave a deep, vivid
and lasting impression. The colors were deeply
significant. White, the symbol of purity, was most
appropriate for the real Klan, organized to protect
the homes and liberties of the South, while red, al-
ways the badge of bloodshed, anarchy and disorder,
was most fitting for the bogus Klan, whose deeds
were disgraceful and villainous.
Be it said in justice to the real Ku Klux, that
whenever the perpetrators of these villainous deeds
were stripped of their disguise, it was found that
they were not members of the Ku Klux Klan.
So as a matter of justice and right, it is of the
36 THE KU KLUX KLAN,
greatest importance to draw a strong line of de-
markation between real and bogus Klans. If the
author of this book had been given the privilege of
selecting an appropriate emblem and motto for the
real Ku Klux Klan, she would have chosen, "a
shield on which was a wreath of oak leaves and
in the center a white lily," the oak leaves represent-
ing strength, and the lily, purity, typical of the
strength of the organization, and the purity of its
motives. And for the motto, "Virtus incendit Vires"
— "Virtue kindles the strength."
DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICERS.
THE peculiar fascination ever attendant upon
things mysterious, was always present with
everything connected with the Ku Klux Klan.
The Invisible Empire, as the territory under the con-
trol of the Klan, was called, extended from Virginia
to Texas and embraced about fourteen States. The
Empire was subdivided into Realms; Realms into
Dominions; Dominions into Provinces; and Pro-
vinces into Dens; corresponding respectively to
States, Congressional Districts, Counties and Towns.
Each department had its head officer, their duties
being definitely designated, except those of the
Grand Wizard, the supreme officer, whose control
The following is a list of officers and their de-
partments in regular order: The Grand Wizard of
the Invisible Empire, assisted by his ten Genii; the
Grand Dragon of the Realm and his eight Hydras;
the Grand Titan of the Dominion and his six
Furies; the Grand Giant of the Province and his
38 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
four Goblins; the Grand Cyclops of the Den and
his two Night Hawks. A Grand Turk, Grand
Monk, Grand Exchequer, Grand Scribe, and Grand
Sentinel were officers in the local Dens. The Genii,
Hydras, Furies, Goblins, Night Hawks were staff
officers, and the private members were called
The Dens, or places of rendezvous of the Ku
Klux, were generally in obscure places, in the thick
weeds, in caves, or delapidated buildings, devastated
by time or storms, and given over to bats and owls.
Their appearance was always so sudden, that they
seemed to have risen from the ground, and their
disappearance being equally sudden, the impression
was left that the earth had opened and swallowed
them up. These mysterious maneuvers were all
conjured up in the brain of the Ku Klux and the
weird and ghostly, the mysterious and unearthly,
KU KLUX KLAN BANNER.*
*The abov,e is an exact duplicate of the banner used by the Ku
Klux, made by directions in book entitled "Ku Klux Klan," by Prof.
Walter h. Fleming.
THE BANNER OF THE KU KLUX.
DIRECTIONS for making the Ku Klux Ban-
ner was as follows:
"The Grand Ensign or Banner of the Ku
Klux shall be in the form of an isosceles triangle,
five feet long and three feet wide at the staff. The
material shall be yellow, with a red scalloped border,
about three inches in width. There shall be painted
upon it in black, a Dracovolans, or Flying Dragon,
with the following motto inscribed on it :
" 'Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus,"
'"What always, what everywhere, what by all,
is held to be true.' "
<i) Prom Prof. Walter L. Fleming's Book, "Ku Klux Klan,"
THE Ku KIux was distinctly a protective or-
ganization. The character and objects of
the order are set forth in their prescript,
adopted at a convention of the order held at Nash-
ville, in April, 1867, as follows:
"This is an institution of Chivalry, Humanity,
Mercy, and Patriotism : embodying in its genius and
principles all that is chivalric in conduct, noble in
sentiment, generous in manhood, and patriotic in
purpose ; its peculiar objects being : First — To pro-
tect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless,
from the indignities, wrongs and outrages, of the
lawless, the violent and the brutal, to relieve the
injured and oppressed, to succor the suffering and
unfortunte, especially the widows and orphans of
Confederate soldiers. Second — To protect and de-
fend the Constitution of the United States, and all
laws passed in conformity thereto, and to protect
the States and the people thereof from all invasion
from any source whatever. Third — To aid and
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 41
assist in the execution of all constitutional laws, and
to protect the people from unlawful seizure, and
from trial except by their peers in conformity to
the laws of the land."< 2 »
The Creed of the Ku Klux Klan was as follows :
"We, the Order of the Ku Klux Klan, reverent-
ially acknowledge the majesty and supremacy of the
Divine Being, and recognize the goodness and pro-
vidence of the same. And we recognize our rela-
tion to the United States Government, the Su-
premacy of the Constitution, the. Constitutional
Laws thereof, and the Union of States thereun-
der."* 3 '
I, before the great immaculate God of heaven and
earth, do take and subscribe to the following sacred
binding oath and obligation :
I promise and swear that I will uphold and defend
the Constitution of the United States as it was
handed down by our forefathers in its original
' (2) From "Ku Klux Klan," by Prof. Walter L. Fleming, pg. 153.
(3) From "Ku Klux Klan," by Prof. Walter L. Fleming, pg. 154.
43 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
purity. I promise and swear that I will reject and
oppose the principles of the Radical Party in all its
forms, and forever maintain and contend that in-
telligent white men shall govern this country.
