The Civil War: Martial Law and the Fourteenth Amendment

On November 9, 1860, the South Carolina militia hoisted the Palmetto flag over the batteries of Charleston harbor. Six weeks later, on December 20, the State voted an ordinance of secession from the Union, repealing its 1788 ratification of the Constitution of the United States, to be effective on December 24th, 1860.

"The first overt act of the war took place in Charleston harbor on January 8, 1861, when a merchant vessel, the Star of the West. arrived with reinforcements for Fort Sumter. To avoid sending a warship General Scott had leased the steamship and put on board 200 soldiers and ammunition. When the ship was within two miles of Fort Sumter a battery on Morris Island fired one shot at it, as also did Fort Moultrie. Then five rounds were fired from Morris Island, and the ship was struck twice. The ship hoisted the United States ensign, but getting no signal from Sumter turned around and headed back to New York."

Harry Hansen
The Civil War: A One-Volume History

The attempt to bolster the Federal force at Sumter was clearly seen as a provocation -- an hostile act -- and the use of a chartered vessel did not make appearances any better. Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson, a Mississippian who was accused of informing the South Carolinians of the mission of the Star of the West. resigned his office and went home. Senator Jefferson Davis, also from Mississippi, who had served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), took issue in the Senate, arguing that the Constitution had never contemplated using the U.S. Army against any of the States. Neither the President, nor Congress nor the Judiciary had any authority to order troops of one state to march against another. Receiving no satisfactory response from President Buchanan, who had indeed hardened his stance, the State of Mississippi threw in the towel and seceded from the Union on January 9, 1861. Florida followed suit on January 10th and Alabama on the 11th. A week later, on the 19th, Georgia went into secession and Louisiana followed the week after that, on January 26. On February 1st, 1861, Texas joined in the secession, and this action was ratified in a public referendum that showed a margin of 3:1 in favor.

When Abraham Lincoln was sworn into the Presidency on April 4, 1861, he stepped into an unfolding diplomatic crisis with seven states in secession and, as we shall see, at least eight others on the brink. At the heart of the situation was a deep-rooted Southern suspicion that there was a coup being staged, involving William Seward, Sen. Charles Sumner, Salmon P. Chase, Edwin Stanton and Thurlow Weed among others, all of whom were playing Lincoln for a stooge. As things turned out, they were not far off the mark. Disregarding the advice of his general-in-chief, Winfield Scott, that Fort Sumter and now also Fort Pickens (at Pensacola, Florida) be evacuated, Lincoln ordered yet another vessel to set sail on April 6th, its mission to resupply Fort Sumter, but this time allegedly without troops or munitions aboard. Lincoln maintained that he was pledged to protect the property of the United States, a/k/a the Federal government (District of Columbia).

Acting on the orders of Jefferson Davis, who was now President of the Confederacy, General Pierre G.T. Beauregard delivered an ultimatum on April 11th to Major Robert Anderson, the commander at Fort Sumter. Anderson replied at 3:15 AM on the 12th that he would, "if provided with the proper and necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter by noon of the 15th," if he had not received "prior to that time, controlling instructions ... or additional supplies." Beauregard knew that supplies were on the way and, having been granted discretion by the Secretary of War in Montgomery, ordered the batteries to open fire at 4:30 AM. It is this writer's opinion that Beauregard could have prevented resupply for another eighty-one hours, and that the bombardment was therefore unnecessary. (It has been suggested that General Beauregard was himself an Illuminati agent.) On April 13th negotiations between Beauregard and Anderson resumed, and the fort was evacuated on the 14th when Beauregard furnished a steamer to transport the garrison to the Federal fleet that had been waiting outside the harbor. No lives were lost on either side during the bombardment. Before leaving the fort, the garrison had raised the United States flag one last time, fired a salute, and hauled it down. During the salute a gun burst, killing one man.

On April 15th, the day after Fort Sumter was evacuated, President Lincoln called for 75,000 Federal troops to quell the Southern insurrection and to "Preserve the Union". Following this declaration of Federal intent to pursue war, Virginia seceded on April 17, 1861. They understood that, being a border state, their remaining in the Union would bring them under immediate Federal military occupation. They lay directly in the path between Washington (District of Columbia), and Columbia, South Carolina (The first state to secede and the one technically at war). Federal military occupation means the imposition of martial law, and there are no courts of appeal. Two days later (April 19th), responding to Lincoln's call, troops of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment were marching through the streets of Baltimore (Maryland) between train stations. They were set upon by a crowd of angry citizens who resented the presence of foreign troops in their state. In the ensuing clash, the regiment lost four killed and thirty-six wounded, and the Baltimore police reported nine civilians killed and many wounded. This was the first battle of the Civil War, after Fort Sumter, and the first combat casualties, occurring between Federally-marshalled troops and civilians.

The mayor of Baltimore and the governor of Maryland appealed to Lincoln that he send no more Federal troops through Baltimore. This was Lincoln's moment of truth. Should he allow Maryland to follow her sister states into secession, the District of Columbia would be surrounded by hostile States! Lincoln and his cabinet would be forced to flee (assuming they could) to Philadelphia or New York. The Regular army would most likely desert. Suddenly Maryland became the key to whether or not the Civil War would actually occur! Abraham Lincoln responded by placing the entire state under martial law and military occupation:

"Marylanders were similar to Virginians, strongly Southern, but cautious. However, when Lincoln called for troops to coerce the states, Virginia seceded. Immediately, Lincoln moved to secure Maryland. Habeas corpus was suspended and Southern sympathisers arrested in Baltimore. General Banks dissolved the Baltimore police board. Secretary of War Cameron wrote him: "The passage of any act of secession by the legislature of Maryland must be prevented. If necessary all or any part of the members must be arrested." Arrests were sufficient to prevent a vote. The mayor of Baltimore, most of the city government, and newspaper editors were jailed. One of those editors was the grandson of the author of The Star Spangled Banner. Francis Key Howard wrote of his imprisonment [inside Fort McHenry]:

"When I looked out in the morning, I could not help being struck by an odd and not pleasant coincidence. On that same day forty-seven years before, my grandfather, Mr Francis Scott Key, then prisoner on a Britsh ship, had witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry. When on the following morning the hostile fleet drew off, defeated, he wrote the song so long popular. ... As I stood upon the very scene of that conflict, I could not but contrast my position with his, forty-seven years before. The flag which he had then so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims of as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed."

"Documents of the period show more than 38,000 political prisoners in northern jails. In The Life of William H. Seward. Bancroft wrote: The person "suspected" of disloyalty was often seized at night, borne off to the nearest fort. ... Month after month many of them were crowded together in gloomy and damp casemates, where even dangerous pirates captured on privateers ought not to have remained long. Many had committed no overt act. There were among them editors and political leaders of character and honour, but whose freedom would be prejudicial to the prosecution of the war."

Nat G. Rudulph
Why America Lost the "Civil War"

It was precisely this brutal disregard for law, the occupation by military force of Maryland, and then Delaware, that precipitated the secession of Arkansas on May 6, 1861, and North Carolina on May 21st. Lincoln and his cabinet had demonstrated utter contempt for the rights even of those citizens in states still loyal to the Union; he had literally put a gun to their heads to prevent them passing ordinances of secession, or even bringing the matter up for discussion. The analogy has long been made between Lincoln's cry for "War to preserve the Union" and a madman's attempt to preserve his marriage by beating his spouse into submission. In this case, it was the Federal government (District of Columbia), ostensibly under Abraham Lincoln's executive authority, that was rampaging out of control. As we shall see, the analogy to rapine is fully appropriate. It was for this reason that Tennessee entered into a military alliance with the Confederacy on May 7, and seceded from the Union by popular vote on June 8. The men of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee all staked their lives on this point, and they are yet to be vindicated.

On December 31, 1860, almost four months before the Federal seizure of Maryland, the state assembly of Missouri had presented the Federal government with the warning that if it tried to coerce any state by force, Missouri would join forces with the South and "resist the invaders to the last extremity". Missouri was therefore also slated for martial law as fast as federal troops could be mustered there. In the meantime, Francis P. Blair Jr., brother to the Postmaster General (spymaster) in Lincoln's cabinet, organized a coup against the state government to prepare for the occupation force. When Governor Claiborne F. Jackson called a state convention to address the issues of secession, Blair and his forces sucessfully intimidated the delegates so that the issue of secession was never even raised (i.e. whoever would have dared make the motion would have been shot). Meanwhile, Blair's associate, Captain Nathaniel Lyon (as in special forces), was organizing the "Home Guard", a pro-Union paramilitary organization. On May 10, 1861, Captain Lyon launched a sneak attack on Camp Jackson, outside St. Louis, where the state militia was drilling new recruits. As he was marching his prisoners to the Federal Arsenal in St. Louis for internment, an angry mob gathered around Capt. Lyons and his "Home Guard", who opened fire on the civilians, killing 38. Who remembers the St. Louis Massacre?

