What Is The SCV?
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
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 is 12.
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 Confederate
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,
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
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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