I promise and pledge myself to assist, according
to my pecuniary circumstances, all brothers in dis-
Females, widows, and their households, shall ever
be specially in my care and protection. I promise
and swear that I will obey all instructions given me
by my chief, and should I ever divulge or cause
to be divuldegd any secrets, signs or passwords of
the Invisible Empire, I must meet with the fearful
and just penalty of the traitor, which is death, death,
death, at the hands of my brethren. (1)
(l) The above, is one of three versions of the Oath of the Ku
Klux Klan as given in Prof. Fleming's Book, pg. 197. They are
all similar, but given from memory, as it is stated that the Oath
was never printed. This version was from KU KLUX report, Nortih
Carolina Testimony. Court Proceedings, pg. 422.
COSTUMES WORN IN TENNESSEE AND NORTH
* Used by permission of Prof. "Walter L. Flem-
ing; appears in his book, entitled "KU KLUX
COSTUMES AND PARADES.
THE fantastic costumes were intended to work
upon, the superstitious fears of the negroes.
No special instructions were given as to
the color or makeup of these costumes, and
each Ku Klux could give full play to his
fancy in this regard, their aim being always
to make them as grotesque as possible, so the
costumes varied in different Klans. However, the
robes always covered the entire body, and some-
times consisted merely of a sheet, but white was
always the favorite color, as it carried out the idea
that the Ku Klux were ghosts or spirits. The horses
were also covered with a mantle, usually of white.
A cross of fiery red cloth stitched across the breast,
a mask of white cloth, a high conical hat, formed
the garb of a typical Ku Klux, and when mounted
on a white steed, the vision was complete. Of
course, beneath these robes they carried pistols
strapped to their waists, and a favorite device to
44 THE EU KLTJX ELAN,
scare the negroes, was to wear false heads and
In this instance, the robe would be pulled up
oVer their own heads, and the false skull placed on
top, and when asking the negro for a drink of water
the Ku Klux would say, "Here Sambo, hold my
head while I drink this water." On being handed
the skull the negro would scream, and take to the
woods, throughly convinced that he had seen the
ghost of his dead master. When the false hand was
used, the Ku Klux would proffer to shake hands,
leaving the false hand with the negro as a souvenir
to carry terror to his soul.
These costumes were all made by the women of
the South, those noble women, who in the war
between the States, with their own fingers made
the uniforms and knitted the socks for the Confede-
rate soldiers, counting no sacrifice too great for
these Southern heroes, so now they were ever ready
to aid the Ku Klux in the efforts they were putting
forth for their protection. A note to mother, wife,
sister, sweetheart, for Ku Klux robes always met
with a prompt response.
There being no special uniform adopted by the
Ku Klux accounts for the many different colors
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 45
used, in some States white was used, and in others
red and also black, likewise any disguise was per-
missible, #nd down in Mississippi, one of the Grand
Cyclops used a long white cow's tail for beard, and
some of the boys called him "Old Grandpa Thun-
A TYPICAL ORDER FOR KU KLUX ROBES.
Headquarters, K. K. K.
"Anno Domini, 1868.
Misses X and Y: Knowing you to be friends of
the Ku Klux Klan, the Grand Cyclops takes the
privilege of requesting you to make a couple of
robes for some of his poor, needy followers, and
if you will be so kind as to make them the protect-
ing eye of the G. G. Cyclops will ever rest upon
you. Thinking that you will make them, the fol-
lowing are the directions:
Make two robes reaching to the ground, open in
front, bordered with white three inches wide, white
cuffs and collars, half moons on the left breast with
stars in the center of each moon, and caps of a
conical shape twelve inches high with a, tassel, with
white cloth hanging over the face so as to conceal
it, and behind so as to hide the back of the head.
46 THE EU ELUX ELAN,
Make the first of the caps red, the second and
third white, and the rest red. By order of G. G.
ABEL HAASSAANAN, G. Scribe.
The Grand Turk will be after them on the night
of the 15th, at 10 o'clock.
You are requested to burn this after reading." (1)
The Ku Klux had frequent parades, every detail
being arranged so as to mystify and strike terror to
the hearts of the bystanders. The first parade given
in Pulaski, Tennessee, was on the night of the 4th
of July, 1867; notices were scattered broadcast over
the town and country and placed on trees and fences
and on the backs of hogs and cows, and by nightfall
the streets were lined with people, wondering and
The Ku Klux assembled in groups at the various
roads leading into the town, donned their costumes
quickly, which they had concealed under their
coats, covered their horses with white or variegated
colored mantles, blew their shrill whistles used as
(1) Clipping from Nashville Banner.
OE INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 47
a signal to start, and then slowly and silently they
marched and countermarched through the streets of
the town, thus leaving the impression of great num-
bers while in reality there were only a very few.
This parade, which lasted for hours, made a great
sensation. Not a word was spoken, and then at a
signal from the leader, they quietly and secretely
dispersed; their exit being as mystifying as their
sudden appearance. The negroes were confirmed in
their belief that they had seen the ghosts or de-
parted spirits of their former "Ole Marsters," and
no one being any the wiser as to who the Ku Klux
were, where they came from, or where they went
after the parade.
NOTICES AND WARNINGS.
THE Ku Klux Notices and Warnings were in
keeping with their mode of carryjng on af-
fairs; mysterious 1 and terrifying. Notices of
meetings were usually accompanied by a Skull and
Cross Bones, thus:
Ku Klux Klan. *^wL^ Come fully armed ! ! !
Be at the Cemetery at 9 o'clock to-night ! ! ! ! !
And warnings to offenders by a picture of a fig-
ure dangling from the limb of a tree, a coffin, or
some gruesome emblem with a call to the negroes
and Scalawags, "TO BEWARE."
