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U.S. History/KKK vs. Knights of the White Camelia


Mr Schott, thank you for taking my question.  I was raised in Louisiana.  We were taught Nathan Bedford Forrest was the founder of the"The Knights of the White Camelia".  Now, while this group went on to evolve into the KKK, the original group was formed to protect women, white or black.   In certain areas of the south around 1930,  The KKK still held that responsibility and on at least one occasion, tarred, feathered a man, of Caucasian descent and rode him out out town on a rail.
My question is what I was told by family true, or AM I delusional in my beliefs about Nathan Bedford Forrest?

The Knight of the White Camelia was a racist organization ostensibly founded to protect WHITE southern womanhood (from black men, though not explicitly stated). But its chief task was the intimidation of former slave. It went on to evolve into the Klan which was a basically an terrorist organization to intimidate black Republican voters in particular and African-Americans in general.

You are certainly not delusional, Victoria, just misinformed.

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Tom Schott


Civil War, Reconstruction, military and political, Southern politics, slavery, civil war causation, general American history. Prefer 18th/19th century, but can handle all.


College level teacher. Published author.

Ph.D. in American history (LSU, 1978)

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