Evacuation Before Nashville Bombing

“IT’S LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A MOVIE”

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has released Officer Sipos’ BODY CAM footage of the moment the Nashville Bombing occurred. They demonstrated heroic courage and calm under pressure.

 

KANEW: “TENNESSEE REPUBLICANS ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON DEMOCRACY”

TENNESSEE REPUBLICANS ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON DEMOCRACY

On November 3rd Donald Trump lost the presidential election. I know it’s hard for some people to hear that, but that’s all the more reason it needs to be said. It was close in some key swing states, but President-Elect Joe Biden is now up by tens of thousands of votes even in those states, and Republican secretaries of state across the country are telling us there is zero real evidence of widespread fraud. 

Obviously that hasn’t stopped President Trump from refusing to accept defeat. He told us he would only accept the outcome if he won before the election, and he has followed through. He now tweets incessantly, day after day about how he has been cheated – pointing to vote counts being changed, dead people voting, Republican observers not being allowed into the counting rooms… all of which have been debunked one by one by one. Trump is tweeting about fraud publicly while his lawyers admit in court, under oath, that they are not actually saying any such fraud took place.

Simply put, there is no evidence of widespread fraud. He is lying. There is no debating that. 

What is up for debate is why. Is it simply so he can drag this out as long as possible to give himself more time to milk money from his supporters? Money which he claims is going to help him fight the lawsuits he keeps losing, but which the fine print tells us he is stuffing into his own pockets

Or does he really think he can take this all the way to the end and overturn this election with the help of Republican-held state legislatures, who would have to turn their backs on democracy, throw out the results of the election in their states, and assign their electors to him without any justification for doing so?

One would hope he knows the latter is an impossibility, since it would essentially mean the end of The American Experiment.

One would hope he would understand that even Republicans in his party would deem that to be a bridge too far.

But would they? If they’re anything like the Republicans in Tennessee, perhaps not. 

So far here in Tennessee, the only prominent Republicans who have been willing to acknowledge that Joe Biden is president-elect are ex-Senators Bob Corker and Bill Frist. Senator Lamar Alexander has said nothing. Governor Lee has expressed his support for Trump’s efforts, as have Senator Marsha Blackburn, senator-elect Bill Hagerty, and both chambers of the Tennessee supermajority legislature. The Tennessee Republican delegation of congressmen have also gone right along with the charade, including Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, who told a news network “what we’re seeing is fraud,” but when pressed for specifics pointed to Nevada – where the 3000 ballots in question had already turned out to be mostly military families who had been transferred.

Is this what it has come to, Republicans? One can only imagine the outrage they would be demonstrating had Hillary Clinton refused to concede, especially if she had a 5 million vote deficit in the popular vote rather than the 3 million advantage she ended up with (in fact, they did rip her viciously for even just having questions in the aftermath of 2016).

Or worse yet, imagine their reaction if Obama were doing any of this. 

Perhaps they think they’re just humoring Trump, and that at the end of the day this will have no lasting impact after he inevitably leaves the White House. But that’s shortsighted. Tennessee Republicans had a chance to stand up, finally show some leadership and backbone, and say enough is enough. Instead, they signed up to join this circus and help Trump trash our election process, a favor to our anti-Democracy enemies that ultimately means Trump’s loyal following of millions of Americans will now forever believe this was a rigged election. 

Nobody knows what lasting impact that will have in the days, weeks, and years to come, but what we do know is Tennessee Republicans have shown us they put their loyalty to Trump and their own self-preservation ahead of their commitment to the democratic process that undergirds the very notion of America, and that in itself is the opposite of patriotism.

Free and fair elections, respecting the will of the people, is what makes us who we are as a country. Republicans love to invoke the Founding Fathers when convenient, but any objective reading of their intentions makes it clear they set up our constitution to guard against efforts to drag us back towards the authoritarianism our country was established in opposition to, the tyranny they fought and bled to keep us away from in favor of the freedom to elect our own leaders and center the people’s voice. A freedom many brave Americans have since died to preserve.

