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 guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the
underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was
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 is 12.
Proof of kinship to a Confederate soldier can take many forms. The easiest method is to
contact the archives of the state from which the soldier fought and obtain a copy of the
veteran's military service record. Most 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. The National Archives in Washington, D.C. has copies of the service records
for soldiers and sailors from all states. In addition, the former Confederate states
awarded pensions to veterans and their widows. The State of Maryland operated a retirement
home for Confederate veterans which was located in Pikesville. All of these records contain
a wealth of information that can be used to document military service.
The SCV has a network of genealogists to assist you in tracing your ancestor's Confederate
The SCV has ongoing programs at the local, state and national levels that offer members a
wide range of activities. Preservation work, marking Confederate soldiers' graves, historical
reenactments, scholarly publications, and regular meetings to discuss the military and
political history of the War Between the States are only a few of the 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
Nationally, the SCV is governed by its 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
antebellum 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 bimonthly national magazine that
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
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.
For membership information: See "Send Mail to the Waddell
Camp #1608" on this Web page.