The Ku-Klux Klan
March 26, 1868
The Ku-Klux Klan is spreading throughout the nation and its official purpose remains unknown. Accounts of horror surrounding the KKK have been reported. The Dispatch remarks that if the Union had been restored immediately this violence and nonsense would never have even existed.
The Ku-Klux Klan. This new order of secret societies is creating quite a sensation in various parts of the United States, and it is believed will spread over the whole land. Exactly what it is organized for is not positively known. It is hinted byname that its purpose is to offset the " Grand Army of the Republic," commanded by the ferocious and bloody General Logan, whose ill nature is ceaseless, and whose tempestuous ire rivals the paroxysms of the " enrage Mouton." Whatever the spirit and designs of this order of singular name, it is filling the newspapers with strange paragraphs and remarkable accounts of mysterious circumstances. The orders published from " these headquarters" of the " Ku-Klux Klan" are very novel in style, dealing largely in dark allusions to horrors of the most dreadful nature. One before us requires the " Deputy Grand Executioner" to be at his post. The "Night Hawks" are especially commanded to "be ready," and the whole body are informed that " it is necessary, with the requirements for our " noble brotherhood, that each brother shall " taste of flesh and handle bone to become convinced of the faithful performance of duty, " by Deputy Grand Executioner." These are horrible injections indeed. They are given to make a very satisfactory meal upon it himself! How General Logan is to contend against such a combination of all the elements of power and terror we cannot imagine. Naturally, an organization dealing so largely in the mysterious and awful has excited no small degree of superstition where it has appeared. Apparitions of all sorts are beheld in solitary places and even in the streets of cities. Weird horsemen have been seen traveling on the wings of the wind, and contending armies in the Heavens, from which flowed rivers of blood, have been witnessed by reliable people! An aged and truthful negro riding through a wood in a western State found himself escorted by a ghostly dragoon, who conversed with him, and taking of his skull, asked the venerable African to hold it while he fixed his backbone ! The poor old black man who had no backbone at all at that time, put his steed to the top of his speed, and reached home more dead than alive. And he was a truthful negro ! In short, these are but moderate specimens of the new literature and the mysteries introduced by the " Ku-Klux Klan." Its institution has a moral which we should all bear in mind. In all revolutionary periods of a country-when tyranny is in the ascendant and personal rights are violated-secret orders have sprung forth as natural offspring from the political condition of the time. There need, therefore, be no surprise at the appearance of this Order, nor at the advent of a score of others. The " Great Army of the Republic " led by the Bobadil Logan, acted as a sort of Eccalobion to hatch out these orders; and it will probably prove highly successful in its incubating office. Had the Union been restored immediately after the war, all would have been peace, and such spawn of agitation, strife, public and private peril, and political anarchy, would not have appeared. We must expect things in their order. The secret society is an inevitable agent of defence as well as outrage in a time of anarchy; and the consolation of reflecting people is that it may be efficiently used both purposes. The "Ku-klux Klan" is rapidly extending its reign, and is reported to be spreading over this State. We may look for strange things.
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“The Ku-Klux Klan,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed January 28, 2020, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/936.