The next day Brigadier General W.S. Harney, who was in command of the Department of the West, arrived in St. Louis to bring about reconciliation. On May 21 he reached an agreement with Brig. General Sterling Price, who was in command of the state militia, that he would recognize the state government as the agency to keep order so long as the militia did not commence any acts hostile to the Union. This was contrary to the policy of Blair and Lyons, and was promptly reported to Washington. The agreement was repudiated by the War Department, Lyons was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on May 31st, and given temporary command of Missouri.

This rapid promotion, and the fact that General Harney (whose military career seems to have ended at that point) was clearly "out of the loop", is evidence that there was indeed a conspiratorial coup at work. Subsequent events bear this out. No sooner had he consolidated his forces, and General Lyon marched on Jefferson City, the capital, in June of 1861. When the governor and his staff departed for Boonville, Federal forces attacked the state militia and drove them into the southwestern part of the state. In July, Unionists formed a provisional state government with Hamilton R. Gamble as governor, and Major General John C. Fremont took command of the Department of the West in St. Louis. On August 30, 1861, General Fremont officially placed Missouri under martial law. His proclamation ordered "all persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines [of military occupation] shall be tried by court martial, and if found guilty will be shot. Real and personal property of those who take up arms against the United States, or who shall be directly proven of having taken an active part with their enemies in the field, is declared confiscated to public use ..."

"Yankee power was most unrestrained in Missouri. From its initial defiant movement of troops, the Union routinely escalated hostilities. They encouraged atrocities, insidiously veiled behind a facade of inept negligence. They exhibited arrogance and contempt for law, their own constitution, Southerners, and life itself.

"The authorities entered private homes without warrant or provocation, seizing arms and other properties. They required written permits for travel ... Citizens were fined, jailed, banished, and even executed for as little as expressing dissent, or upon the accusation of a government informer. Authorities called citizens to their door in the middle of the night and shot them or took them away. Amnesty was promised to partisans, but many who attempted to surrender were executed. Men like Frank and Jesse James witnessed these things and vowed never to accept a pardon from such a government.

"September 1862 brought executions for refusing to swear allegiance to the U.S. In October at Palmyra, Missouri, ten political prisoners [who were legally] POWs were executed because a Union informer disappeared. Soon afterwards, Lincoln promoted to brigadier-general the man responsible.

"Senator Jim Lane, known as 'the grim chieftain of Kansas,' ravaged Missouri. Halleck wrote McClellan: "I receive almost daily complaints of outrages committed by these men in the name of the United States, and the evidence is so conclusive as to leave no doubt of their correctness ... Lane has been made a brigadier-general. I cannot conceive of a more injudicious appointment ... offering a premium for rascality and robbing." McClellan gave the letter to Lincoln. After reading it, Lincoln turned it over and wrote on the back, "An excellent letter, though I am sorry General Halleck is so unfavourably impressed with General Lane."

"In 1863 General Ewing imprisoned as many wives, mothers, and sisters of Quantrill's Confederate partisan band as could be found. The building housing most of them collapsed in August, killing many. Ewing had been warned that the building was in danger of collapse, and the guerrillas believed that it had been deliberate. In retaliation Quantrill sacked and burned Lawrence, Kansas. Ewing then issued an order forcing all persons in four counties of western Missouri living more than a mile from a military base to leave the state. They were forced from their homes at gunpoint and escorted away. Then all property was destroyed. Cass County, which had a population of 10,000 was reduced to 600 by this "ethnic cleansing." Union Colonel Lazear wrote his wife that the ensuing arson was so thorough that only stone chimneys could be seen for hundreds of miles. "It is heart sickening to see what I have seen since I have been back here. A desolated country, men, women and children, some of them almost naked. Some on foot and some in wagons. Oh God."

"Loyalty oaths and bonds were required of all citizens. If guerrillas attacked, property in the area was confiscated and sold at auction. Suspects were imprisoned and by 1864 the mortality rate of Union-held prisoners had reached fifty percent. Union surgeon Gorge Rex reported: Undergoing the confinement in these crowded and insufficiently ventilated quarters are many citizen prisoners, against whom the charges are of a very trivial character, or perhaps upon investigation ... no charges at all are sustained.

"The Union implemented Sherman's philosophy of war against civilians. He wrote: "To the petulant and persistent secessionist, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better. ... There is a class of people ... who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order." To General Sheridan, Sherman wrote: "... the present class of men who rule the South must be killed outright rather than in conquest of territory ... a great deal of it yet remains to be done, therefore, I shall expect you on any and all occasions to make bloody results." To General Kilpatrick he wrote: "It is petty nonsense for Wheeler and Beauregard and such vain heroes to talk of our warring against women and children. If they claim to be men they should defend their women and children and prevent us reaching their homes." In a moment of candour he wrote Grant: "You and I and every commander must go through the war justly chargeable with crimes."

contributed by Nat G. Rudulph, of Selma, Alabama
Why America Lost the "Civil War"

Maryland, Delaware and Missouri were not the only Union states to suffer military aggression and occupation. An "Iron Curtain" was being drawn across the North as fast as the Federal armies could be marshalled. The battles around Manassas and Harpers Ferry, culminating in Bull Run on July 21, 1861, are recounted as the "first" military operations of the Civil War only because they represent the first occasion when the Federal onslaught was halted and turned back. The military operations began on April 15 with Abraham Lincoln's call for 75,000 Federal troops. The actual mobilization far exceeded that number, for on July 4, 1861, Congress authorized the the War Department to enlist 500,000 men into the Federal armies, an astounding number for that time. The initial objective of this mobilization was to secure the Northern states and consolidate key regions under martial law.

Most of Appalachia at the time was inaccessible and sparsely populated, but just across the mountains from Harpers Ferry lay the critical Ohio Valley, which was the major link to the Western States and Territories. The mountains from Pennsylvania to the Cumberland Gap had to be secured. They were quickly and efficiently placed under military occupation, organized through the (federalized) Pennsylvania militia of "volunteers"; and two years later the area was formed into the state of West Virginia (1863). Despite the rampant house-burning and other acts of Federal terrorism, the mountain people were never fully subdued, and some of the bloodiest fighting of the war took place in the Shenandoah Valley.

In Kansas there had been a strong Abolitionist presence dating back to the days of John Brown, and the organization which had been established and financed by the Secret Six was quickly made a junta under protection of the military governors. Another Union army was deployed in Kentucky, which forms the southern flank of the Ohio Valley, to subdue that state. This was done ostensibly to protect Kentucky's "neutrality", which had been tentatively agreed to between Lincoln and the state leaders. It was clear that Kentucky, like Maryland and Missouri, would not be allowed to vote on an ordinance of secession. The states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana were also quickly secured by the Federal War Department, which placed the railroads and waterways under the Corps of Engineers for transport and construction projects. This action cloaked a more sinister military occupation. Dissent could not be tolerated in any areas critical to communication and supply.

Other Union forces were stationed in the territories of Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California to "protect" the residents from Indians and guerrillas, a euphemism for keeping the citizenry at gunpoint. This tactic was used throughout the war. There was no such thing as "freedom of information", and government propaganda dominated both press and pulpit. The "civil rights" of free speech and public assembly were suspended throughout the Union, but especially in the border occupation zones. Elsewhere it was more intermittant, but effective. Any person who dared, in public, to criticize Abraham Lincoln or the Federal government was liable to face imprisonment, without the courtesy of formal charges or public trial, and for whatever length of time the military governor deemed necessary. Any person who dared advocate armistice, a cease-fire or process of negotiation could be brought before a military tribunal and charged with sedition. There is no jury trial and no court of appeal. Anyone protesting the military occupation, or its policies, or caught harassing military personnel in the course of their duties, was subject to the same. This is what the suspension of Habeas Corpus entails.

Events followed swiftly. "Reconstruction" had already begun as early as April 29, 1862 with the capture of New Orleans virtually intact by Federal forces. It was a decisive blow; had Admiral Farragut and Commander Porter delayed even two weeks in their assault, the Confederate ironclad Louisiana would have been operational, and it probably could have prevented their running the forts. But lacking its screw, the ship was useless except as a floating battery. Under the military occupation of General Benjamin Butler, and at the instigation of Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, the Federal military government set about bringing the region's cotton plantations immediately back into production, and the port back into commercial operation. New Orleans, now under Union control, resumed its role as the center of the cotton trade, and now also for war-profiteering: the shipping of cotton, tobacco, contraband and booty stolen from the South. Historians tend to overlook the extensive looting that occurred in the wake of the advancing Federal armies, nor do they fully explain why the negro camp followers were called contrabands. Military governors tended to look the other way, and corruption was rampant in the Union army, especially around the supply depots. Many fortunes were made pawning loot, smuggling contraband and levying excise, supplying much of the silverware, artwork, books, mirrors and furnishings that graced the drawing-rooms of wealthy shippers in San Francisco [please follow the link, and page up. Do you get it?], New York, Baltimore and New England.