Serpent's Den — Death's Retreat.
Hollow Tomb — Misery Cave of the
Great Ku Klux Klan, No. 1,000.
Windy Month — Bloody Moon,
Muddy Night— Twelfth Hour.
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 49
General Orders No. 1.
Make ready! Make ready! Make ready!
The mighty Hobgoblins of the Confederate Dead
in a Hell a Bulloo assembled!
Be secret, be cautious, be terrible!
By special grant, Hell freezes over for your pas-
sage. Offended ghosts, put on your skates, and
cross over to mother earth !
Work! Work! Work!
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Ye, white men who stick to black beasts!
The time arrives for you to part. Q. W. X. W.
V. U. and so from Omega to Alpha.
Cool it with a baboon's blood
Then the charm is firm and good.
Ye niggers who stick to low whites!
Begone, Begone, Begone! The world turns
around, — the thirteenth hour approacheth.
S,-one, two and three— Beware ! White and Yel-
J, and T — ^— P and L — — begone.— -The
handwriting ort the wall warns you !
50 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
From the murderer's gibbet, throw
Into flame come high and low.
By order of the Great
G. S. K. K. K™
A true copy,
P. S. K. K. K.
(l) The above appears in x Prof. Fleming's Book. "Ku Klux
Elan," pg. 190, with other General Orders of the Ku Elux and a
note states that they were by Ryland Randolph, and printed in
his paper, "The Independent Monitor," of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
LESSONS TAUGHT BY THE KLAN.
MANY instances could be related of the good
done by the Ku Klux, for, \n every instance,
they protected the just rights of the negro
as well as the whites, and they stood always for the
protection of the menaced life, liberty, and property,
of all innocent men. The record of the Ku Klux
Klan teaches forcibly three lessens, 'which are so
plain that he who runs may read. First, the in-
evitability of Anglo-Saxon Supremacy; when har-
assed by bands of outlaws, thugs, carpet-baggers,
and guerillas, turned loose on the South and upheld
by political machinery, during the Reconstruction
period, the sturdy white men of the South, against
all odds, maintained white supremacy and secured
Caucasian civilization, when its very foundations
were threatened within and without. Second, a
new revelation of the greatness and geniusj3f_Gene-
ral Nathan Bedford Forrest, the "Wizard of the
Saddle," the great Confederate cavalry leader. As
Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire, to his splen-
52 THE EU ELUX ELAN,
did leadership was due, more than to any other
thing, the successful carrying out of the high and
noble purposes of the real Ku Klux Klan.
Third, the grandeur of the character of the "Men
who wore the Gray," the Confederate soldiers, the
real Ku Klux. They were not only great in war,
but great in peace, and great in the performance of
every Duty, which Robert E. Lee, the mightiest
military chieftain the world ever saw, pronounced,
"The sublimest word in the English language."
■'OLE BLACK MAMMY."
KU KLUX STORIES.
HOW delightful and enchanting were the tales
of the Ku Klux, as told by some old black
negro Mammy, before a blazing wood fire,
and told in a sepulchral whisper, that made the cold
chills play up and down the back, and the marrow
almost freeze in one's bones. She would tell you,
"These silent riders were sixteen feet tall, with fiery
eyes, and unquenchable thirst, never being satisfied
with less than two buckets of water for a drink,
and, "honey-chile, dey wuz de awfulles' sight you
ever seed in yo' life; and, honey-lam', be good if
you don't the Ku Klux will git you." The gro-
tesque costumes, masks, high, conical hats, robes all
of white, with red crosses on theif breasts, and seen
at the dead hour of midnight, were enough to
frighten anyone, white or black; and the darkies
just declared, "Fore Gawd," the Ku Klux came
straight from the bad place. "Old Uncle Wash,"
always interesting in his stories in the Taylor-Trot-
54 TEE KU KLUX ELAN,
wood Magazine, gives in one issue the story of his
first vision of the Ku Klux.
"De niggers wuz all down to the meetin' house,
holdin' one of dese heah distracted meetin's. De
moon wuz ashinin', when we seed fru de church
winders some ghost-men on some ghost-hosses
comin' outen de woods, one behind de yudder. Dey
come slow an' solum-like, an' dat night I seed my
fust Ku Klux, an' ebery nigger dar seed um, too,
an' dey nebber will forgit um. Dem black niggers
wuz skeered so bad dat night, dey skin turned white,
an' de kinks all come outen dey har. Den de
leader, he rid up to de church 1 do' an' de niggers all
said, 'Hit's de angel on de fiery steed,' but I said,
'No, hit's Ole Massa dat wuz kilt in de war.' Den
de ghost-man, in a low, deep voice, an' pintin' wid
his long, bony finger at de watah-bucket, said, 'A
drink, please, I haint had no watah since I was kilt
in de fust battle of Manassas.' 'Gawd, I sed so,
hit's Ole Marster done riz from the de grave. Nig-
gers, quit yo' lyin' an' yo' meanness, an' prepare to
meet yo' Gawd.' "
"OLD UNCLE WASH.'
PEN PICTURE OF A KU KLUX ESCAPADE.
January 28, 1911.
Mrs. S. E. F. Rose,
West Point, Miss.
My Dear Mrs. Rose : I was truly glad to receive
a copy of your truthful history, of the Ku Klux
Klan. I had to laugh at "Qle Wash's" exclama-
tions, as he caught his first glimpse of the Genii,
and the Ghouls.
