United Confederate Veterans

Last updated

United Confederate Veterans
Successor Sons of Confederate Veterans
FormationJune 10, 1889 (1889-06-10)
DissolvedDecember 31, 1951 (1951-12-31)
Type American Civil War veterans' organization
Purpose Social, literary, historical and benevolent
Headquarters New Orleans, Louisiana
Publication The Confederate Veteran
Affiliations United Daughters of the Confederacy
Unidentified Civil War veteran in United Confederate Veterans uniform with Southern Cross of Honor medal. From the Library of Congress Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs Unidentified Civil War veteran in United Confederate Veterans uniform with Southern Cross of Honor medal LCCN2016652271 (cropped).tif
Unidentified Civil War veteran in United Confederate Veterans uniform with Southern Cross of Honor medal. From the Library of Congress Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs

The United Confederate Veterans (UCV, or simply Confederate Veterans) was an American Civil War veterans' organization headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was organized on June 10, 1889, by ex-soldiers and sailors of the Confederate States as a merger between the Louisiana Division of the Veteran Confederate States Cavalry Association; N. B. Forrest Camp of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Tennessee Division of the Veteran Confederate States Cavalry Association; Tennessee Division of Confederate Soldiers; Benevolent Association of Confederate Veterans of Shreveport, Louisiana; Confederate Association of Iberville Parish, Louisiana; Eighteenth Louisiana; Adams County (Mississippi) Veterans' Association; Louisiana Division of the Army of Tennessee; and Louisiana Division of the Army of Northern Virginia. [1] [2]


The Union equivalent of the UCV was the Grand Army of the Republic.



There had been numerous local veterans associations in the South, and many of these became part of the UCV. The organization grew rapidly throughout the 1890s culminating with 1,555 camps represented at the 1898 reunion. The next few years marked the zenith of UCV membership, lasting until 1903 or 1904, when veterans were starting to die off and the organization went into a gradual decline. [2]


The UCV felt it had to outline its purposes and structure in a written constitution, based on military lines. Members holding appropriate UCV "ranks" officered and staffed echelons of command from General Headquarters at the top to local camps (companies) at the bottom. Their declared purpose was emphatically nonmilitary – to foster "social, literary, historical, and benevolent" ends. [3]

The UCV sponsored Florida's Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy (1915).


Cherokee confederates (Thomas' Legion) at the U.C.V reunion in New Orleans, 1903. Cherokee Confederates Reunion.gif
Cherokee confederates (Thomas' Legion) at the U.C.V reunion in New Orleans, 1903.
Confederate veterans reunion May 1911 UCV Reunion.jpg
Confederate veterans reunion May 1911
1951 Commemorative postage stamp United Confederate Veterans 1951 3c.JPG
1951 Commemorative postage stamp

The national organization assembled annually in a general convention and social reunion, presided over by the Commander-in-Chief. These annual reunions served the UCV as an aid in achieving its goals. Convention cities made elaborate preparations and tried to put on bigger events than the previous hosts. The gatherings continued to be held long after the membership peak had passed and despite fewer veterans surviving, they gradually grew in attendance, length and splendor. Numerous veterans brought family and friends along too, further swelling the crowds. Many Southerners considered the conventions major social occasions. Perhaps thirty thousand veterans and another fifty thousand visitors attended each of the mid and late 1890 reunions, and the numbers increased. In 1911 an estimated crowd of 106,000 members and guests crammed into Little Rock, Arkansas—a city of less than one-half that size. Then the passing years began taking a telling toll and the reunions grew smaller. But still the meetings continued until in 1950 at the sixtieth reunion only one member could attend, 98-year-old Commander-in-Chief James Moore of Selma, Alabama. [3] The following year, 1951, the United Confederate Veterans held its sixty-first and final reunion in Norfolk, Virginia, from May 30 to June 3. Three members attended: William Townsend, John B. Salling, and William Bush. The U.S. Post Office Department issued a 3-cent commemorative stamp in conjunction with that final reunion. [5] The last verified Confederate veteran, Pleasant Crump, died at age 104 on December 31, 1951.