This is a dark path we’re heading down, one few would have believed possible even just a few short years ago. This has already become a black eye on our nation’s history, and the further down this road we go, the bigger the stain will be on the reputations of this crop of Tennessee Republicans – a stain which will not soon come off.

Justin Kanew is the Founder of the Tennessee Holler

Trump’s Stupid Coup Attempt

Trump refuses to concede the election to Joe Biden despite there being no evidence of fraud and being laughed out of court in his attempts to prove his victory. Today, Secretary Pompeo said that there will “be a smooth transition to Trump’s second term.

This is an undemocratic power grab which is the definition of a coup. It may be a coup, but it’s a coup nonetheless. We need to stay vigilant. Click here to find resources on how to get plugged in and fight back.

Democrats Need to Build Trust in their Communities

State Senator Jeff Yarbro on why Tennessee Dems need to get out into the community and build trust with people.

PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Jim Cooper Grills Postmaster DeJoy

Representative Jim Cooper:  “Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign?”

DeJoy:  “That’s an outrageous claim, sir.”

According to employees, it’s not so outrageous at all.

Original post.

Mark Lee, Alleged Student-Harassing Overton County Teacher, Sues Accusers

If you’ve been follering us for any amount of time you’ve likely seen us talk about OVERTON COUNTY teacher Mark Lee, who taught at Livingston Academy until his recent 90-day suspension without pay and eventual transfer – which was supposedly tied to years worth of sexual harassment allegations by multiple students stretching back to 2003. (He’s tenured, so he’s likely back on payroll now)

Here’s our interview with 2 of the girls and their mothers:

It was also discussed at an Overton County school board meeting, during which multiple parents expressed their disgust that the school board had done little to protect the girls, and in fact had plans to transfer Lee to an elementary school until people hollered about it – yes seriously.

There was also talk of him being placed at an Alternative School, which is almost worse because that’s often where the most vulnerable students end up.

The District Attorney Bryan Dunavant, who we spoke with, says he didn’t bring charges against Lee because he had no proof of physical touching (although one of the girls says he rubbed his head on her stomach). He also told us he “wouldn’t want his daughter in Lee’s class.

A mother of another one of the alleged sexual harassment victims of the LIVINGSTON ACADEMY teacher (Mark Lee) in OVERTON COUNTY Says she spoke up since 2017, nobody listened. Multiple girls signed sworn affidavits on that occasion, including a cop’s daughter.

Lee is now suing the families and those who have stood up for them for “damages arising out of the defendants’ pattern of intentional, malicious, tortious false and defamatory statements impugning the plaintiffs’ character and reputation and published to the world on social media” as well as “invasion of privacy”.

This guy has some nerve.

HERE IS THE LAWSUIT if you’d like to read it. It includes the posts below, which it cites as defamation.

As a reminder, the director of schools suspended him for 90 days related to all of this.

If you or anyone you know has stories about Lee, or witnessed any of his behavior, feel free to holler at us on social media or at thetnholler@gmail.com – and follow The Cookeville Holler for developments

FLOODS OF JUSTICE PODCAST

FLOODS OF JUSTICE is out with a new episode! Pastor Kevin Riggs and Kevin Sage chat with Mike Washington about his incredible journey of cycling nearly 3000 miles across the country in memory of his late wife.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

INTERVIEW: D.A. BRYANT DUNAWAY (On the Overton County Teacher Sexual Harassment Allegations)

FOR MORE INDEPENDENT, TRUTHFUL REPORTING LIKE THIS FOLLOW THE COOKEVILLE HOLLER HERE.

AND FOLLOW THE TN HOLLER HERE.

AND SUBSCRIBE TO GET OUR EMAILS HERE.

If you follow our Facebook & Twitter pages you’ve probably seen us Hollerin’ about the situation in Overton County, where despite decades of allegations of sexual harassment of students, a teacher named Mark Lee is still allowed to be a teacher – even after a 90-day suspension (which already ended).