Jt called up to my memory's vision a scene that
I was a participant in, soon after our den was
formed. It was in the northwest corner of Hinds,
and southwest corner of Madison Counties, on Big
Black River, joining Yazoo County. Seven of us
had rubber suits made, just the shape of men, pliant
and strong. Each rubber would hold thirteen buckets
(the old fashion wooden kind) of water. These
rubber, man-shaped bags were lighty strapped to
our bodies, and rested in front of us, on our sad-
dles. At the pedal extremities were faucets, by
which we could turn the water out, as soon as we
56 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
had filled thefn. 3ust under our chins, was a: toler-
able stiff funnel, that served as a head, of our
rubber man bag. There were several small tubes
in this funnel that permitted the air to escape, as we
seemingly drank from the buckets of water offered.
The air escaping from these tubes would sound
exactly like the steam escaping from an over-heated
boiler, and could be heard for a hundred feet or
We had true and tried negroes, who had been
with us, and ministered to our wants, faithful as
Newfoundland dogs to their trusts. These negroes
were our spies. They would tell us where the
negroes, Scalawags, and Carpet-baggers, were going
to hold their meetings, and "Pow Wows," as they
were called. Upon the night the meeting took
place, we would be there.
I will give you a pen picture of one of our es-
capades. The meeting was in Colonel John W.
Robinson's quarter lot, near where Robinson's well
is now located, in Madison County, Mississippi. It
was a beautiful, clear, bright night; the autumn
moon was at her full. Seven of us, fully rigged,
in all our weird regalia, rode in single file about
one hundred yards apart. We used the cry of night-
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 57
birds, or animals for our signals in approaching the
camp, or meeting place, of the enemy. This par-
ticular night I was in front and rode right up to
the well at the south end of the quarter lot. The
well was about 100 feet deep. Two' buckets were
. used in drawing the water : one at each end of
the rope running over a pulley, just over the center
of the well.
Two trap doors covered the well, and as the
bucket coming up full of water would strike these
trap doors, they were lifted by the bucket ascending;
and as soon as the bucket was clear of them-, they
would drop back and close the well ; and the bucket
lowered back, upon them, and the full bucket
emptied. As I rode up there were about one hun-
dred negroes around this well, and in the quarters
were several thousand negroes, yanks, and scala-
The negroes were laughing, and making a noise,
that could be easily heard half a mile away. When
I came in sight, there was dead silence around the
well. I rode straight up ; an old white haired negro
had just drawn a bucket and it rested on the cov-
ering of the well. In a deep, sepulchral tone, I said,
"Uncle Tom, give me a drink of water, I have not
58 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
had one since the first battle of Manassas." He
poured the water into a bucket, and handed it up;
and down I poured it into my seemingly open
mouth. The escaping air sounded like steam escap-
ing from a surcharged boiler. I called for another,
and another, until I had disposed of my thirteen
buckets. The eyes of the negroes in that crowd
were stretched in abject terror; and they were as
dumb as oysters. I repeated my dringing feat at
the other well, at the north end of the quarter lot ;
and my place was taken at the south well by an-
other of the Ghouls, until seven of us had received
twenty-six buckets each.
For long years afterwards, after nightfall, not a
negro could be induced to go to one of these wells
that we had visited; and before the last one of us
on one of these night rides had been watered, not
a white man or negro, who did not live in these
quarters, could be found within a mile of them v
Such a stampede as would take place, beggars my
powers of description. The farther they got from
the scene, the greater became their fears; and the
more rapid their flight; for distance, in reality,
seemed to lend enchantment to their view.
We could rest assured, that there would never be
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 59
another "Pow Wow," in any quarter lot, church, or
gathering place, that the Ku Klux Klan had paid a
Very respectfully, and truly yours,
"A MESSENGER OF THE KU KLUX KLAN."
THE incident related below illustrates a feature
in regard to the Ku Klux Klan that is not
generally known, that is, that messengers
were sent from one Klan to another, keeping the
Klans in close communication. There was at all
times perfect co-operation between the various
Klans, and it was sometimes necessary to get as-
sistance from a Klan at a distance, so as to protect
those in the neighborhood who were Ku Klux, so
messengers were sent. This was considered a post
of great honor, as only those of unquestioned brav-
ery were chosen, but the honor was attended by
grave dangers. In the following article, Dr. C.
Kendrick, of Alcorn County, Mississippi, was the
messenger described therein, and it was written by
him some years ago, and published in "The Herald,"
of Corinth, Mississippi, over the Nom de plume,
"Elsie Vane." It possesses great historical interest,
and this copy was given to the author by Dr. Kend-
rick for publication in this book.
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 61
"It was in the sad and awful days of Reconstruc-
tion, on a warm afternoon, in the month of June,
in the State of Mississippi. A solitary horseman
was slowly galloping along the road, the sun was
fas> sinking below the western horizon and the
shadows were growing long across the lane. The
sweet little song-birds had ceased to sing, and had
gone to roost on the branches of the forest trees.
Not far away an owl hooted, possibly signaling to
his mate, possibly rejoicing in the hope that he
would soon make a meal off some of the birds so
numerous about him. The horse was almost white,
but had a dark mane and tail, and he showed by
his gait that he had traveled far and was very tired.