[Incidentally, it was General Butler who issued the notorious order that any woman who "insulted" a Federal soldier (as in not yielding the sidewalk when a negro troop brushed by) should be treated as a whore plying her trade, implying that rape would be tolerated. On another occasion, he ordered General Weitzel to compel the negroes of La Fourche Parish, Louisiana, to murder the white people of the parish. In reply to this order, general Weitzel wrote, "The idea of my inciting a negro insurrection is heart-rending. I will resign my command rather than induce negroes to outrage and murder the helpless whites."]

As the Federal fleet moved up the Mississippi River into Louisiana, the Department of the Mississipi Valley under General Thomas was merged with the Department of the Gulf, under Butler. The Bureau of Free Labor was organized by George Hicks to force planters to begin paying for access to labor. Negro and carpetbag opportunists began pouring into New Orleans hoping to obtain management contracts for the Federally-operated plantations. When the 37th Congress reconvened in the fall of 1862, it placed the Mississippi Valley under the authority of Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury (as in the Secret Service), who saw contraband as an important source of specie to finance the war effort, now costing the Federal government $2 million a day. He established the Western Sanitary Commission under General James Wadsworth to oversee the distribution of profitable plantation leases to select negroes. This was the beginning of the famous "40 acres and a mule" hoax. The federal-occupied Louisiana parishes were then specifically exempted in the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, together with the Virginia ports that had been secured during McClellan's summer Penninsular Campaign.

Elsewhere, the Federal offensive of 1862 had stalled. After overrunning Tennessee in a hard-driving winter campaign, Ulysses Grant had been stopped by Johnston at Shiloh in mid-April, and Halleck took over the Federal command in order to complete the organization of the armies of the West. Following the Second Manassas in late August, Robert E. Lee led the ragged Confederate army into Maryland, hoping to bring that State over, but he was stopped by McClellan at Antietam on September 15th, the bloodiest day of the war. There were over 23,000 casualties between the two armies that day. Both sides were by then exhausted, and it was clear to those who knew the casualty figures that this had become a war of attrition, the most horrifying, devastating kind of warfare known to exist. And what did Lincoln do? He imposed censorship on the news, arrested more political prisoners, and announced (on November 9, five days after the election) that he would proclaim Emancipation. What a skilled, and totally unscrupulous, politician!

During the Presidential Election of November 4, 1862, Abraham Lincoln (as Commander-in-Chief) and the Republican Party used Federal troops to influence the election results in several states. In Delaware the military interference was so blatant that the state General Assembly appointed a committee to conduct an investigation.

"Willard Saulsbury (1820-1892) was a United States Senator from Delaware, 1859-73, and in his politics he well-represented the sentiments of a border state. He strongly defended the institution of slavery, but was as equally opposed to secession [an example of political-correctness on a tightrope, --G.S.]. He was exceedingly critical of arrests in Delaware for alleged disloyalty to the Union and opposed military and naval interference in elections and the President's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. On January 29, 1862, he gave this speech in the Senate against the resolution to expel Senator Jesse Bright of Indiana for alleged treason. Bright was accused of treason for having written a letter of introduction to Jefferson Davis in 1861. The debate over his expulsion lasted twenty days, but he was ultimately expelled on February 5, 1862 by a vote of 32 to 14."

See Gopher: Speech of Hon. Willard Saulsbury, of Delaware, on the Resolution Proposing to Expel the Hon. Jesse D. Bright. Washington City: Henry Polkinhorn, 1862.

"In the general election of 1862, out of a desire to preserve order in a state that had much strong feeling on both sides of the secession issue, and where many accusations of disloyalty were raised and arrests made, federal troops were ordered to Delaware, where some were stationed at the polls. Democrats decried the use of the military at the polls as coercion and Willard complained that "Peaceable, quiet citizens, saying not a word, on their way to the polls and before they had got to the election ground, were arrested and dragged out of their wagons [and] carried away," and that others were "assaulted at the poll." In the presidential election year of 1864, in which Saulsbury himself was facing reelection, he delivered this speech opposing military interference with elections and supporting a bill to prevent the army and navy from doing so."

See Gopher: Military Interference with Elections: Speech of Hon. Willard Saulsbury of Delaware, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 24 and 25, 1864. Washington, D.C.: Office of the "Constitutional Union", 1864.

Meanwhile, another crisis had been unfolding, drowned out in the clamor for War: on the last business day of 1861, the New York City exchange banks had announced that they would have to cease making payments of the national debt in specie -- gold and silver coin. The specie was running short, and the United States (District of Columbia) was on the brink of default on its international debt! The interest payments were coming due on the huge amount already borrowed (courtesy of J.& W. Seligman & Co., head underwriter) to finance the massive Federal troop mobilization, railroad construction, and war-related industry. Because most of these debts were payable to foreign investors (precursors to the IMF), payment in specie would deplete the Union of coinage, resulting in a massive deflation. This, in turn, would cause a nationwide credit failure, even as the national debt was mushrooming.

An agreement was reached with the bankers, through the friendly offices of Salmon P. Chase (of Cincinnati-Rothschild connections), that a special issue of U.S. Treasury notes would be recognized as legal tender, bearing 5.20 percent interest to be paid in specie, and issued in the amount of $500 million. In other words, gold and silver coin would indeed disappear from the Union (into the pockets of the international financiers), to be replaced temporarily with "Greenbacks" (Treasury Notes) until the Federal government (District of Columbia) could find itself a fresh supply of gold and silver for mintage. In the meantime, the interest payments were to be secured by a duty on imports (but pillage from the South would remain duty-free, to Mr. Gump's satisfaction, and the war-profiteering rings became tax-free monopolies). Settlement of principal was to be negotiated at a later date (the "Greenbacks" were eventually retired at par for gold after the Reconstruction period, but that is another story). This was all authorized by Congress in the Treasury Acts of 1862 and 1863; and this is the occasion for Mr. Lincoln's famous statement about the "Money Powers". Interestingly, as Mr. Chase later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he would opinion that the "Greenbacks" had been unconstitutional! Actually, that is a polite way of saying, "We f**ked you over big-time, and you can't do a thing about it."

So much for Abraham Lincoln's solemn duty to protect the property of the United States: his ambition was clearly to preserve the Federal government (District of Columbia. at whatever cost, be it all the gold and silver in the land, and under it as well, plus the earning power of all future generations. And yet to this day, I can't believe that Lincoln really understood what he was doing. He ranks among the greatest dupes of all time, or the greatest of scoundrels!

"Throughout his presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced serious opposition to his political and wartime policies. Even in the North, the Civil War was so divisive and consumed so many lives and resources that it could hardly have been otherwise.

"Opposition to Lincoln naturally coalesced in the Democratic Party, whose candidate, Stephen Douglas, had won 44 percent of the free states' popular vote in the 1860 election.

"The strength of the opposition generally rose and fell in proportion to the North's effectiveness on the battlefield. The first manifestation of dissatisfaction with the war effort -- and by extension Lincoln -- came not from the Democrats, however, but from the Congress, which formed the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War in December 1861 to investigate the poor Union showing at Bull Run and Ball's Bluff. Dominated by radical Republicans, the Joint Committee pushed the Lincoln administration toward a more aggressive engagement of the war, as well as toward emancipation.

"As might be expected from the party of "popular sovereignty," some Democrats believed that full-scale war to reinstate the Union was unjustified. This group came to be known as the Peace Democrats. Their more extreme elements were called "Copperheads."

"Whether of the "war" or "peace" faction, few Democrats believed the emancipation of the slaves was worth shedding Northern blood. Indeed, opposition to emancipation had long been party policy. In 1862, for example, virtually every Democrat in Congress voted against eliminating slavery in the District of Columbia and prohibiting it in the territories.

"Much of the opposition to emancipation came from the working poor, particularly Irish and German Catholic immigrants, who feared a massive migration of newly freed blacks to the North. Spurred by such sentiments, race riots erupted in several Northern cities in 1862.

"With the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863, Lincoln clearly added the abolition of slavery to his war aims. This was far from universally accepted in the North. In both Indiana and Illinois, for example, the state legislatures passed laws calling for peace with the Confederacy and retraction of the "wicked, inhuman and unholy" proclamation.

"The North's difficulties in prosecuting the war led Lincoln, in September 1862, to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and impose martial law on those who interfered with recruitment or gave aid and comfort to the rebels. This breech of civil law, although constitutionally justified during times of crisis, gave the Democrats another opportunity to criticize Lincoln. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton enforced martial law vigorously, and many thousands -- most of them Southern sympathizers or Democrats -- were arrested.

