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Although the Klan was often able to achieve its aims by terror alone, whippings and lynching were also used, not only against Blacks but also against the so-called carpetbaggers and scalawags. Forrest, the famous Confederate cavalry leader, was an early Grand Wizard of the Empire and was assisted by ten Genii.
Each state constituted a Realm under a Grand Dragon with eight Hydras as a staff; several counties formed a Dominion controlled by a Grand Titan and six Furies; a county was a Province ruled by a Grand Giant and four Night Hawks; a Grand Cyclops with two Night Hawks as aides governed the local Den. Initially the Klan was not completely victorious in overthrowing Radical Republican rule.
The Ku Klux Klan was the preeminent of these, and soon absorbed many of the others.
Its strange disguises, its silent parades, its midnight rides, its mysterious language and commands, were found to be most effective in playing upon fears and superstitions.
Its efforts were too utterly criminal, and occurred when Northern opinion still supported a systematic radical policy toward the South.
In three "enforcement acts," Congress moved to outlaw the Klan and other vigilante organizations.
The founding of the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 is recognized on this date.