The messenger was a young man, whose face was
almost girlish. It was evident that he was too
young to have been a soldier in the great war, the
memory of which was fresh and burning in the
hearts and minds of all Southerners. There was
nothing peculiar about his dress, and he might
have been taken for a farmer boy or a stu-
dent "just let loose from school." But a stu-
dent of physiognomy might have seen written
in his face and in his eyes, a purpose, and
a will to execute that purpose. In front of him lying
62 TEE EU ELUX ELAN,
across his saddle was a short-light double-barrel shot-
gun, in his belt was a pistol of heavy calibre, which
had done service in the great war. Doubtless the
young man had read how Colonel R. J. Harding
(who was the first man to grasp the bridle of Gene-
ral Lee's horse at the Battle of the Wilderness, when
the soldiers shouted, "Lee to the rear") had saved
his own life by means of a concealed deadly der-
ringer when he was captured and about to be mur-
dered by two of his enemies. Perhaps he had read
how Major Lamar Fontaine and other great soldiers
had secured freedom by concealed small weapons,
for deftly concealed about his person was a small,
but deadly, revolver, which he thought he might
sometime have occasion to use.
He had under him a pair of large leather saddle
bags, which seemed well filled. As night drew on
he began to look carefully at the thickets on the
road side, presently he looked searchingly behind
him and entered the jungle. The horse which en-
tered the jungle was white, almost white, but not
perfectly so; the horse which came from it looked
entirely white, but a close inspection showed that
it was covered with white canvas, from head to
heels. The horseman was the same who had a
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 63
few moments before entered the jungle, but won-
derfully changed in appearance. He seemed much
larger and taller and was dressed in a robe of red,
with a snow-white border, while on top of his head-
dress was a star, and his eyes and mouth might
have been taken for those of a master mechanic
of the Dark Regions. The same gun lay in front
of him which we saw a few moments before, but
he held it in a different manner. It was not lying
loosely and carelessly in front of him as before, but
two fingers of the right hand rested on the triggers
and the thumb was ready to draw back the ham-
mers in a trice if it seemed necessary. The sun had
set, the large stars had begun to twinkle, and the
young moon, almost at its first quarter was begin-
ning to shine overhead.
Doubtless the young man remembered a shot
from ambush, which sent a deadly missile danger-
ously near him only a few days before, and he
wished to be. ready for such an emergency in the
future. We may imagine the thoughts of the young
man while he was riding along the lonely road,
knowing not when a concealed enemy might shoot
from ambush. He remembered how, during the
great war, his widowed mother had been abused,
64 THE EU ELUX ELAN,
threatened and robbed of valuable jewelry worn on
her person, while the fiend held a cocked pistol al-
most touching her throat. His father, on his death-
bed, left a beautiful watch to his only sister, then
only five years old, which his mother wore con-
tinually around her neck. He also remembered how
his, dead father's portratit had been stabbed and cut
with a dagger. He knew these men were not the
brave men from the Northern States, who were hon-
estly fighting for what they believed to be right,
but fiends who were too cowardly to attack a live
man in the open. He knew that the men who did
these deeds, although members of the Union Army,
were men of our country, some of them almost
neighbors. He felt keenly this degradation and he
made a vow that the world was too small for these
men and himself if he ever recognized them. Like
all other boys, for he was but a boy, his thoughts
went out to some girl, somewhere, but with a frown
he would put the thought from him as soon and
as far as possible, for he had other work before
him. He remembered how he and others had vowed
to help each other in the work of bringing to jus-
tice these fiends, in human shape, who were heaping
all kinds of indignities on the helpless women and
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 6ft
children of the South. Thinking of all these things,
he grasped his gun closer, and ever and anon he
would lay his hand on his large pistol as if to make
sure it was in its proper place in his belt, which he
wore around his waist. Perhaps half an hour passed
after changing his costume when he stopped, look-
ing behind, in front, to the right and to the left.
Then raising a small silver whistle, which hung
around his neck by a silken cord, to his lips, he
blew it quickly, short and sharp, three times, then
pausing a moment and repeated the performance.
Instantly the signal was answered from the jungle
not far away. The young man rode slowly to the
place from whence the signal came. Presently a
sentinel ordered him to halt, presenting his gun.
Then a horseman dressed in robes of red, decorated
in white and red, rode forward and asked if he had
the countersign. When he approached to receive
it the sentinel held his gun in readiness for action
should occasion demand it. The countersign was
satisfactory, and the horseman said, "Come," and
they rode together a little way and entered a small
clearing. There, men were assembled, whose ages
ranged anywhere from seventeen to sixty-five years.
«6 TEE KU KLUX KLAN,
"From the gray sire, whose trembling hand,
Could hardly buckle on his brand
To the raw boy, whose shaft and bow
Were yet scarce terror to the crow."
Some were lying on their shawls, some sitting on
the ground, some standing and a little beyond the
clearing, which was not larger than half an acre,,
were some twenty-five or thirty horses, and several
men guarding them. The stranger stood in the
Rendezvous of the Ku Klux Klan. The Grand
Cyclops arose from his seat on a stump and asked
who he was. The mounted sentinel answered that
the stranger was "a messenger with the counter-
sign." The Grand Cyclops turned to the young
man and asked what he desired of them and who
he was. -He replied that he was Number 89, and
that he bore a message from' a neighboring Ku Klux
Klan. Saying this, he bowed and handed the Grand
Cyclops a folded paper. The Grand Cyclops
handed the folded paper to the Grand Scribe with
one word, "Read." The Grand Scribe strikes a
match, lights a candle, which he always carried, and
read the message. It was a request from a Ku Klux
Klan ten miles or more away, to come at once and
carry out the sentence which their Klan had passed
on the perpetrator of an awful crime. The mes-
MISSISSIPPI' KU KLUX
(In full uniform.)
The picture on the right (the erect picture with small
-pistol in the belt) is Dr. Carroll Kendriek, of Alcorn
N*ote. — This is said to be the only picture extant,
taken from life during the Ku Klux times, and is loaned
-for use in this book by Dr. Kendriek.