"The Union's need for manpower led to the first compulsory draft in U.S. history. Enacted in 1863 to "encourage" enlistment, the draft further alienated many. Opposition was particularly strong among the Copperheads of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, where federal troops had to be called out to enforce compliance with it.

"It must be noted that a man who was drafted could buy his way out for $300, about the equivalent of an unskilled laborer's annual income at that time. This feature added to the impression -- strongly held in parts of the Confederacy as well -- that this was a "rich man's war and a poor man's fight."

"The most significant resistance to the draft took place in New York City in the summer of 1863. A Democratic Party stronghold, New York had already seen several draft officials killed that year. In July a group of blacks were brought into the city, under police protection, to replace striking Irish longshoremen. At the same time, officials held a lottery drawing for the unpopular draft. The conjunction of the two events led to a four-day riot in which a number of black neighborhoods, draft offices and Protestant churches were destroyed and at least 105 people killed. It was not until several Union regiments arrived from Gettysburg that order could be restored.

"The most celebrated civil case of the Civil War also took place that year. It concerned Clement Vallandigham, an aspiring Democratic candidate for the governorship of Ohio. Apparently seeking to bolster his candidacy, Vallandigham defied a local military ban against "treasonous activities" and attacked Lincoln's policies, calling for negotiations to end the war and terming it "a war for the freedom of the blacks and the enslavement of the whites." Union soldiers subsequently broke into his house and arrested him.

"The legality of Vallandigham's arrest was immediately challenged by the Democrats and, indeed, some Republicans as well. Lincoln's response was to have him sent behind Confederate lines, where Vallandigham won the nomination. Making his way to Canada, he then carried out a boisterous, but unsuccessful, campaign."

Peace Democrats, Copperheads and Draft Riots
An Outline of American History (1994)

The Enrollment Act of March 3rd, 1863 (12 Stat. 731, et seq.) was a watershed event in American history. Prior to this, the Federal government never had, and never had claimed, the power to draft "citizens" directly into the regular army. It had only the power to requisition forces from the States' militias, and even this authority has never, to our knowledge, been tested outside of the Civil War (i.e. what would happen if a State refused?). The power to draft is based upon a presumption of citizenship, together with the definition of allegiance. By usurping the power to draft, the Federal government was, in effect, assuming the power to declare citizenship, even if that person should wish to decline. This power was never spelled out in the Constitution, at lease not until pronouncement of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the power can only be inferred (albeit weakly) from the Power to Raise and Support Armies (Article I, Sec. 8 [11]), which is somewhat contradicted by paragraphs [14] and [15] of the same Section. Is it any wonder there were draft riots?

The Federal usurpation of this power to bestow -- to declare -- citizenship was the biggest plum of the Civil War. Taken together, the Enrollment Act and the Fourteenth Amendment represent the power to define the Republic (see William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator: "Our Country is the World, our Nation is Mankind."); it represents the power to create whole new populations, to manipulate the demography of any given region, village, county, or state. It put Federal troops at the doors to our schoolhouses and polling places. It brought cheap migrant labor to our shores and threw open our gates to irredentism. This was the beginning of the "Melting Pot" -- the Cup of Babalon -- and of death by amalgamation for our race. It was precisely to orchestrate this seizure of power that the Civil War had been instigated in the first place, to wrest it by force, because the conspirators knew that a free people would never willingly give up such authority.

The first germ of the idea had been implanted in the Constitution itself -- the Power to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization (Article I, Section 8[4]) -- a wedge so tiny and insignificant it was easily overlooked. The regulation of slavery, the head tax, the Fugitive Slave Act, the Dred Scott decision ... all these events were little hooks that served to expand Federal authority over appeals and last resort on all questions regarding not only slavery, but citizenship itself. All the while, this is what the conspirators had been after -- the power to regulate demography. Under duress of war, we were brought under the Enrollment Act and the Emancipation Proclamation, followed by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments (and later the 19th and 26th), which opened the door to the Civil Rights Acts, the Freedmen's Bureau and the Union Leagues. The questions of immigration and amalgamation have never been brought before the American people in referendum, for the simple reason that we would have rejected them. The conspirators knew exactly what they were doing.

The Enrollment Act completely altered the relationship between the Federal government and the states. Prior to the war, the courts had always ruled that the allegiance which the people owe to the Federal government was derived from their State Citizenship; henceforth, it would be claimed that the people owe complete, direct and immediate allegiance to the Federal government first, and that State citizenship is secondary.

Prior to the war, the Federal government had never possessed rights of eminent domain; it was viewed as a foreign power with respect to any of the States, and could enter the territory of a State only to execute the few powers granted. If the Federal government wanted a parcel of land, the State had first to acquire that parcel under its own power of eminent domain and then transfer ownership to the United States. Neither could the Federal government transfer its ownership of any parcel within a State to any foreign power. The Federal government usurped that power of eminent domain during the Civil War, seizing property, buildings, plantations and commercial interests, making land grants of State territory directly to railroad companies, and establishing military districts under martial law. These Federal powers were never legally granted, as by Constitutional amendment, nor were they rescinded after the war.

The Election of 1860 had been a coup engineered by the powers behind the Republican Party, taking advantage of a 3-way split in the Democratic Party that was allegedly orchestrated by August Belmont [follow link & page-up], Democratic Party Treasurer and an admitted Rothschild agent. The Election of 1862 was a mockery, with Federal troops interfering at the polls. The election of 1864 was a votescam, a combination of ballot-stuffing, military interference and voter intimidation.

"On August 23, [1864], six days before the Democratic convention met, President Lincoln wrote a brief note on how he expected the election to go; without disclosing its contents he asked the cabinet members to sign it. It showed how anxious he was about the outcome. Lincoln had written: 'This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to co-operate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterward.'."

Harry Hansen
The Civil War: A One-Volume History

Lincoln's Democratic opponent in the 1864 Election was George B. McClellan, former commander of the Army of the Potomac, and probably the most maligned general of the Civil War. McClellan was the best loved by his troops, and it had been his sudden appearance (having been temporarily relieved of his command by Lincoln) that rallied the Army and prevented its defeat at the Second Manassas from becoming a rout. It was under his leadership that the Army then stood up to the hail of fire at Antietam, stopped General Lee and saved Maryland for the Union. McClellan understood (as did Lee and Grant) that this was a war of attrition, and there could be no "decisive victory" on any battlefield; not until both sides had been ground into dust. The soldiers knew this, too. They also knew that McClellan, more than any of the others, disliked throwing lives away in futile charges, and would do his best to give his men favorable odds. Even Lee, at Malvern and Gettysburg, was not loath to send his men to certain death in frontal assaults against artillery & dug-in troops. It is frequently overlooked that throughout the abortive Penninsular Campaign, it was the Confederates who suffered the greater losses in every engagement; McClellan held the Army together throughout its extraction, and also managed to secure Norfolk and Portsmouth, together with the destruction of the Merrimac (the Confederate ironclad Virginia). A great deal of Lincoln's famous problems that he allegedly experienced with his generals was so much sound and fury, a political sideshow staged for the press, to drown out the reality of the staggering casualties that were piling up on the battlefields and in the military hospitals and prisons. It was not until the Battle of Gettysburg that the people of the North had direct experience of this kind of carnage, and that is why Abraham Lincoln was so afraid he might lose.

"... The [1864 Democratic] platform alleged interference by the military authority in elections in Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Delaware; subversion of civil by military law in states not in insurrection; arbitrary military arrest, imprisonment, trial, and sentence of American citizens in states where civil law existed in full force; suppression of freedom of speech and of the press; denial of the right of asylum; open and avowed disregard of state rights; the employment of unusual test-oaths; and interference with and the denial of the right of the people to bear arms. It condemned the "shameful disregard" by the Administration of the suffering of the prisoners of war."

Harry Hansen
The Civil War: A One-Volume History

Abraham Lincoln was proclaimed victorious with a "landslide" one-tenth plurality. Apparently pleased with their military governors and bootleg graft, (!) the states under military occupation showed the largest plurality for President Lincoln, Commander-in-Chief. By way of contrast, according to the "revised" figures, Lincoln carried New York State by only 6,749 out of over 730,000 votes cast (less than 1%). Ninety thousand soldiers from seven states -- Massachusetts, Rhode island, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois and California -- were not permitted by the states (political machines) to vote away from home. Men who lived in the territories, or who served in the Army from those areas, were not allowed to vote. And yet, despite the secession of eleven states, the total of votes cast in 1864 was nearly as high as it had been in 1860 with no states in secession! (As though someone had cast votes for the dead of all ages.)

Securing Power Through the Negro Vote

So long as wartime conditions prevailed, the Republican Party was able to hold power through control of the military occupation zones. But one cannot rig elections forever, and sooner or later the war would end. Once the Southern states were readmitted to the Union, the radical Republicans would be crushed. The conspirators understood that, in order to maintain their control of government, they would have to do two things: organize the negroes, both North and South, into a body of solid political support, and then give them the right to vote.

