Carpetbaggers, Cavalry, And The Ku Klux Klan

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In some places during Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was a social fraternity whose members enjoyed sophomoric high jinks and homemade liquor. In other areas, the KKK was a paramilitary group intent on keeping former slaves away from white women and Republicans away from ballot boxes. South Carolina saw the worst Klan violence and, in 1871, President Grant sent federal troops under the command of Major Lewis Merrill to restore law and order. Merrill did not eradicate the Klan, but he arguably did more than any other person or entity to expose the identity of the Invisible Empire as a group of hooded, brutish, homegrown terrorists. In compiling evidence to prosecute the leading Klansmen and restoring at least a semblance of order to South Carolina, Merrill and his men demonstrated that the portrayal of the KKK as a chivalric organization was at best a myth and at worst a lie.

About the Author:
J. Michael Martinez works as a corporate attorney and teaches political science as a part-time faculty member at Kennesaw State University

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Editorial Reviews

Offers an exploratory study into the hidden world of the Klan and the men who attempted to bring it down. . . . A highly readable introduction to the making of the Klan. Recommended.
Civil War History
Martinez's book is a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarship that presents the human face of this gallant and arduous era of experimentation and progress.
Offers an exploratory study into the hidden world of the Klan and the men who attempted to bring it down. . . . A highly readable introduction to the making of the Klan. Recommended.
Allen W. Trelease
Michael Martinez provides a highly readable account of the Reconstruction Klan in South Carolina, based on a wide array of sources. Particularly interesting is his account of Major Lewis Merrill, who was central to bringing the South Carolina Klan to bay in 1871.
David Chalmers
A well researched account of the attempt to counter the Ku Klux Klan in post-Civil War South Carolina that provides an object lesson on the difficulty of an indecisive government in countering a popularly supported insurgency, and the efforts of a dedicated U.S. cavalry officer who tried.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

J. Michael Martinez works as a corporate attorney and teaches political science as a part-time faculty member at Kennesaw State University. His most recent book, Life and Death in Civil War Prisons, traces the parallel lives of two Civil War prisoners. Martinez lives in Monroe, Georgia, with his wife and family.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments     ix
Prologue: "Jim Williams on His Big Muster"     1
"A Brotherhood of Property-Holders, the Peaceable, Law-Abiding Citizens of the State"     7
"The Foundations Must Be Broken Up and Relaid, or All Our Blood and Treasure Have Been Spent in Vain"     31
"The Whole Fabric of Reconstruction...Will Topple and Fall"     61
"It Was to Be His Life-long Complaint That His Services Were Never Properly Recognized or Rewarded"     83
"The Dagger That Was Made Illustrious in the Hands of Brutus"     107
"A Perversion of Moral Sentiment Among the Southern Whites"     133
"As Far as I Can Learn, the Prosecuting Lawyers Have Managed the Business Ably"     163
"The Causes from Which Ku Kluxism Sprung Are Still Potent for Evil"     193
"He Became So Offensive a Partisan That the Papers of That Section Applied to Him the Most Opprobrious Epithets"     221
Epilogue: "It Is Like "Writing History with Lightning"     241
Bibliographical Essay     255
Index     261
About the Author     271
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