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 67
■sage stated that proof was positive and the identi-
fication complete. The Grand Cyclops placed a
silver whistle to his lips, similar to the one carried
by the messenger, and gave one long, loud, sharp
whistle, and instantly every man arose, went to his
Tiorse, and in less than ten minutes every man and
every horse was disguised like the messenger and
his horse, and they were ready to move. In a few
minutes the Grand Cyclops blew a peculiar note
•on his whistle, and every man rode off. Not a
word was spoken, the orders were made with the
whistle. Woe to the wretch who had fallen under
the condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan!
The messenger proceeds quietly to a neighbor's
"house, where he spends the night, for he must be
able to prove that he was not with the . Klan that
night, that he was miles away on other business.
We will not follow the Klan. They are on a mis-
sion of duty, and a deed of justice is about to be
-performed. Such acts as this, such deeds of mercy
saved the South in her time of sorest need.
Let the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth be told about the Ku Klux Klan, and it
will be regarded an honorable organization even by
those who now have the worst possible opinion of
it. Signed "ELSIE VANE." (By C. Kendrick.)
THE END OF RECONSTRUCTION.
THE Reconstruction period was now rapidly
approaching its close.
Reconstruction Days, called most appro-
priately, "Destruction Days," by a prominent
Southern writer, formed a dark and distressing era
in the history of the South. In the dark clouds that
lowered over the Southland during Reconstruction,
the Ku Klux Klan made the only rift in the sky,
letting in the blessed sunlight of Heaven. In spite
of "Force Laws," "Anti-Ku Klux Statutes" and
"Militia Laws," the Klan pursued the even tenor of
its way, and investigations by Congressional and
other committees revealed very little of a tangible
nature about the Ku Klux.
The sworn secrecy and binding oath made a bul-
wark of defense as strong as the rock of Gibraltar.
Many of the secrets of the order were locked up in
the breasts of the Ku Klux, and died with them.
One Southern Governor was impeached for refus-
ing to recognize Writs of Habeas Corpus for al-
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 69
leged members of the Ku Klux Klan. However, the
very secrecy necessary for the existence of the Klan,
made it possible for vicious persons to operate under
the disguise of the Ku Klux, to wreak private ven-
geance and hatreds.
It would be very unjust and unfair to place upon
the real Ku Klux the odium of these evil deeds,
which were deeply regretted by them, but impos-
sible to control. No unbiased student of history
can fail to admit that the conditions of the times
called for organized effort, to take offices out of
incompetent and mischievous hands, to protect the
women of the South from brutal assault, and to
maintain, the supremacy of the white race.
The conceptions, aims and purposes of the origi-
nal Ku Klux Klan were bom of the loftiest senti-
ments that can animate the human heart. In the
course of events, the days of Reconstruction were
destined to end, the Ku Klux Klan had accomplished
a great work, its mission was ended, and the time
for disbandment had come.
So, following the command of their leader, this
great organization was soon to be no more, and the
Ku Klux then would renew their efforts to repair
the waste places, and to upbuild their homes made
70 TEE KU ELUX KLAN,
desolate by the war between the States, and Days
of Reconstruction covering a period of nearly ten
long years. How well they succeeded, making the
South rise "Phoenix-like from her ashes, and blos-
som as the rose," subsequent history has fully re-
The Ku 1 Klux Klan is part of the South's history,
and no record could be complete that failed to in-
clude the history of this truly wonderful organiza-
IN February, 1869, General Nathan Bedford For-
rest, Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire, is-
sued a Proclamation to his subjects to disband;
and this strange and mysterious order having ac-
complished its great mission, in relieving the South
from the galling yoke of Carpet-Bag rule, passed
out of existence forever. The order for disband-
ment included instructions to burn all regalia and
paraphanalia, banners, etc. The disbandment has
been thus described:
''In Nashville, just before disbandment, the Clans-
man, in full Ku Klux regalia, paraded through the
streets, and although the Capitol was in charge of
three thousand Reconstruction Militia, and two hun r
dred police, who were sworn to take every Ku Klux
dead or alive, the boldness of the Ku Klux so dumb-
founded the police, that the silent horsemen rode
through the lines without being molested. Straight
up Capitol Hill they marched and then down again,
not a word was spoken, and once outside the city,
72 THE EU ELUX ELAN,
they entered the shadows of the forest. Down its
dim aisles, lit by threads of moonbeams, the horse-
men slowly wound their way to the appointed place.
For the last time the Chaplain led in prayer, the
men disrobed, drew from each horse his white
mantle, opened a grave and scfeminly buried their
regalia, sprinkling the folds with the ashes of their
In this weird ceremony ended the most remark-
able Revolution in m'any respects, in history. The
Ku Klux Klan was born in m(ystery, lived in mys-
tery, and mystery will ever shroud its grave."
Quoting from the writings of Major Lamar Fon-
taine, of Mississippi, "No tales of the Arabian Nights,
no legend of the 'Border Land of Scotia,' nor of
Richard Couer de Leon, in the land of the Moselm,
when the Cross and Crescent, contended for su-
premacy in the Holy Crusades, can rival in heroic
courage and daring, the romantic deeds of valor,
performed by this mighty Invisible Army of the
white men of the, South. Here in all ages to come
the Southern romancer and poet will find inspira-
tion for story and song. That Invisible Army gave
back to its beloved land much that she lost during
four years of the bloody carnival of death, that
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 73
landed upon her fair form in the early sixties. Re-
stored the majesty and grandeur, that were hers,
and that was the envy of the nations of all the world
in days gone by. No nobler or grander men ever
gathered on this earth than those assembled in the
meeting places of the Klan. No human hearts were
ever moved with nobler impulses or higher aims of
purpose. The maintenance of law and order, the
preservation of the home, the protection of the
virtue of the noblest womanhood in all the annals
of time, moved these men to action.