The Abolitionist George Luther Stearns, as we have noted, had been appointed Assistant Adjutant-General under the Quartermaster (Army Supply Corps) for the Enlistment of Colored Troops. It has been claimed that upwards of 175,000 negroes had been enlisted into the Federal Armies over the course of the war, but very few of these ever saw battle. For the most part, they were used as garrison troops covering the supply lines and occupation zones. Working as laborers and sentries under the Quartermaster and Corps of Engineers, the negro troops were the perfect stooges to facilitate the looting, contraband and war-profiteering rings that operated through the Supply Corps. These were later to become the backbone of the negro militia that served the military governors during Reconstruction.

While there was some military justification for this deployment of negroes to the rear rather than at the front, this also provided the nexus for organizing the contraband camps -- runaway negro slaves and camp followers who gathered around Federal supply depots -- into Union Leagues and Freedman Bureaus. Even today, most of the inner-city negro slums in the South are located near the dockyards and railway terminals because they began as contraband camps during the Civil War. During the Reconstruction Era, these camps were the political base for scalawag and carpetbag rule.

A corrupt stooge is infinitely preferable to an honest one, because he is more easily controlled. We should not be surprised that the negro troops and camp-followers were intentionally corrupted. This was a necessary step before giving them the right to vote -- that an organization be constructed that would control that vote. And so the negroes were fed and cared for, and put to work, packing and shipping the contraband, gleaning the countryside for simple articles like crockery, soap, velvet, lace and dress shoes -- things that are easily overlooked by pillaging troops, but which could fetch a high price in the emporiums of San Francisco and Philadelphia.

The first negro votes had been cast in the regular Army as early as 1864, and we should not be surprised that many of these were passed as white by the military election authorities. This is one of the reasons why, in the 1864 Election, President Lincoln enjoyed the largest plurality in those areas under military occupation. As we have seen, many of the most virulent Abolitionists had become Union generals, and some these did not wait for congress to declare negro suffrage as, indeed, this was as much a matter of state constitutional law. But in the Federal occupation zones there was no state government to contend with, the military governor being vested with all civilian authority. Therefore, by the 1866 elections, the negro vote was substantial and significant, and the illiterate negroes all voted the radical ticket, as they were told.

Bolstered by the radical vote, and under the leadership of Thaddeus Stevens (Pennsylvania) and Charles Sumner (Massachusetts), Congress demanded "War Crimes Trials" of Confederate leaders, the disfranchisement of Southern whites, the confiscation of property from wealthy whites who had aided the Confederacy, the enforcement of strong legal protections for blacks, and both state and Federal constitutional amendments granting negro suffrage in order to legitimize the bloc of corrupt Republican negro stooge-votes. The word radical is hardly sufficient to describe what was being put forth:

"I do not believe in battles ending this war. You may plant a fort in every district of the South, you may take possession of her capitals and hold them with your armies, but you have not begun to subdue her people. I know it means something like absolute barbarian conquest, I allow it, but I do not believe that there will be any peace until 347,000 men of the South are either hanged or exiled."

Wendell Phillips, at the pulpit
of Henry Ward Beecher's Church

"If I had the power, I would arm every wolf, panther, catamount and bear in the mountains of America, every crocodile in the swamps of Florida, every negro in the South, every devil in hell, clothe them in the uniform of the Federal army and turn them loose on the rebels of the South and exterminate every man, woman and child south of the Mason and Dixon's line. I would like to see negro troops, under the command of Butler, crowd every rebel into the Gulf of Mexico, and drown them as the devil did the hogs in the Sea of Galilee."

"Parson" Brownlow, ex-governor of Tennessee
at a convention held in New York

"I found the whites a worn-out, effete race, without vigor, mental or physical. On the contrary the negroes are alive, alert, full of energy. I predict in 25 years the negroes of the South will be at the head of all affairs, political, religious, the arts and sciences."

Judge Salmon P. Chase, after the War
returning from a trip to the South

"The negro is superior to the white race. If the latter do not forget their pride of race and color and amalgamate with the purer and richer blood of the blacks they will die out and wither away in unprolific skinniness."

Henry Ward Beecher

The references to skinny whites and healthy negroes is a reflection of the true conditions of Southern Reconstruction. The Abolitionists and radicals made sure there was enough food, shelter and clothing for the contraband camps. There was money for schools and churches to be built for the blacks, and employment through the supply depots, shipping docks and reorganized municipal governments under occupation. But there was no relief for the white population, who were left on their own. There was no Red Cross, no Union League, no Freedmen's Bureau for whites.

The Conservatives believed that the 13th Amendment was enough. Lincoln's 1863 Plan had been to restore the Union and defer the issue of of negro citizenship (suffrage), which had little popular support in either the North or the South. He asked for amnesty to all Southerners, readmission of Southern states when 10% of voters had taken a loyalty oath, and suffrage for educated and propertied blacks. His plan was based upon the premise that the Southern states had never left the Union.

In 1864, the radical Congress passed the Wade-Davis bill, based upon the premise that the Southern states had forfeited their rights by the act of secession. Wade-Davis called for a provisional governor to be appointed by the president (under military occupation). After 50% of "eligible" voters took loyalty oaths, each state was to hold a constitutional convention. Persons who had fought for the Confederacy were not allowed to vote for delegates, and the new state constitutions were required to prohibit slavery and certify ratification of the 13th Amendment. The Wade-Davis bill was passed by Congress but pocket-vetoed by Lincoln.

In January 1865, following Lincoln's re-election, a self-appointed convention of Unionists met in Nashville, Tennessee. They nominated William G. "Parson" Brownlow for governor, drafted a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery and staged a "referendum" of 25,000 votes (!) to confirm their actions. Tennessee thereby met the conditions then extant for readmission and ratified the 14th Amendment on July 18, 1866.

Following Lincoln's assassination on 14 April 1865, Andrew Johnson became president. He instituted a "Restoration Plan" by executive order in the summer of 1865 when Congress was not in session. His plan was a compromise, biased towards Lincoln's theory that the states had never left the Union, but nevertheless complying with the terms of Wade-Davis. Almost all of the Southern states quickly complied with the program, holding conventions and incorporating the 13th Amendment in their constitutions, but when Congress reconvened in December 1865 it refused to seat the representatives of the reconstructed states. Instead, the radical Republicans established a "Joint Committee on Reconstruction" to investigate Johnson's initiative. Within sixty days a whole new set of demands was placed on the table:

"The fight between Congress and President Johnson began when the President vetoed the Freedmen's Bureau Bill in February, 1866. A few months later Congress, in opposition to the administration, passed the bill over Johnson's veto. The Freedmen's Bureau, to be managed by the War Department, gave complete jurisdiction over practically everything pertaining to the recently freed slaves. It provided for the employment of agents in all the Southern counties, who might be either from civil life or from the army, and who had all the autocratic powers of military judges. The measure abolished ordinary processes of law, set aside the right of habeas corpus. destroyed the right of trial by jury, as well as the right of appeal from sentences. The law gave the Federal agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, who were soon swarming in every part of the South, more tyrannical and autocratic powers than were ever possessed by any Romanoff tyrant or Roman consul. Under the bill, an agent of the Freedmen's Bureau, backed by federal bayonets, had for a time practically unlimited power over life and property in any county of the South where he set up authority ...

"It cannot be denied that the bestowal of such tyrannical power upon military satraps in the South led to grave abuses in that section. Immense stealings and graft of all kinds, tyrannies, and persecutions of the defeated population occurred which finally culminated in a saturnalia of misgovernment which has hardly been paralleled in history ... Under these laws all men who had served in the Confederate Army, or aided in any way the Confederate States, were disfranchised and could not hold any state or federal office. This condition continued until 1872. The result was that the Southern white man had nothing whatever to say concerning his State or the Federal government. He was governed by a horde of "carpetbaggers" and scalawags of various kinds who invaded the South in large numbers after Appomattox and after the Federal armies were largely disbanded. With the Caucasian race disfranchised, negro rule, led and directed by the white carpetbaggers from the North, followed as a matter of course."

Col. Winfield Jones
Story of the Ku Klux Klan
American Newspaper Syndicate, 1921

Congress next passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, mandating federal protection of emancipated blacks and scalawags. There were race riots in Memphis, New Orleans and other Southern cities. Interestingly, these were mostly areas that had been exempted from the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 (perhaps to assure a supply of dock labor for Union shipping and pillage of the South). Congress submitted the 14th Amendment -- the first "National" definition of citizenship -- while simultaneously passing legislation that prohibited former Confederates from holding office. After the 1866 election, the radical Republicans controlled 143 seats in the House opposed to 49 held by conservative Democrats, and 41 seats in the Senate against 11.

