It’s winter, and here in the middle-midwest, we either rush to Florida or hunker down with a book in front of the fire. I prefer the hunkering. Being an “old schooler”, I like to feel the book and turn the pages etc. I recently received a gift of a Nook…you know one of those electronic gadgets that lets carry a million books in one little handy package. There is this one aspect I’m still trying to comprehend…….I used to buy a $10 book, read it, share it with friend and then put on my shelf for a later read. Now, I can buy the same book, electronically for $9, and share it with a friend, IF I talk him into buy a $100 gadget. Here, we are saving a renewable resourse, paper, in favor of manufacturing non-renewable plastic and stuff….oh well, as I’ve been told, things are no longer like they used to be!!
Anyway, I’ve been searching around for the “free” stuff (books that is). I’m currently on a history kick. I found a number of free books about Indiana History, and I am reading one written in 1880, by the Surgeon of the 44th Indiana Infantry. It begins with their establishment at Fort Wayne and continues through their mustering out.
Speaking of history, there are somethings that we get involved in or with, which is an indication of the times. Our kids use the term Social Networks, but in days-gone- by they were clubs or organizations and we conversed, ‘real-time’, face to face. One of the these “clubs” was known as the KKK. (I don’t believe I need to explain that) I don’t know its organization, but at one time the Grand Phoo Pah, was based right here in middle midwestern Indiana. Another tidbit was that the Grand Phoo Pah was an upper level Methodist Minister or Bishop. If you were a member of the Methodist Church, you were usually a member of the Local KKK group.
I think that every family has a skeleton somewhere, and I hope I don’t rattle the bones of ours too greatly, but I had an ancestor that was an officer, something like a secretary, in one of the Local KKK units. I still marvel that in the early 1900’s, the Methodist Church and the KKK appeared indivisible. Membership, at that time, I am told, was like a social thing, doing picnicks, dinners etc.
Back to my (free books in) Nook-Book, I was surprised to read that, as the Civil War progressed those who were in favor of the battle later became disgruntled. It seems that originally, a large number of volunteers came forward to “retain” the Union. When the Emancipation Proclamation came out there was considerable confusion as to the purpose of the fight; was it to retain the Union or to Free Slaves. At the onset, the citizenry, as well as Indiana’s Governor Morton were staunch supporters of the battle. An under current arose in the north against fighting for Slavery’s End. A club was originated called the Knights of the Golden Circle whose purpose was to terminate the Unions’ involvement in freeng slaves. According to this book, the Center or National Headquarters was based in Indiana! There was also a movement in the Indiana Legislature to cease support for all of Indiana’s Volunteers and to strip Governor Morton of his powers as Commander of Indiana Militia.
This book states that the Indiana 44th Invantry, as well as a couple of other Indiana units wrote to the Indiana legislature of 1862-63 requesting official support for Governor Morton as well as the purpose of the Infantry. The Legislature rejected all of those requests and a bill passed 28-18 to strip the Governors’ powers.
Maybe now we know why Indiana was a one time center of the KKK, it might have been a carryover from the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC). I’m thinking I’m not the only Indianian that must have skeletons in their closet.
Them bones must be a rattling!!!