In the courts of this invisible, silent, and mighty
government, there were no hung juries, no laws
delayed, no reversals, on senseless technicalities by
any Supreme Court, because from its Court there
was no appeal, and punishment was sure and swift,
because there was no executive to pardon. After
the negro had surrendered to the Ku Klux Klan,
which he did by obeying their orders to the very
letter, — for they feared that organization more than
the devil and the dark regions, — the Invisible Em-
pire vanished in a night, and has been seen no more
by mortal man on this earth."
THE younger generation should know the true
history of the Ku Klux Klan, and have the
proper respect for this organization, which
did so much for the South in her dark days. Chil-
dren will be told all the false things concerning it,
sot we should see to it that they are told the truth.
Encyclopedias, books of reference, and some his-
tories, are full of false statements about the South,
and information about the South's part in the Wlar
between the States, is very meager and unsatisfac-
Our Southland, so conscious of her rectitude, so
firm in her belief that she was "constitutionally and
eternally right," and so proud of the heroism of her
sons, has not felt the great necessity of vindicating
her acts, but it behooves us now to see that the
searchlights are turned on her part in the war, and
let the world know the truth of her history.
Too long have we of the South remained silent,
and perhaps our silence has been construed as an
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 75
acknowledgment of shame of being connected with
the Ku Klux Klan and its history, whereas it should
be our proudest boast, as it was organized and kept
up by our best and noblest men, who had proven
their worth and valor on so many battlefields, and
who preserved the purity and domination of the
Some day when the South comes to her own,
when her magnificent resources have been developed
and the riches of her mountains and her valleys
drawn forth, there will be many great and good
things to be said of her history. Men will never
tire of speaking of this land of romance, so dif-
ferent in many essential respects from the rest of
the country; and women will read, with joy and
tears, the story of her long fought battle for su-
premacy. But when the tale is all told, and the
history of her labors in war and in peace has been
recounted, no brighter chapter in all her history, no
fairer page will ever be read, than that which tells
of that illustrious and glorious organization called
the "Ku Klux Klan."
We should ever regard our history as a priceless
heritage, cherish and keep green the traditions of
the old South, keep alive its chivalrous spirit, and
76 THE KU KLVX ELAN,
never tire of telling the story of those lion-hearted
men, who made this history for us, and around
whose names cluster some of the greatest events
of the past. Gladstone, the great English statesman,
said, "No greater calamity can befall a people than
to break utterly with its past ; and if we forget our
ancestors we ourselves are unworthy to be remem-
When the great Napoleon had landed his forces
on Egyptian soil and formed them in battle array,
lifting his hand high in the air and pointing to the
Pyramids, he exclaimed: "Soldiers, forty centuries
behold you," and when we realize to-day, the valor
of our noble sires and grandsires, the beauty and
culture of our mothers and grandmothers are be-
holding us, we should indeed feel that we are tread-
ing on holy ground. The history they have made
for us is our most precious and priceless heritage.
The very name "Ku Klux Klan" holds one spell-
bound. It is strange, weird, mysterious, fascinating.
Formed from the Greek word, "Kuklos," meaning
a circle, the name was prophetic of the great mission
of) the Klan, for it indeed formed a circle of protec-
tion around the homes and women of the South and
brought them through the dark shadows of Recon-
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 77
struction Days, safe and unharmed. Let us think,
then, of the Ku Klux Klan as a great circle of light,
illuminated with deeds of love and patriotism, and
holding within its protecting and shining circle, the
very life and welfare of our beloved Southland.
In the midst of that dark drama, known as Re-
construction Days, a ray of light appears, the star
of hope gleams again through the dark clouds, by
which it had been obscured. The Ku Klux Klan,
the great, silent organization of the '60's, appears
upon the scene, with its avowed purpose to pre-
serve and uphold the white civilization of the South.
It was a creation born of necessitous times, of pure
and patriotic impulses, and to relieve a dire and
The Ku Klux Klan has been justly called, "the
salvation of the South," and its history should be
written in letters of light.
GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST.
A BRIEF biography of this great General will
not be amiss in this book, for his record in
the service of the Confederacy, as well as
during the period of Reconstruction, shows that he
was not only great in War, but great in Peace.
It should be borne in mind, by the readers of
this book, especially by our young people, that
General Forrest, the intrepid Confederate Cavalry
Leader, called "The Wizard of the Saddle," was
also the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, with the title,
"Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire": as the
Klan was also called.
His high standing as a Confederate officer, his
devotion to his country, his noble principles and
sacred honor pledged to protect the South, puts
at naught forever any false statements as to the
purposes of the Klan, and challenges any stigma or
misrepresentations as to the character of its mem-
bers, for they were in the main Confederate sol-
diers, and Forrest was its great leader, and under his
leadership and with the loyalty of the members,
GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST,
Grand Wizard of the Ku Ivlux Klan, or Invisible Empire.
This photo furnished by grandson of the great General, Adjutant
General Nathan Bedford Forrest, United Sons Confederate "Veterans.
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 79
1he Mission of the Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Em-
pire, was successfully accomplished.
Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Bedford
County, Tennessee, July 13, 1821. His father
moved to Marshall County, Mississippi, in 1834.