The Overton County School Board has been very slow to respond to the situation, and Livingston Academy, where Lee taught, was slow to bring in the authorities.

District Attorney Bryant Dunaway investigated, but wrote a letter to the TBI saying he couldn’t recommend any criminal charges because most of the allegations were about things Lee said, rather than what he did to the girls physically – although one of the brave girls who spoke out says he did rub his head on her stomach in the back of class one day while telling the rest of the class to look forward.

He also says the statute of limitations had run out because of how slow the school itself and the school board were in reporting it.

It’s worth noting that of the 3 girls who came forward, only one reported it during the time that Mark Lee’s cousin has been the principal.

Yes, you heard that right. Oh, and did we mention that director of schools, who has the power to fire him, is married to a former student of his?

Multiple allegations reaching back decades. Yet they let Mark Lee keep teaching, and were planning to send him to an elementary school until y’all hollered loud enough to help stop that.

But, he’s still a teacher. For now.

The case is closed, but the mothers and daughters are speaking up, the community is starting to push back, so we decided to reach out to District Attorney Bryant Dunaway to ask him about the way he handled the situation, and what can be done.

Below is that conversation.

If you agree Lee should be fired at the very least, contact the Overton County School Board HERE: 931-823-1287

—-

HOLLER:  We wanted to ask a few questions about the situation with The teacher Mark Lee. Can you tell us a little bit about what your process was in terms of looking into the allegations?

DUNAWAY:  Well that’s been publicly known already – I had the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conduct an investigation. That was the process. With that in mind, I only deal with criminal matters… to see if any crime had been committed. So I asked that the investigation be done and it was.

HOLLER:  So did they interview the girls?

DUNAWAY:  They did talk with the girls, yes.

HOLLER:  And what was their finding? Did they make any sort of judgment on the believability of the allegations or accusations? 

DUNAWAY:  I can send you a copy of the letter… (he sent to TBI)

HOLLER:  We saw the letter.

DUNAWAY:  That’s really the conclusion there, the answers to those questions are in there.

HOLLER:  I guess what I’m trying to get at is he’s still teaching and people understandably have concerns.

DUNAWAY:  I tried to articulate in my letter (to the TBI) – see, I’m a criminal prosecutor. I looked at the situation to see if a crime had been committed or if there was a crime that could be prosecuted. It wouldn’t be proper for me to speak whether he’s violated any school policy or should be a teacher. I mean, I wouldn’t want my daughter in his classroom, that’s for sure. But the school board – it’s up to them to take disciplinary action or to decide whether to keep him employed or not. Really, the purpose of the TBI investigation was to determine whether there was a prosecutable crime, and that’s a very different inquiry than other types of things. 

HOLLER:  Is there anything that can be done to open it back up?

DUNAWAY:  Well it’s been investigated, why would it be opened back up? 

HOLLER:  If there were new accusations.

DUNAWAY:  I said that in my letter too, if there is new evidence or new information I always consider that. Of course I look at things through the lens of – is there a crime, or whether there’s a crime that’s been committed and is it able to be prosecuted. Whether or not he is a teacher or should be a teacher, you know there’s a lot of things about that whole situation that I’m disappointed with. It’s disappointing to me that the school administration as well as the local attorneys who brought this to light admitted they knew about these allegations since 2017 and didn’t report it to law enforcement or my office. It would have been nice to have had a timely report.

HOLLER:  So that was the principal or that was the school board?

DUNAWAY:  That was the school administration. I didn’t speak to the school board. But no complaints have been made to the school since 2017. The attorney says that he was receiving complaints as early as 2017, and nothing was reported to law enforcement or to my office.

HOLLER:  Do you think that could have anything to do with the fact that the principal is his cousin?

DUNAWAY:  I can’t speak to that, I can only speculate. He hasn’t always been the principal. He wasn’t the principal in 2017 when the initial reports from the one young lady were made. There was a different principal then.

HOLLER:  Is there any criminal recourse they could take to keep him out of the education system?

