CLAIM: GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST WAS A KU KLUX KLAN LEADER
AUTHOR: NOT LISTED – CBS NEWS CHANNEL 8, Knoxville, TN – Gray Media Group, Inc. Station – Gray Television, Inc.
FACT CHECK DETAILS:
FACT TAG EARNED: FACTUALLY INACCURATE
EXPLANATION TAG EARNED: MISLEADING
LOGIC TAG EARNED: NONE
CONTENT TAG EARNED: CLICK-BAIT HEADLINE
EXAGGERATION TAG EARNED: NONE
SOURCE TAG EARNED: NONE
IMPRECISE LANGUAGE TAG EARNED: NONE
OBJECTIVITY: NOT REVIEWED
No. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was not a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. General Forrest was cleared of any involvement in the Klan by Congress on February 19, 1872. The Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States in its final report to Congress cleared Generals Forrest and Gordon of any wrong doing and complimented them for their role as peace makers in the violence that occurred in the South between the Klan and the Union Leagues aided by Governor Brownlow of Tennessee.
“…it was that General Forrest and other men of influence in the State (Tennessee), by the exercise of their moral power, induced them (The Ku Klux Klan and similar groups, like the Union\Loyal Leagues) to disband.”
SOURCE: Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1872 – Page 463.
“The statements of these gentlemen (Generals Forrest and Gordon) are so full and explicit that comment would only weaken their force. The evidence taken before the committee fully sustains them as to the other States relative to which evidence was heard, and it is only necessary to turn to the records and official documents of the State of Tennessee to show that all General Forrest said about the alarm which prevailed in Tennessee during the administration of Governor Brownlow was strictly true.”
SOURCE: Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1872 – Pages 453-454
CBS NEWS CHANNEL EIGHT makes a STATEMENT, without proving to their claim, that General Nathan Bedford Forrest was actually with the Klan.
CBS NEWS CHANNEL EIGHT’s STATEMENT that General Nathan Bedford Forrest was a leader in the Klan without proving their claim make the headline CLICK-BAIT.
In the years following the War of 1861, violence spiked in several of southern sovereign states between the two organizations: The Ku Klux Klan and the Union/Loyal Leagues. As the Federal armies went South, the Union League spread itself among the people. The goal of the League was to grow the Republican Party’s influence in the South by declaring for negro suffrage and white disfranchisement. Republicans saw negros as nothing more than pawns to to gain total control over the South. Think of the League as the Black Lives Matter movement of its day. Widespread unemployment of both whites and blacks gave rise to widespread lawlessness. Throughout the region small bands of Leaguers looted plantations and murdered civilians. In Tennessee, Governor Brownlow used militia in heavy-handed ways to drive fear in the local populations. According to the final Constitutional Report, the Klan was a counter-movement to the domestic terrorism tactics of Governor Brownlow and the Union League. It concluded, the actions of the League and Governor Brownlow gave birth to the Klan. As a result of the lawlessness, the Klan struck back. Local Republicans raised the alarm to President Grant. Through 1870 and 1871 President Grant signed into law a series of acts to re-enforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in an attempt to restore order. During this time period, President Grant handed over reports from the War Department about the violence in southern states so Congress could investigate it with the goal of bringing indictments to persons on the charge of conspiracy. The joint committee of Congress conducted over six hundred and fifty interviews which resulted in 5,000 indictments and over 1,000 convictions but General’s Forrest nor Gordon were not among them. The general government even sent sent subcommittees to examine witnesses in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and still no evidence was uncovered to charge Generals Forrest or Gordon with conspiracy.
While unconfirmed second hand accounts, or hearsay exists of NBF’s involvement in the KKK, no original documentation was found by the Congressional investigation nor has any been produced confirming his involvement in the KKK”. Second hand accounts are considered hearsay and inadmissible in a fact check.
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