General Forrest died at Memphis, Tennessee, Octo-
ber 29, 1877.
At the outbreak of the War between the States,
he entered the Confederate service, and rose step
by step from the position of a private in the ranks,
to. that of Lieutenant-General.
He entered June 14, 1861, as a private in White's
Mounted Rifles, and obtained authority to raise a
regiment of cavalry, the equipment for which he
purchased at his private expense at Louisville, Ky.
He was placed in command of the Confederate
Cavalry at Fort Donelson, February, 1862, and dis-
tinguished himself in this conflict. When surrender
was decided upon, not being willing to agree to the
terms dictated by the Federals, he led his men out
through the enemy's lines.
He took an active part in the Battle of Shiloh,
April 6-7, 1862; was there wounded, but refused
to leave the field until the safety of the army was
assured. He was promoted Brigadier-General July
80 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
21, 1862. During the movement in Kentucky, he
hung upon the flank of Buell's Command, protected
Bragg's retreat, and while the army was in winter
quarters, covered the Federal front at Nashville,
doing damage continually to the enemy.
In 1863 he entered Tennessee, and with less than
one thousand men captured McMinnville, and sur-
prised the garrison of two thousand at Murfrees-
boro, capturing all the survivors of the fight.
General Streight, in his Cavalry raid to Rome,
Georgia, was pursued by General Forrest, whose
demand for surrender was so imperative, that
Streight turned over his entire command, which was
so much larger than that of General Forrest, he had
to press into service many of the citizens to help
form an adequate guard.
At the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20,
1863, General Forrest also rendered distinguished
service, but became so dissatisfied at the incom-
pleteness of the Confederate victory, he tendered
bis resignation. However, this was not accepted,
and further promotion was given him, and he was
made Major-General, placed in command of all
Cavalry, in North Mississippi and West Tennessee,
and made the guardian of the Granary of the Con-
OB INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 81
With a small force, he entered West Tennessee,
and recruited several thousand hardy volunteers,
and with some veteran troops, he formed that in-
vincible body, known as "Forrest's Cavalry."
In 1864, he utterly routed General Smith with
seven thousand men, and General Sherman in co-
operation, at Okolona and Prairie Mound.
Forrest then rode through Tennessee to the Ohio
River, capturing Fort Pillow, Union City, and other
posts and their garrisons. On June 8, 1864, For-
rest encountered General Sturgis at Brice's Cross
Roads, and won a signal victory. Sturgis suffering
one of the most humiliating defeats of the war,
losing all his trains and a third of his men. Gene-
ral Smith renewed the fight, and was again defeated,
after a desperate battle at Harrisburg, near Tupelo,
on July 14, 1864.
His great victory at Tishomingo Creek, like all
his victories, was won against great odds, showing
his determination, personal courage and force of
character, making him one of the most remarkable
men in the Confederate service and the most famous
Cavalry Leader of the Confederacy. After his de-
feat at Harrisburg, General A. J. Smith, with re-
enforcements, advanced from Memphis, but was
82 THE KU KLUX ELAN,
compelled to retreat by the intrepid Forrest. Then
for awhile General Forrest played havoc with Fede-
ral transportation and garrisons in Tennessee, and
at Johnsonville captured and destroyed six million
dollars worth of the enemy's supplies, and also a
gun boat fleet.
The Federal General Sherman wrote of this,
"That was a 'feat of arms,' which I must confess,
excited my admiration." On another occasion,
Sherman complimented Forrest. When he was
making his raid through Georgia, Forrest was fol-
lowing him closely and giving him so much trouble
in the rear, it has been stated, that General Sher-
man telegraphed to the War Department at Wash-
ington "To keep that devil Forrest off my heels, if
it takes ten thousand men to do it."
After the fall of Atlanta, he joined General Hood
at Florence, Alabama, and fought at the bloody bat-
tle of Franklin and at Nashville.
As Commander of the Rear Guard of the re-
treating Confederate Army, Forrest showed those
heroic qualities, which caused him to be likened to
the wonderful Marshal Ney, who covered the re-
treat of the great Napoleon from Moscow. Eu-
ropean authorities have pronounced Forrest the most
OR INVISIBLE EMPIRE. 83
magnificent Cavalry Officer that America has pro-
He was promoted Lieutenant-General February,
1865, and given the duty to guard the frontier from
Decatur, Alabama, to the Mississippi.
He made his last fight at Selma, Alabama, and
there on May 9th surrendered his command. It
has been stated that he was under fire 179 times
during the four years of war, and he stated, "That
his provost" marshal's book would show that he
had taken; 31,000 prisoners.
Some writer said, "Forrest was not taught at
West Point, but he gave lessons to West Point."
This expression of General Forrest has become
famous, "War means killing, and the way to kill
is to get there first with the most men."
Senator Daniel said of him, "What genius was
in that wonderful man. He felt the field, as Blind
Tom touches the keys of the piano."
Such was the brilliant record of General Forrest
in that conflict of arms, the War between the
States, while in peace his allegiance to duty
and his country was equally pronounced, for dur-
ing the dark days of Reconstruction, a period
more terrible even than the War itself, with the Ku
84 THE KXJ KLUX ELAN,
Klux Klan, of which he was the Supreme Officer,
the South was redeemed from destruction.
Many great monuments have been erected to his
memory, but his greatest monument is erected in
the hearts of the people of the Southland, whom he
loved so well and served so faithfully.
All honor to General Nathan Bedford Forrest, —
Leader of the Confederate Cavalry, and of the Ku
Note: — The facts for the above biographical
sketch were obtained from the Confederate Military
History, Vol. I.