DUNAWAY:  Not criminally. I did do an investigation like I already said. I had to evaluate and see if a crime had been committed, and as I said in my letter. Based upon the evidence the primary complaint of all the girls was that he used inappropriate language toward them. There was only one allegation made that there was any physical touching at all, and that was claiming that he rubbed his head on her stomach over a desk and that’s it. There’s no allegation made by anybody of sexual contact or anything like that it’s all. He makes inappropriate comments, so that in and of itself is not a crime. It’s inappropriate, it shouldn’t be done. You see what I’m saying? In my personal opinion he shouldn’t be a teacher. But is that a crime? No. As I said in my letter, that the closest thing you could come to would maybe be harassment, which is a misdemeanor,  misdemeanor assault. Which you know, because of the delayed reporting, the statute of limitations has run on those.

HOLLER:  So the statute of limitations has run out on those crimes? That seems like a short period of time.

DUNAWAY:  It’s a year. One year on a misdemeanor. And so the complaints from 2017 have clearly run, and the 2019 ones were done early in the school year if I remember right.

HOLLER:  Even on a minor?

DUNAWAY:  Yes. There’s not much proof, the only proof you have of the head touching the stomach is the young lady’s statement. Do I believe her? Yes. He denies it, there are no witnesses to it. So the proof is not the strongest in the world, but that’s the best you got. Now everybody is up in arms about it, and I don’t blame them. It is very inappropriate talk with students like that.

HOLLER:  Which was corroborated by a lot of different people.

DUNAWAY:  Which I believe happened too, 100%. But it’s not a crime. It’s terrible, it’s inappropriate, but it’s not a crime that I can prosecute. Just making verbal sexual related jokes and off-color jokes like that. So that’s the situation. And I’m only speaking to the criminal aspect of it. Whether he’s inappropriate or not, the school board has got to make a decision on that.

HOLLER:  Hopefully they’re realizing they have to do more than they’ve done. A few days ago they were going to assign him to an elementary school but they’re reconsidering that from what we understand.

DUNAWAY:  So one of the things that you saw in my letter is that we uncovered and took a statement from a now adult who said she was a student back in 2003. Her complaint was that he made the same type of inappropriate comments. Still no allegation to physical or sexual contact, but just making inappropriate innuendos.

HOLLER:  Well it seems like everybody would feel a little bit better if they knew that he wasn’t going to be in the classroom anymore.

DUNAWAY:  I agree there, I don’t disagree with that at all.

HOLLER:  Appreciate you talking to us.

DUNAWAY:  Anytime, you’re welcome.

OP-ED: “AMERICA KNEW” (Police Brutality Videos Are Not An Excuse, ESPECIALLY IN TENNESSEE)

“AMERICA KNEW”

(Police Brutality Videos Are Not An Excuse, ESPECIALLY IN TENNESSEE)

By Betsy Thorpe

“Thank Goodness Everyone Has Cell Phones Now and Are Recording Acts of Vigilantism and Police Brutality, because now we see it, so now we know, and now we can change things.”

At least, that seems to be the prevailing opinion of many people.

And while I’m glad white people are now taking police violence against black people seriously, how can you help change the future if you don’t know history, or if you don’t trust what the victims are saying about an evil you are trying to eradicate?

Throughout our history, white people have privileged myths propagated by white culture over the voices and experiential knowledge of Black people.

Even now, I see this new narrative about the prevalence of video developing to explain why white people have remained clueless about what has been happening to Black people.

That’s a cop-out. It’s a false narrative that white people did not know how bad things were for Black people prior to cell phones and social media.

Take the case of Ell Persons, a 52-year-old black woodcutter from Memphis, Tennessee who was lynched on May 22, 1917 after being accused of killing a 15-year-old white girl. A detailed eye-witness account of his torture and execution was picked up by the Associated Press and published in newspapers throughout the country.

People from Washington D.C. to San Francisco were shocked by the story that appeared on the pages of their local newspaper.

