In July, 1870, African American state militia were mobilized in New Bern to face the Klu Klux Klan in North Carolina's state capitol, Raleigh. Under the command of George B. Willis, the militia attempted to stem violence from the Klan since the election of Republican William W. Holden in 1868. After two severe crimes, Holden mobilized two militia regiments under William J. Clarke (including Willis' troops) and George W. Kirk. The conflict became known as the Kirk-Holden War. This event, and the work of black North Carolinians in the militia, had a significant impact on state Reconstruction policies.