American history contains volumes of Ku Klux Klan atrocities. It brings a welcome sense of justice to discover situations where their nefarious attacks were turned upon them. This is in no way to trivialize the horrors suffered by innocent people, but to provide a rare glimpse into what happened if a victim could fight back, and inflict more damage than imagined.
Daniel Webster was not a popular citizen in Gate City, Virginia. In 1885, he was known more for his eccentricities than anything else. Although he was white, Webster sued another man regarded as a pillar of the community. The name of the person sued, as well as the charges, have been lost to time.
The suit placed Webster at odds with many, including the local Klansmen. He wasn’t particularly shocked when he was awakened from sleep on that cold, December night. Someone threw large rocks at his house. He looked out his window and found a countless number of white robes gathered in his front yard. Webster decided he wasn’t going down without a fight. He pulled a revolver from his desk and opened the window.
He systematically shot one Klansman after another while they stood on his lawn. He emptied the weapon, and yelled, “Get me the other gun!” The robed men scattered. There really was no second weapon, but the ruse was successful.
The next morning, many men across town sustained mysterious and unexplainable gunshot wounds during the night. One man was shot through the hip, another man’s chin was blown off, and yet another was confined to his bed.
The “white caps” never bothered Webster again.