One widespread misconception about Jim Crow era lynchings is that they were spur of the moment events, conducted at night, by masked good ole’ boys on horseback, brandishing jugs of whiskey, as they take a victory lap around a hanging tree after watching their victim die.  As evil as that image is, what really happened is far more dangerous and disturbing.

The real masterminds of terror created a system of racially motivated violence to keep Black people enslaved through fear. They were elected officials, judges, professionals, business leaders, clergymen and educators. The system relied heavily on the cooperation of law enforcement officers.

Elle Persons was not lynched at night. He was not hung from a tree.

No.

He was the main attraction in a public spectacle, planned by some of the most prominent men in Memphis. At 9:30 in the morning of May 22, 1917, more than fifteen thousand sightseers and revelers cheered when he was chained to a tree, doused in oil, and burned alive.

From the year 1882 through 1968 at least 3,446 Black men, women and children were lynched in the United States.

What is so striking to me is how similar the national reaction to Ell Person’s lynching is to the George Floyd murder 130 years later.

One eyewitness recorded Floyd’s arrest and murder with a cell-phone camera. The person who recorded the murder captured the sight of three other officers standing by and doing nothing during the eight minutes and forty-six seconds George Floyd struggled to stay alive.

At least one reporter was at Person’s murder, noting all the witnesses and recording in words for the whole nation to read how Persons died.

The first Tennessee branch of the NAACP was established in Memphis on June 6, just two weeks after Ell Persons was lynched. In the months that followed national membership in the organization increased ten-fold, from a group of 9,000 members to a force 90,000 strong. Similarly, anger over the murder of George Floyd sparked mainstream support and enthusiasm for the Black Lives Matter movement.  Calls for the arrest of all four officers and demands for police reform was immediately heard from across the land.

From late May of 1917 through July of that year protests, and riots erupted in racially divided cities. The deadliest of the race-related riots was a series of fiery outbreaks in East St. Louis Illinois. The first disturbances occurred in late May just one week after the lynching in Memphis. They finally ended on July 2.  An estimated two hundred and fifty Black people were killed in the East St. Louis riots.

On July 28 of 1917, the NAACP organized the Silent Protest Parade. Approximately ten thousand Black men, women and children marched along Fifth Avenue in New York City to protest lynchings and other acts of discrimination and oppression inflicted against Black people in America.  It was the largest mass demonstration for Civil Rights the country had ever seen.

The wave of protests and marches that continue to surge across the nation since the murder of George Floyd mirrors what happened after the lynching of Ell Persons in 1917.

As evidenced with the murder of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta by a police officer last week, certain officers feel no matter how many people are watching they are above the law and that it is safe for them to use excessive force. It was the same in 1917, when self-appointed law and order vigilantes and the law enforcement officers who helped them knew they were safe to use third degree tactics to torture and kill in public.

Especially in the state of Tennessee.

The protests against racially motivated violence in Tennessee carried on through the end of 1917 and into the beginning of the new year as two more barbaric lynchings stained the reputation of the state. Reports that on Sunday December 2 a Black man named Lation Scott was mutilated and burned at the stake in front of white Sunday School children made national news. Two months later, on February 8, near the small town of Estill Springs another Black man named Jim Mcllherron was burned alive in front of a crowd of five thousand onlookers, some coming from as far as fifty miles away just to watch him suffer and  die.

Public fury  was so  great after Estelle Springs that one syndicated newspaper reporter was compelled  to pen a blistering condemnation of the state of Tennessee:

“Americans who are denouncing the Prussian Huns as the most cruel and inhuman murderers should take a squint at Tennessee. No diabolical Hun ever did anything worse than torture a human being with hot irons and burn him at the stake.”

In a silent march in Nashville on February 19, 1918 two thousand Black men marched four abreast from the YMCA on Fourth Avenue up what is now Charlotte Avenue to Capitol Hill where three of their leaders entered the Capitol building. The leaders met Governor Rye and other elected officials. One leader told the assemblage that the Black man in the South was the most endangered being alive, another stated that “a man’s chance is all that is wanted.” But it was one plea to the governor of Tennessee that most resembles the demands we hear from activists today.

