Confederate Heritage Honors Klan Founder
John Booker Kennedy was one of the original six Confederate veterans who organized the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee. In fact, according to one history of the group, it was Kennedy who suggested they call themselves after the Greek word kuklos, that another member suggested be written as “Ku Klux.” Kennedy’s own obituary in the May 1913 issue of the Confederate Veteran magazine explicitly acknowledges his role in the founding of the group. Confederate Heritage™ folks will trip all over each other in the rush to absolve Nathan Bedford Forrest of the common (and strictly incorrect) accusation that he was a founder of the Klan, but John Booker Kennedy really was.
I do wish these folks would quit pretending that they’re put off by the Ku Klux Klan, and have no truck with it. Confederate Veteran magazine, then (as now) the official publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, certainly wasn’t squeamish about embracing the group. Robert Mestas, the proprietor of Defending the Heritage, surely knows about Kennedy’s history, since it appears that he lifted both the image and caption from the Tennessee State Archives. Here’s the full caption:
Confederate Veteran John B. Kennedy
Kennedy served the Confederacy as a private with Company A of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment. He was wounded at Chickamauga and at Jonesboro, Georgia. Kennedy was one of the six original organizers of the Ku Klux Klan on December 24, 1865, in the Pulaski law office of Major Thomas M. Jones, and he would be the last of the six founders to die.
I don’t know why I should expect better from Robert. After all, he has a habit of making up fake quotes from Confederate veterans, right?