Return to First Page------ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Volume 16, Summer 1957, p. 204
 

Prominent Ku Klux leaders have told me that if you had waited only ten days longer that they would have had a force sufficient to whip all the Militia that you could raise and that nothing but your prompt action saved the Republican leaders, that you was too quick for them. I will write it up and send to you soon.

      Yours Truly

        J.H. Demby

 

* * *

 

HISTORY OF CATTERSON'S MILITIA

 

BY MAJOR J. H. DEMBY

In July 1868 the people of the Counties of Hot Springs, Clark, Pike, Polk, Scott and Montgomery, Arkansas, considered it expedient to organize a regiment of State Guards, the men to furnish their horses, arms and equipment. The young men responded quickly and the Regiment was organized in August, mustered and commissioned. It was composed of farmers, who had been soldiers in the Union and Confederate Armies and their sons.

The Ku Klux Klans were actively organizing at this time in the counties along Red River and boundary line of Arkansas, Texas, Indian Nation and Louisiana. A great many bad men joined these clans and with hideous masks rode over the country robbing, scaring, whipping and killing many Negroes and white men. Many of the property owners were afraid of them, but many others fed and encouraged them to kill the Civil Officers.

These clans would ride into the county seat of a county and make a target out of the court house. In October these clans killed, or run out all the Civil Officers, and a reign of terror existed in all the counties on the Texas, Indian Nation and Louisiana lines. The governor was appealed to by the law abiding citizens to send soldiers into their counties to restore order. The Governor ordered the First Regiment, Arkansas State Guard into active service on the 2nd day of November 1868, and placed Major J. H. Demby in command of the regiment, and General Catterson in command of South-West Arkansas.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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