They petitioned the governor to do something about the official dereliction of law enforcement and allow officers of the law to be held accountable for participating and or enabling the murder of Black people in Tennessee.

The press was present during this meeting between Black leaders and the Governor of Tennessee. A transcript of their dialogue was printed on the pages of both the Nashville Banner and the Nashville Globe.

So, as you can see, acts of racially motivated violence have been reported time and again by whatever media was available at the time.  Right-minded people have sounded the alarm.  Over and over. They have marched, protested, and held public vigils for more than a hundred years.

So, while it is quite true that “this has been going on forever”, and it is also true that “we now have phone cameras to record it,” it’s not true that we didn’t know.

America knew.

And it continued to know throughout the twentieth century. Funereal photos in Jet Magazine of Emett Till’s brutalized body lying in his coffin, news stories of  young Black people in the Children’s March in Birmingham Alabama being attacked by dogs and with firehoses, live television coverage of the wake after Dr. King’s assassination, the list goes on. Sadly, there are just too many names to name.

What bothers me about the “now is different just because it is recorded” false narrative is that it implies that if we had only known, we would have done something.  But that is simply not true, because we did know.

History teaches me to be wary of the assumption that this time will be different.  If we cannot own our responsibility for not having effected change when we knew about it before, why should we assume that this time will be different?

We must be much more honest with ourselves about our failings to fix things when we knew about them before, in order to be more determined and effective in our efforts this time around.

—-

Betsy Thorpe is a member of the Nashville Historic, Inc,  the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society, and Power Together Tennessee. Betsy is also part of the national criminal justice reform organization REFORM Alliance and is an active honorary member of the International Society of Women Educators, Delta Kappa Gamma.

Betsy works part time as a legal research assistant. She conducts research for a small criminal defense law firm that serves some of the most vulnerable and underrepresented populations in rural Tennessee.

REP. RAGAN DECLINES TO DENOUNCE THE KLAN

This was originally a Facebook Post by Chad Riden. Re-posted with his permission.

REP. RAGAN DECLINES TO DENOUNCE THE KLAN

State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), representing District 33 in Anderson County, made it clear in an exchange with Chad that he has no intention of distancing himself from the KKK, despite being given every opportunity.

Chad emailed each of the 11 legislators in the ‘Naming, Designating, & Private Acts Committee’ who voted NO on HJR0686 (General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position – Suggests removing Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from State Capitol and replacing it with tribute to more deserving Tennessean.).

His email said the folowing:

“Did you realize you’re becoming internet famous? The attached image has been posted to Reddit Instagram Facebook Twitter and probably other places.

People are saying that by voting NO to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust you are standing strong in support of the KKK. Are you a member of the Klan? Or are you merely in support of continuing to honor the murderous slaver who served as their first grand wizard? Is there a difference?

I would like to know why you think it’s a good idea to honor this murderer in our state capital.”

This is the image Chad included:

According to Chad, the offices of Rep. Jerry Sexton and Rep. Mike Sparks responded with a generic “thank you for your message” type email.

Rep. John Ragan, however, responded personally by sending him the text of this entire article defending Nathan Bedford Forrest, the KKK’s First Grand Wizard, as an “activist for black civil rights”.

According to Chad…

I responded:

“I have heard that NBF changed his mind near the end of his life but this is the story about him that haunts me:

‘The Battle of Fort Pillow on April 12, 1864 ended with a massacre of African-American Union troops and their white officers attempting to surrender, by soldiers under the command Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Union survivors claimed that even though all their troops surrendered, Forrest’s men massacred some in cold blood. Surviving members of the garrison said that most of their men surrendered and threw down their arms, only to be shot or bayoneted by the attackers, who repeatedly shouted, “No quarter! No quarter!”