"The South lay prostrate and groaned in her chains. Southern white men believed that something had to be done immediately, or all culture would perish south of the Ohio River, to be succeeded by a mongrel civilization which would absorb or extinguish the old Anglo-Saxon race and blood. The conditions were deplorable and the white men were desperate. Armed resistance and another rebellion were out of the question, though writers of that period are practically unanimous in the opinion that if the conditions had continued longer without check guerrilla warfare would have begun everywhere in the South. A remedy against carpetbag domination and negro rule had to be found. It was found by the Southern white man in the secret organization known as the Ku Klux Klan."

Col. Winfield Jones
Story of the Ku Klux Klan
American Newspaper Syndicate, 1921

The Ku Klux Klan was created on May 6, 1866, in the town of Pulaski, Tennessee. The names of the young men who met there were Captain John C. Lester, Capt. John B. Kennedy, Capt. James R, Crowe, Frank O. McCord, Richard R. Reed and J. Calvin Jones. The first meeting had been held in late December, 1865, in the law offices of Judge Thomas M. Jones, father of J. Calvin Jones. At this meeting one of the men suggested that they call the new societs Kuklos. meaning "circle", and another suggested an improvement on that name, so that by unanimous consent they decided on Ku Klux. Someone then suggested that the word Klan be added for its alliterative beauty.

"Another meeting was held by the young men, and the organization was perfected as far as it then went. Various devices were invoked to arouse the curiosity of the public and surround the organization with an atmosphere of mystery. An oath was devised which bound each member to absolute secrecy regarding anything pertaining to the Klan, and he also swore that he would never tell he was a member of the Ku Klux, nor would he ever disclose the name of any other member.

"At the third meeting of the new organization it was decided to have a regalia consisting of a long white robe, with a white mask, and a very tall hat made of white pasteboard with a projecting spike in the crown. ...The meetings were always held at night in an old brick house, which had been deserted for some years, on the outskirts of Pulaski. For a long time the only business conducted by the parent Ku Klux Klan was the initiation of new members, and the only purpose of the organization was to have an enjoyable time and to mystify the inhabitants of Pulaski

"In 1867 the rapidity with which the Ku Klux Klan spread throughout the State of Tennessee was little short of marvelous. Scores of "Dens" were inaugurated and the order soon numbered many thousands in the old Volunteer State. From Tennessee the movement spread to Mississippi and Alabama with great rapidity. From these states it extended to all of the Southern States and penetrated the south as far as parts of Texas. There were in all probability 4,000 to 5,000 Dens in the South, but each Den was an individual organization, answerable to itself alone. There was no central organization por federation of the Dens.

"In the early part of 1867 some of the Pulaski leaders sent out a request to all Dens of which they had knowledge to send delegates from each Den to a convention to be held in Nashville, Tennessee. These delegates met secretly in nashville in the spring of 1867 and organized a national organization which, however, included only the Southern states. It was here that the name Invisible Empire originated, and the Invisible Empire meant the whole territory in which the Klans existed. The National Convention divided the Invisible Empire into Dominions. which corresponded to Congressional Districts, and each dominion was divided into Provinces. each Province consisting of a county, in which county or Province were Dens, or local Klans."

from The Ku Klux Klan. a Pictorial History
by W. Lee Ackridge (1865-1946)

The organization of the Ku Klux had been spurred by events. In February 1867, in Tennessee, "Parson" Brownlow handpicked an "assembly" that endorsed negro suffrage. With the backing of the negro contraband votes, the radical Unionists swept the 1867 elections in Tennessee. Former Confederates were not allowed to vote. The radical Republican program for Negro Suffrage had failed to win popular support in the North, and so the leaders now turned their attention to the South, in order to achieve their objective by use of the military occupation forces.

"Voters in the North, in referendum after referendum, rejected negro suffrage by a generally substantial vote. Such unmistakable opposition, nearly always in the majority, understandably intimidated Republican politicians, for in state after state the verdict was the same. During 1865 five jurisdictions voted down negro suffrage in popular referendums. Then, in September, it was defeated in the conservative Republican Territory of Colorado by a vote of 4,192 to 476 ... In October, a very conservative Connecticut cast 33,489 (57%) against negro suffrage to 27,217 (45%) for ... with the forces opposed to suffrage carrying every county but the abolitionist stronghold of Windham. During November two Northern states with firm Republican loyalties produced the same result.Wisconsin opponents in thirty-four counties cast 55,454 ballots (53%) against 46,629 (47%) in twenty-three counties in favor ... while the state republican ticket ran nearly 12,000 ahead to win the governorship; and in Minnesota 55% of the vote was opposed. Finally, in December, 1865, voters in the southern-oriented District of Columbia rejected negro suffrage by 6,521 to 35 in Washington City and 812 to 1 in Georgetown. In June, 1866, settlers in the northern-oriented Nebraska defeated negro suffrage by a close vote ... [and] the result was the same in Kansas. But in the most important referendum in Ohio in the same year, voters decisively rejected negro suffrage ... by a majority of 38,353. Michigan in April 1868 rejected a proposed state constitution which provided for negro suffrage ... by a majority of 38,849. Missouri also in 1868 struck down negro suffrage by a majority of 18,817 (57%). New Yorkers followed the national trend by rejecting the issue in 1869 ...

"In Iowa and Minnesota only, voters accepted negro suffrage on November 3, 1868 ... on a presidential election day ... and with the use of sharp tactics in Minnesota: placing the suffrage question on the presidential ballot to discourage ticket splitting, and concealing the issue by labeling the question not "Negro Suffrage" but rather "revision of section 1, article 7."

"By the end of 1868, then, no northern state with a relatively large negro population had voluntarily accepted negro suffrage. ..."

William Gillette
The Knot of Reconstruction

The conspirators tried every trick in the books. Failing in referendum, they sought ways around it. In 1867, negro suffrage was enfranchised in the District of Columbia by act of congress (overruling the near-unanimous voter rejection in the 1865 referendum). The radical Republican congress also declared negro suffrage in federal territories and in Nebraska. This same 39th Congress then proceeded to pass the First Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1867, which required negro suffrage as a condition for readmitting the former Confederate States to the Union. Thaddeus Stevens justified this maneuvre by saying, "If it be a punishment to traitors, they deserve it."

And so it was in 1867 that the Ku Klux Klan became a movement throughout the South. What the damn Yankees themselves were unwilling to swallow, they were trying to force on the South.

In 1867 Congress passed the Tenure in Office Act, requiring a 2/3 vote of the Senate for removal a cabinet official, in order to protect Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who had been cooperating with the radical reconstructionists in their rape of the South. Congress also passed the Command of the Army Act, prohibiting the President from issuing military orders except through the Commanding General, Ulysses S. Grant, who was also protected by the Tenure Act. The leadership of the radical Congress next threatened the Supreme Court with legislation reducing the Court to 3 judges or abolishing it altogether. The Supreme Court was cowed, and voluntarily relinquished justicability on cases from the South to the military courts. The U.S. Supreme Court never issued any ruling on a reconstruction case.

Also in 1867, congress fell one vote short of impeaching President Johnson on 3 of 11 charges. Three bills were passed over Presidential veto that abolished the reconstruction governments that had been established under the Johnson Plan, divided the ten remaining states into five military districts, and authorised the military commanders to enlist voters and oversee constitutional conventions in the conquered states. The additional requirement was imposed that the state conventions ratify the 14th (negro citizenship) and 15th (negro suffrage) Amendments. By 1868, seven states -- NC, SC, AL, AR, LA, GA and FL -- were admitted in this way; the three remaining states (TX, VA and MS) delayed. There had not been sufficient support in the North for ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments, and these measures could not have been adopted without the Southern "ratifications" that had been achieved under military occupation at the point of a bayonet. Former Confederates and their supporters were not allowed to vote or hold office. Negro suffrage was established and the South passed over to carpetbag, negro and scalawag rule.

"Freed from the labor of the plantations, hundreds of thousands of negroes left the land and crowded into the cities and towns. They were attracted by the hope of living on the bounty of the Government and securing financial support of the Freedmen's Bureau; but most of all they were drawn to the centers of population by the newly bestowed right of suffrage, and the hope of securing public offices...

"As an illustration of the type of carpetbag and ignorant legislators during the reconstruction days in the South, the South Carolina State Legislature of 1868-1872 contained 155 members. With hardly an exception they were either negroes or the lowest possible type of whites, and included a large number of carpetbaggers. Twenty-two members could not read or write. Several were able to only write their names, and forty-one signed official documents with an "X"-mark. Ninety-eight of the 155 members were negroes, and of this number 67 paid no taxes. None of the state officers, with the sole exception of the lieutenant governor, paid any taxes.

