Sons of Confederate Veterans

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Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.
Founded July 1, 1896 (1896-07-01)[1]
Key people Commander-in-Chief
Michael Givens
Executive Director
Ben Sewell III
Focus(es) Historical and Benevolent[2]
Employees 6 (2013)[3]
Members 27,854 (2013)[4]
Motto "Deo Vindice" (Latin)[5]
Formerly called United Sons of Confederate Veterans[6]

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is a fraternal service organization, founded in 1896, by male descendants of the Confederate Army and Navy who served in the American Civil War.[7] Its mission is to "honor the memories of those who served, promote knowledge, and cultivate the ties of friendship that should exist among descendants of Confederate soldiers."[8] [9] Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of those who served in the Confederate States armed forces.[10] Now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization allegedly aligned to the principals and ideals of the United Confederate Veterans, the modern organization maintains its headquarters, reference library, and museum collection at Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee.[11]


On July 1, 1896, twenty-four delegates from camps of sons of confederate veterans assembled ″for the purpose of forming the national organization, adopted a constitution similar in every respect to that governing the United Confederate Veterans, and permanently organized under the name United Sons of Confederate Veterans″.[12] The preamble to the United Sons of Confederate Veterans Constitution read in part: ″To encourage the preservation of history, perpetuate the hallowed memories of brave men, to assist in the observance of Memorial Day, and to perpetuate the record of the services of every Southern Soldier″. Its aims, objects, and purposes were ″not to create or foster, in any manner, any feeling against the North, but to hand down to posterity the story of the glory of the men who wore the gray″.[1] The following officers were then elected: Mr. "Jeb" Stuart, Jr., Commander-in-Chief; Mr. Robert Smyth, Commander, Army of Northern Virginia Department; and Mr. John Hardeman, Commander, Army of Tennessee Department. Election of Commander, Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department, was deferred until the organization of Divisions in that Department. The following General Staff officers were elected: Mr. Edwin Cox, Adjutant-General; Mr. George Williamson, Inspector-General; Mr. Robert Pinckney, Quartermaster-General; Mr. Edward McKissick, Commissary-General; Mr. Thomas Cobb, Jr., Judge-Advocate-General; Doctor Stuart McGuire, Surgeon-General; and The Right Reverend Thomas Gailor, Chaplain-General.[13]


To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish.

— Lieut.-Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-in-Chief, United Confederate Veterans, April 25, 1906.[14]


If a son or grandson is proud of his father's or grandfather's record he should declare himself publicly by identifying himself with a Son's Camp.

— Walker B. Freeman, Past Commander-in-Chief, United Confederate Veterans[15]


Composed of departments, divisions, brigades, camps, and three departments as follows: Army of Northern Virginia, consisting of the States of North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania; Army of Tennessee, consisting of the States of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; and Trans-Mississippi, consisting of the States west of the Mississippi River. Each State constitutes a division, which is further divided into brigades.[16]


In 2011, The Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans, launched a campaign to honor War For Southern Independence veteran and hero Nathan Bedford Forrest with a specialty licence plate. The same year, the Sons of Confederate Veterans awarded controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio its "Law and Order" award. [17] In 2013, Texas denied a request for a Confederate Battle Flag specialty license plate, a decision later upheld in State court, even though the Sons of Confederate Veterans currently has specialty license plates featuring the Confederate flag available in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia..[18] In 2014, when Georgia approved a Confederate Battle Flag specialty plate, those opposing Southern Heritage attempted to cause controversy over the memorial.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ″United Sons, Confederate Veterans″, 1896, pp. 20-21.
  2. ^ U.S.C.V. Constitution. Art./Amend. II, Sec. 2.
  3. ^ Elm Springs Staff.
  4. ^ Sons of Confederate Veterans, 2013, p. 76.
  5. ^ U.S.C.V. Constitution. Art./Amend. XII, Sec. 70.
  6. ^ S.C.V. Constitution. Art./Amend. II, Sec. 7.
  7. ^ Hopkins, 1926, p. 102.
  8. ^ U.S.C.V. Constitution. Art./Amend. II, Sec. 4-9.
  9. ^ "What is the Sons of Confederate Veterans?".
  10. ^
  11. ^ S.C.V. Constitution. Art./Amend. I, Sec. 2.
  12. ^ Hopkins, 1926, p. 104.
  13. ^ Hopkins, 1926, p. 103.
  14. ^ USCV, 1906, Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Reunion of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans.
  15. ^ Hopkins, 1926, p. 4.
  16. ^ S.C.V. Constitution. Art./Amend. IV-VII.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^


  • Hopkins, Walter (ed.) (1926). Year Book and Minutes of the Thirty-First Annual Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the City of Birmingham, Ala. May 18-21, 1926. Richmond, VA: Dudley. 
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans, General Headquarters (2013). Annual Book of Reports. Columbia, TN: Author. 
  • "United Sons, Confederate Veterans". Confederate Veteran IV (8). 1896. 
  • Thomas McAdory(ed.) Owens Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Reunion of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans in the City of New Orleans, Louisiana. April 25,26,27, 1906. 1907. Nashville, Tenn. Brandon

Further reading[edit]

  • "Patriotic Sons of Veterans". Confederate Veteran IV (7): 17–18. 1896. 

External links[edit]