A letter from one of Forrest’s own sergeants, Achilles V. Clark, writing to his sisters on April 14, reads in part:

“The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor deluded negros would run up to our men fall on their knees and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. The whitte \[sic\] men fared but little better. The fort turned out to be a great slaughter pen. Blood, human blood stood about in pools and brains could have been gathered up in any quantity. I with several others tried to stop the butchery and at one time had partially succeeded but Gen. Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued. Finally our men became sick of blood and the firing ceased.”‘
###

I’m uncomfortable celebrating a man who ever did that. The only people I hear defending Nathan Bedford Forrest are white supremacists. How do you feel about the Black lives matter movement? Will you go on the record denouncing the KKK?”

Rep. Ragan wrote back:

“Dear Mr. Riden,

Your description of Fort Pillow is questionable when considered objectively. It remains unclear whether Forrest ordered the massacre, encouraged it, ignored it, or — as he later claimed — was unaware of it. He was never charged or tried for the events at Fort Pillow.

Please consult any of the following sources and you will see that Forrest was never convicted of any of the accusations you posited:

These trials can be found via a link on the catalog records on the Library of Congress Online catalog. The military trials encompass several departments:

Military Trials: Middle Department, 1862 – 1866

General Court Martial Orders: Department of the South, 1862 – 1868

General Court Martial Orders: Department of the Cumberland, 1866 – 1870

General Court Martial Orders: Department of the Missouri, 1861 – 1863, 1866 – 1867, 1868, 1869 – 1870, 1871 – 1872

General Court Martial Orders: Department of the Gulf, 1862 -1867

General Court Martial Orders: Department of Texas 1861, 1865 – 1866, 1870 -1872

The military trials are viewable in PDF and Page turner versions. The name indexes have been included and tabbed in the PDF view, and in some of the volumes a subject index is available.

Relative to your other questions: you may consult my record and you will have your answers.

Good Day,

John D. Ragan

State Representative”

I wrote back:

“Thank you for responding I do appreciate it.
However you have not answered the questions I asked very directly:

How do you feel about the Black lives matter movement?

Will you go on the record denouncing the KKK?”

Ragan responded:

“Dear Mr. Riden,

Neither I, nor any of my direct forbearers, going all the way back to the one exiled by Oliver Cromwell to Jamestown in 1690, ever owned slaves. While I condemn that institution unequivocally, I owe no one an apology for it.

Moreover, my children have ancestors who fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. However, none of those ever owned slaves, either. Therefore, neither they, nor I, owe anyone apologies for slavery.

Furthermore, there were atrocities as well as heroes and villains on both sides of the Civil War. Additionally, there were black slave owners and blacks fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. There were slave owners in the North and the South including Union General U.S. Grant.

Your historical research relative to Confederate General Forrest is inadequate. If you refuse educate yourself, it appears future discussion on the topic is futile.

Finally, your juvenile attempts at insults to a veteran of two theaters of conflict though 24 year of military service, of which 8 were overseas, are ridiculous. I have served in deserts and jungles and picked up body parts of a comrade-in-arms from blood soaked ground. Moreover, while on active duty, I have had the very sad duty of escorting my squadron mate and best friend’s widow down a funeral isle to stand before his flag draped casket…an active duty fatality. Consequently, I do not need you to churlishly challenge my loyalty to the US Constitution, especially the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

You may consult my record for answers to your other questions.”

I guess I struck a nerve. I replied:

“Sir,

I didn’t ask if your family owned slaves but thank you for that information. Sorry if you feel insulted, that was never my intention. I just want to know:

How do you feel about the Black lives matter movement?

Will you go on the record denouncing the KKK?”

His response? You guessed it:

“You may consult my record for answers to your other questions.

Good Day,

John D. Ragan

State Representative”

John D. Ragan, State Representative REFUSED to denounce the KKK multiple times and told me to consult his voting record for my answer.

His voting record shows he wishes to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the KKK.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s a confirmation that John Ragan from Oak Ridge, representing District 33 in Anderson County, fully supports the KKK.