Help Connie Chastain Out

Connie Chastain poses this question:

True or not? There is as much primary historical source evidence that Silas Chandler was a Confederate soldier as there is that Nathan Bedford Forrest organized, founded, operated, ran, directed, rode with, or was involved with the KKK, except to issue orders to disband it.

I’d say not.  There is plenty of evidence that Nathan Bedford Forrest was associated with the KKK: otherwise, as even Ms. Chastain concedes, he would not have been in a position to “issue orders to disband it.”

Did Forrest organize the KKK?  No.  Did he found it?  No.  Was he involved with it?  Sure was.  Was he a key player, especially in Tennessee?  Yes.  Brian S. Wills’s biography of Forrest lays this out.  As Wills says (p. 336), “there is no doubt that Forrest joined the Klan”; there is some debate as to whether he was the Grand Wizard.

No evidence exists that Silas Chandler was a Confederate soldier.

That was simple enough.

Here’s a question for Connie: if so many enslaved African Americans loved their masters and were loyal to the Confederacy, then why did a good number of white southerners after the war conduct a war of terror against African Americans, killing the very people they claimed were loyal to old Massa and the good old CSA?  And why didn’t former Confederate leaders try to stop that sort of terrorism against people who supposedly in the tens of thousands embraced the CSA and all it stood for?

Can’t wait to hear the response to that one.

The Sunday Question: A Better Symbol for Southern Heritage?

Over at the gift that keeps on giving, our good friend Connie Chastain offers the following:

“Come up with” a symbol of Southern heritage?

A repeat commenter (don’t know how regularly she comments) at one of our critics’ blog thinks that, “Surely someone can come up with a symbol of Southern heritage and pride that is far more inclusive and doesn’t come with so much baggage.”

Basically, abandon/repudiate the flag chosen Confederate veterans the to honor and commemorate the Confederate soldier’s defense of home and family, his struggle for his country’s political independence, his courage, valor, his fighting spirit, his incomprehensible suffering from torture in POW camps, from wounds in battle and disease and near-starvation, his missing legs and arms and eyes…

“Come up with” a symbol of Southern heritage and pride? Sure. Be glad to. Just as soon as hell freezes over….

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Kevin Levin Issues a Challenge

One of the amusing yet troubling aspects of the gift that keeps on giving is that some of its members seem a little too comfortable with the notion of violence as the best way to deal with people whom they cannot counter intellectually.  Take this example:

it’s a shame that we Can’t Step back into Time, when a Southerner Offended – would bring out a Set of Dueling pistols, and hand one to the loud Mouth offender, and Ask the Fool to Put his Life on the Line for Defamation.

Well, well, well … as several members of this particular discussion group seem to be offended all the time, they would soon find themselves charter members of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

But now Kevin Levin has issued this group a challenge: he has invited them to respond to an article he and Myra Chandler Sampson have written on Silas Chandler that has just appeared in Civil War Times (as the cover story).

Well, folks, time to put up or shut up.  You say you wish we were in a world where challenges were issued, accepted, and then disputes were resolved.  Here’s your chance to show what you’re made of.