What Is The SCV?
What Is The SCV?
The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best
qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the
motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the second American
Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored
their belief in the rights guranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are
the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on
which this nation was built.
Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy
of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that
animated the Southern Cause.
The SCV is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans, and the oldest
hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers. Organized
at Richmond, Virginia, in 1896, the SCV continues to serve as a historical,
patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to insuring that a true history
of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.
Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants
of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. Membership
can be obtained through either direct or collateral family lines and kinship to a
veteran must be documented genealogically. The minimum age for membership
Proof of kinship to a Confederate soldier can take many forms. The easiest method
is to contact archives of the state from which the soldier fought and obtain a copy
of the veteran's military service record. All Southern states' archives have microfilm
records of the soldiers who fought from that state and a copy of the information can
be obtained for a nominal fee. In addition, the former Confederate states awarded
pensions to veterans and their widows. All of these records contain a wealth of
information that can be used to document military service.
The SCV has a network of genealogist to assist you in tracing your ancestor's
The SCV has ongoing programs at the local, state and national levels which offer
members a wide range of activities. Preservation work, marking Confederate
soldiers' graves, historical re-enactments, scholarly publications, and regular
meetings to discuss the military and political history of the War Between the
States are only a few activities sponsored by local units, called camps.
All state organizations, known as Divisions, hold annual conventions, and many
publish regular newsletters to the membership dealing with statewide issues. Each
Division has a corps of officers elected by the membership who coordinate the work
of camps and the national organization.
Nationally, the SCV is governed by it's members acting through elected delegates
to the annual convention. The General Executive Council, composed of elected and
appointed officers, conducts the organization's business between conventions. The
administrative work of the SCV is conducted at the national headquarters, "Elm
Springs", a restored ante-bellum home at Columbia, Tennessee.
In addition to the privilege of belonging to an organization devoted exclusively to
commemorating and honoring Confederate soldiers, members are eligible for other
benefits. Every member receives the Confederate Veteran, the bi-monthly national
magazine which contains in depth historical articles on the war along with news
affecting Southern heritage. The programs of the SCV range from assistance to
undergraduate students through the General Stand Watie Scholarship to medical
research grants given through the Brooks Fund. National historical symposiums,
reprinting of rare historical books, and the erection of monuments are just a few
of the other projects endorsed by the SCV.
The SCV works in conjunction with other historical groups to preserve Confederate
history. However, it is not affiliated with any organization other than the Military
Order of the Stars and Bars, composed of male descendants of the Southern officer
corps. The SCV rejects any group whose actions tarnish or distort the image of the
Confederate soldier or his reasons for fighting.
If you are interested in perpetuating the ideals that motivated your Confederate ancestor,
the SCV needs you. The memory and reputation of the Confederate soldier, as well as
the motives for his suffering and sacrifice, are being consciously distorted by some in an
attempt to alter history. Unless the descendants of Southern soldiers resist those efforts,
a unique part of our nation's cultural heritage will cease to exist.
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