April 16, 1868
General Meade is cracking down on lawless secret societies not just the K. K. K. Meade goes as far as to threaten death for any acts of outlaw.
General Meade's Partiality.-Northern papers are endeavoring to apologize for General Meade by saying that while his proclamation is aimed especially at the K. K. K. it applies to all lawless organizations seeking to control society by terrorism, &c. Exactly; but he has taken the most recent and the least known as the object of especial condemnation, while the negro clubs have existed since the war, have carried on their operations defiantly ; and the consequences have been plain to the eyes of all. Their threats and menaces have been obtruded in the broad day alike before the eyes of the military rulers and their subjects. No notice has been taken of them. But as soon as some noise-much of it badinage-is made over a supposed organization, of whose purposes the public knows nothing, and a man is killed by nobody knows who, General Meade pounces down upon it, and subjects its members to outlawry. For any of the offences he names, any of those members, if caught, may be hung; for there is no limit touching the punishment of offences investigated by the drumhead court. These facts are curious, and belong to the thousand and one instances in the administration of the government of the southern people showing the preference given the negro over the white man. This is a monstrous crime, and must have its retribution in the future.
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“General Meade,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 20, 2018, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/982.