"Negro militia companies were organized everywhere, and these were used as an instrument by agents of the Freedmen's Bureau and the military government to terrorize the people. The white men were not allowed to join the militia organizations and, whenever possible, they were deprived of arms."

Col. Winfield Jones
Story of the Ku Klux Klan
American Newspaper Syndicate, 1921

Between 1857 and 1879, black income rose 46%, while white income in the South fell by 35%. Even though most of the Southern states had been readmitted to the Union, they were under the rule of the Union League and the military governors. Ulysses Grant used federal troops many times to shore up faltering Republican regimes.

As when one studies the history of the Reconstruction, and of the various programs advanced, and learns about the struggle of the Ku Klux Klan to stop the Freedmen's Bureau and the military governors from implementing the most radical of those, one gains a clearer perspective on both the past and present. The original Ku Klux were war-heroes, the Confederate veterans of Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and Spotsylvania, men whose homesteads had been ravaged by Sherman, Grant and Butler: men who had seen the true face of New Sion.

"It is to be regretted from an historical standpoint that the names of the men who attended the secret convention where the Ku Klux Klan really sprang into being are not obtainable, but even newspapers in Nashville at the time did not know the convention was held, and many of the records of the meeting have disappeared, as diligent search in the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan in Atlanta and elsewhere failed to disclose these documents.

"The National Convention gave a tremendous impetus to the organization, and by the end of 1868 the Klans practically dominated many large portions of the south. Of the total membership we have no knowledge at this time, but it must have been very large, several hundred thousand at least. One writer of the time declares that the Klan numbered at the crest of its power and influence more than 600,000 men, many of whom were former Confederate soldiers and officers. Some of the "Grand Titans" and "Grand Giants" had held high rank in the Confederate army."

Col. Winfield Jones
Story of the Ku Klux Klan
American Newspaper Syndicate, 1921

"Edwin Tanner, son of Peterson Tanner and ex-Confederate soldier living three miles from Athens, was called out of his house, dragged into the road and shot by Negro soldiers in August 1866 [Bigoted Racist Hate-Crime, --G.S.]. It so happened that Tanner's wife had just given birth to a son and Dr. N. D. Richardson, the attending physician, was there. The doctor sent a faithful ex-slave of his to Athens to notify the Ku Klux Klan members to come and capture the murderers. Plantation bells, signal of danger among the Klan, started ringing over the county. Sue Davis recalled that she was awakened by the bell at their home in the east end of the county, and saw her father, dressed in Klan regalia, kissing her mother goodbye. The Klan members pursued the murderers to the Tennessee River, where members of the guilty party tried to cross the railroad bridge by foot, met an oncoming train and jumped into the river. Some escaped and some were drowned. Edwin Tanner's will was probated by Samuel Tanner, Jr., on 29 August 1866.

"Although the Ku Klux Klan spread rapidly throughout Alabama, the headquarters for the State were always in Athens. General James H. Clanton, brother-in-law of L. R. Davis, was the first Grand Dragon of the Realm of Alabama. Clanton was killed in 1871 as the result of a railroad dispute in Chattanooga. General T. Morgan served from that time until 1876, when the Klan was instrumental in his election to the U. S. Senate; and General Edmund W. Pettus, a native of Limestone and later U. S. Senator, served from that time until the actual disbanding of the Klan in 1877. Bishop Hooker Wilmer, close fried of Morgan, went to England to see Judah P. Benjamin, ex-Confederate Cabinet who became one of the most noted of English barristers. Benjamin, a Jew, was so impressed with the work of the Klan that he borrowed money to assist them in their efforts. Bishop Wilmer became the chaplain of the Alabama Klan and Father Abram Ryan, the noted southern poet, became the Chaplain for the Invisible Empire. Ryan attended at least one meeting of the Klan at the Athens home of Henry J. Pepin.

"In 1871, when the health of Dr. N. D. Richardson made it impossible to continue as Grand Cyclops of the Athens den, Major R. A. McClellan took over. McClellan, who had served in Company C, 7th Alabama Cavalry under Colonel James C. Malon, later married Autora Pryor, daughter of Senator Luke Pryor. He was succeeded as Grand Cyclops by Major Robert Donnell, a veteran of company E, 50th Alabama Regiment and the 22nd Alabama Infantry. When Sue Davis and her sisters attended Miss Sally Malone's school in Athens, either their father or Major Donnell would accompany them. Sue later learned that Donnell was one of the guards set up by the Klan to protect the school children."

Limestone County After Appomattox 1865-1870
Published Fall, 1985 by historian and genealogist Faye Acton Axford
of Athens, Limestone Co. AL.

The Invisible Empire
from Story of the Ku Klux Klan
by Col. Winfield Jones
of the Washington Corps of Correspondents
Published by the American Newspaper Syndicate (1921)

The Invisible Empire was well named, for it was really an invisible empire. While its work was crude and often violent, it exercised a potent influence in recovering white supremacy in the South, and was undoubtedly the chief factor in the political reconstruction of the South which resulted in the white people regaining control of their governments. The state and county governments were in the hands of war governors and other officials, appointed from Washington, as well as agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, and the military commanders, were all hostile to the Klan.

Repeatedly, in nearly every section where a "Den" existed, the constituted authorities made constant efforts to obtain a list of the members of the Klan and to break up the local Den. For a former Confederate soldier to be found with a Klan uniform on his premises was always followed by immediate arrest and imprisonment, and in some cases the discovery of the white regalia resulted in a summary execution.

But the Klan was so thoroughly organized everywhere and so bound together by mutual interests that there was not known a single instance in reconstruction times where a military commander was able to discover any of the secrets of the Klan or cause disbandment of a Den.

Klansmen practiced absolute loyalty to their Grand Cyclops. and Den members maintained the secrecy and the cardinal principles upon which the Order was founded. Usually the Grand Cyclops was the most prominent citizen in his community and a man of standing, influence and good character. His assistants were nearly always of the same type, and these level-headed men were dominated only with the purpose to prevent misgovernment and to punish the guilty in their neighborhood. This was the general policy throughout all their local Dens. There were, however, instances of the abuse of the power possessed by a Den.

A local Den never had a regular meeting place. This was for the purpose of securing greater secrecy. The Klan nearly always met at night, when there was moonlight, and usually in woodland or abandoned farming land, where it was unlikely anyone would discover the masked riders at assembly. [The negro Union Leagues also met in the woods at night, so full-moon on a clear night was almost always an interesting time to be abroad in the Deep South; --G.S.] Every member of the Klan was obligated to hasten to the meeting place when summoned. The policy that was always followed in regard to persons who had to be corrected in the neighborhood was to consider their case at the Klan's meeting, and it was the invariable practice to first serve warning on the obnoxious one. If he did not speedily reform, another meeting of the Klan decided on his punishment. Notices were prepared in an illiterate manner so as to mystify the recipient and better preserve the secrecy. Such warnings were always posted at night. From a study of reconstruction it is evident that the Klan's secret methods certainly subdued or intimidated the negro and bad white men, and caused the white people to feel that an invisible power existed for their protection, under which they felt secure, much more so than they regarded the local laws and the carpetbag officers as means of protection to life and property.

Occasionally it happened that the Grand Cyclops of a Klan was an incapable person, and under his leadership the Klan sometimes committed indiscretions in direct contradiction to its principles. Sometimes it occurred that former Confederate soldiers, young men of an adventurous disposition, made up the membership of a Klan, and an organization of that kind also sometimes deviated from the purpose for which it was organized. Law-abiding and honest men who found themselves in such Dens took the first opportunity to withdraw. Many men in these circumstances were glad to renounce their membership without appearing to be traitors to the oath they had taken.

The Klan also played an important part in politics, and in neighborhoods where a Den was strongly organized and numerous in membership the members intimidated the negroes and kept them from the polls in elections. Often men in large numbers, who were thought to be Klansmen, attended the polls, and, heavily armed, by a threatening attitude prevented the negroes from electing their candidate. They were thus able to convince the negro that it was not wise for the black race to participate actively in political affairs, and this contributed probably more than any other maneuver of the whites in wresting control of their governments from the hands of the carpetbaggers.

It not infrequently happened that the activity of the local Den met the approval of the Federal garrisons, and instances are known of former Union soldiers and officers who settled in the South after the end of the war who were members of the Ku Klux Klan, and who were thoroughly in sympathy with the efforts of the white population to establish law and get control of their government. There was hardly ever personal animosity between Union soldiers who settled in the South after the war and the Confederates. Rather a spirit of soldierly comradship existed between the former foes. Few indeed of the carpetbag officials or agents of the Freedmen's Bureau had served in the Union Army.

A strategic policy of the Klan, which proved very effective in preventing Federal army commanders from tracing their movements or gaining information concerning their night riding, was that non-resident Dens would carry on operations, the local Dens where the action was taken remaining quiescent. A Den near the Alabama State line would raid into Mississippi, riding at night perhaps a distance of 25 or 30 miles, visit punishment on a victim marked out by the Mississippi Den, and by daylight be back over the Alabama line and disbanded at their homes. Under such procedure it was practically impossible for federal army commanders to gain any information of the activities of the horsemen who rode by night.

Following is an official order of the Pulaski Den, published in 1869. It [is] a type of similar orders and Klan proclamation used throughout the South:

Dreadful Era, Black Epoch,
Dreadful Hour,


Whereas, information of an authentic character has reached these headquarters that the blacks in the counties of Marshall, Maury, Giles, and Lawrence are organized into military companies, with the avowed purpose to make war upon and exterminate the Ku Klux Klan, said blacks are hereby solemnly warned and ordered to desist from further action in such organizations, if they exist.

The Grand Dragon regrets the necessity of such an order. But this Klan shall not be outraged and interfered with by lawless negroes and meaner white men, who do not and never have understood our purpose.

In the first place this Klan is not an institution of violence, lawlessness, and cruelty; it is not lawless; it is not aggressive; it is not military; it is not revolutionary.

It is, essentially, originally, and inherently a protective organization. It proposes to execute law instead of resisting it; and to protect all good men, whether white or black, from the outrages and atrocities of of bad men of both colors, who have been for the past three years a terror to society and an injury to us all.

The blacks seem to be impressed with the belief that this Klan is especially their enemy. We are not the enemy of the blacks, as long as they behave themselves, make no threats upon us, and do not attack or interfere with us.

But if they make war upon us they must abide the awful retribution that will follow.

This Klan while in its peaceful movements, and disturbing no one, has been fired into three times. This will not be endured any longer; and if it occurs again, and the parties be discovered, a remorseless vengeance will be wrecked upon them.

We reiterate that we are for peace and law and order. No man, white or black, shall be molested for his political sentiments.

Outrages have been perpetrated by irresponsible parties in the name of this Klan. Should such parties be apprehended, they will be dealt with in a manner to insure us future exemption from such imposition. These imposters have, in some instances, whipped negroes. This is wrong! It is denounced by this Klan, as it must be by all good and humane men.

Disbandment of the Klan
from Story of the Ku Klux Klan
by Col. Winfield Jones
of the Washington Corps of Correspondents
Published by the American Newspaper Syndicate (1921)

The activities of the Ku Klux Klan aroused great hostility among the war governors, carpetbag officials, agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, and the Federal military commanders.

The first legislative action by a Southern state to curb the activity of the Klan was begun in 1868. In September of that year Governor Brownlow, familiarly known as "Parson" Brownlow, governor of Tennessee, called the State Legislature in session and had an act passed placing a rigid ban on the Klan. This act provided that any person who had any connection with the Klan was to be fined not less that $500 [approx. two years' working wages. ed.] and imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than five years. To give aid or comfort, or to shelter or feed any Ku Kluxer subjected any person to the same penalty. [similar laws are being revived today for giving comfort to certain "Patriot militia". ed.] In an endeavor to make the statute effective, informers were to receive, where a conviction occurred, half of the $500 fine. This law also provided that any citizen had authority to summarily arrest a Klansman anywhere within the bounds of the state without process of law, and it even went so far as to give authority to any citizen to arrest a person under suspicion of being a Klansman. Few arrests were made, and the law was practically a dead letter. The Klan was particularly well organized at that time in Tennessee, having about 40,000 members. Instead of informers prosecuting the Klansmen, the new law at first had the effect of increasing the determination of the white population to assist the Klan more than ever. "Parson" Brownlow made vigorous efforts to enforce the law while he was governor of Tennessee, but was not able to accomplish much toward breaking up the Klan in that state.

Notwithstanding the severe provisions of the law, the Klan operated in Tennessee successfully for nearly a year. It disbanded, not because of the law, but because conditions had changed. The Tennessee law was followed by similar actions in other states, notably Alabama and Mississippi. Alabama passed a law in 1868 modeled on the Tennessee law, and the Mississippi Legislature acted in 1870. Two years later the Congressional investigation of the Klan occurred.

In February, 1869, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Grand Wizard of the organization, issued a proclamation to the members of the Invisible Empire. This proclamation described the action of the Tennessee Legislature against the Klan, and went on to state that the Klan had largely accomplished the purpose for which it had been organized, and that robbery, crime, and lawlessness had been suppressed. Present conditions, said the Grand Wizard. afforded adequate protection to property, life, and society. The South was no longer fearful for lives or property. The Grand Wizard declared that he had complete authority to do anything that he wished for the benefit of the Order, and he therefore declared the Klan dissolved and disbanded. The proclamation was addressed to all of the subdivisions of the Invisible Empire. Some of the Klans obeyed the proclamation and some did not. In Tennessee the Dens were soon disbanded because that state had recovered Constitutional government and the reconstruction regime had practically ended.

Though many Dens were disbanded in Tennessee in 1869 and 1870, in other states, particularly Mississippi and Alabama, the local Klans continued their operations as late as fall of 1873.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was undoubtedly the best man in the entire South to serve the organization as the Grand Wizard. He acquired a reputation as a great strategian, tactician, and hard fighter in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, second to no other general in either Union or Confederate army. A man of dauntless courage, great resourcefulness, and unbounded energy, he was an ideal Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire. By the end of 1873 the local Dens as constituted subdivisions of the Invisible Empire. were practically disbanded throughout the entire South. They ceased their work as organized Klansmen, but the same movement with many of the same men continued at intervals for several years afterward. This was done despite the fact that after 1873 conditions in the South had greatly changed, the white inhabitants had been able to reestablish Constitutional government nearly everywhere, and to take control of their political affairs.

Though the Klansmen as Klansmen were disbanded, other organizations continued under the names of The White League. the White Brotherhood. Pale Faces. Constitutional Union Guards. and Knights of the White Camelia. The Knights of the White Camelia were strong, particularly in Louisiana, practically the entire Klan membership arraying themselves in the ranks of the new Knights.

The Fourteenth Amendment

As touched upon elsewhere, the Fourteenth Amendment marks the end of the United States as a Republic and its rebirth as an evil Empire. The core issue is the question of citizenship: who has the authority to decree citizenship, to bring new members into our fold? Does this power reside with the people or within a ruling elite. If it be the latter, we are in for trouble. We know that the ruling elite, be they individuals or corporations, will use this power for their own enrichment. There is no question, but that they will use this power, in the same way that plantation owners used to bring in African negro slaves, to import foreign laborers into this land, even using citizenship as an inducement for aliens to settle here. No sane people would freely surrender such authority.

And so that power was seized. It was usurped. It was exercised by force. Beginning with the Enrollment Act of 1863, drafting Irish and German immigrants and enlisting negroes [at least the negroes had a choice! -G.S.] into the Federal armies that were invading, pillaging and reshaping the South. This had been enacted under "Emergency War Powers" and ratified by an illegally-elected congress.

While there had been tacit approval in the North for an end to slavery, the American people were overwhelmingly against negro suffrage. The issue had been voted down in the North in referendum after referendum. Once again, the radicals resorted to force. The readmission of the Southern States into the Union had been made conditional on their "ratification" of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. Puppet regimes were set up by carpetbaggers and scalawags under protection of the military occupation (most whites were disfranchised -- denied the right to vote, or to hold office), and these illegal legislatures then drafted new state constitutions providing both statewide negro suffrage and ratification of the federal Amendments. It was all done at the point of a federal bayonet. Without the forced "ratifications" of the Southern States, the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments would never have been passed. Are you going to tell me you can't see the conspiracy?

Not only does the Fourteenth Amendment signify the usurpation of absolute power by the Federal government, but it estatablishes absolute Federal power over the demography of our "nation": and this is not just the power to Gerrymander election districts, but the power to control local and regional populations by the direct importation of alien stooge-votes. They wanted a multicultural empire, so they built a multicultural empire. An hundred and fifty years ago it was the negroes. Then it was the Jews and Southeastern Europeans. Fifty years ago it was the Puerto Ricans and the Mexicans, then Haitians and Jamaicans, Vietnamese and now the Chinese. Nor was it long before this power was transferred [follow the link & page-up.] to the Federal Department of Justice, that point in the regime that is farthest-removed from the will of the people. And you still can't see it?

The Fourteenth Amendment has affected us in other ways that are no less significant. Prior to the Civil War, corporations were chartered by the states for a specific purpose and a specified life-span -- usually twenty to thirty years -- after which the corporations would be dissolved and their assets distributed to shareholders. By invoking the "Equal Protection" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court bestowed upon financial entities many of the rights and privileges of persons, plus virtual immortality. It was precisely this power, combined with the tremendous corruption of the Civil War and Reconstruction era, that paved the way for the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age, the predatory trusts, foundations and the Federal Reserve.

The Klan You Never Knew.

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