The Confederate Veteran

In addition to national meetings, another prominent factor contributed to the growth and popularity of the UCV. This was a monthly magazine which became the official UCV organ, the Confederate Veteran . Founded as an independent publishing venture in January 1893, by Sumner Archibald Cunningham, the UCV adopted it the following year. Cunningham personally edited the magazine for twenty-one years and bequeathed almost his entire estate to insure its continuance. The magazine was of a very high quality and circulation was wide. Many veterans penned recollections or articles for publication in its pages. Readership always greatly exceeded circulation because numerous camps and soldiers' homes received one or two copies for their numerous occupants. An average of 6500 copies were printed per issue during the first year of publication, for example, but Cunningham estimated that fifty thousand people read the twelfth issue. [6]

See also


  1. Minutes U.C.V., I, Constitutional Convention Proceedings, pp. 3–8.
  2. 1 2 Hattaway, 1971, p. 214.
  3. 1 2 Hattaway, 1971, p. 215.
  4. "Arago: United Confederate Veterans Final Reunion Issue". arago.si.edu.
  5. "61st and final UCV reunion in 1951".
  6. Hattaway, 1971, pp. 215–16.

Related Research Articles

Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States

Jefferson Finis Davis was an American politician who served as the president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. As a member of the Democratic Party, he represented Mississippi in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives before the American Civil War. He previously served as the United States Secretary of War from 1853 to 1857 under President Franklin Pierce.

Memorial Day Federal holiday in the United States

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May. The holiday was formerly observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

P. G. T. Beauregard Confederate States Army general

Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was a Confederate general officer who started the American Civil War by leading the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Today, he is commonly referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard, but he rarely used his first name as an adult. He signed correspondence as G. T. Beauregard.

United Daughters of the Confederacy American non-profit charitable hereditary association of Southern women in the United States

The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) is an American hereditary association of Southern women established in 1894 in Nashville, Tennessee. The organization's activities include the commemoration of Confederate Civil War soldiers and the funding of monuments to them. Many historians have described the organization's portrayal of the Confederate States of America (CSA) and the Civil War as a promotion of the Lost Cause and of white supremacy, and have asserted that the elevation of the Confederate tradition has been led by the UDC. In the early 1900s the organization often applauded the Ku Klux Klan and funded the building of a monument to the Klan in 1926. The UDC has been labeled as neo-Confederate by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Confederate Memorial Day Observance day in a number of Southern states in the U.S. to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States during the American Civil War

Confederate Memorial Day is a cultural holiday observed in several Southern U.S. states on various dates since the end of the Civil War to remember the estimated 258,000 Confederate soldiers who died in military service.

Old soldiers home

An old soldiers' home is a military veterans' retirement home, nursing home, or hospital, or sometimes an institution for the care of the widows and orphans of a nation's soldiers, sailors, and marines, etc.

Stephen D. Lee

Stephen Dill Lee was an American politician who served as the first president of Mississippi State University from 1880 to 1899. Prior to that, he was lieutenant general of the Confederate States Army in the Eastern and Western theaters of the American Civil War.

Sons of Confederate Veterans American non-profit charitable organization

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is an American nonprofit and charitable organization of male blood-descendants of Confederate veterans headquartered at the Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee. The SCV was founded on July 1, 1896, at the City Auditorium in Richmond, Virginia, by R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans. It is known for erecting and maintaining American Civil War memorials and graves, observing Confederate Memorial Day, and encouraging Southern historical study. In recent decades, governors, legislators, courts, corporations, and anti-racism activists have placed new emphasis on the increasingly controversial public display of Confederate symbols—especially after the 2014 Ferguson unrest, the 2015 Charleston church shooting, and the 2020 killing of George Floyd. SCV has responded with its coordinated display of larger and more prominent public displays of the battle flag, some in directly defiant counter-protest.

New Orleans massacre of 1866

The New Orleans Massacre of 1866 occurred on July 30, when a peaceful demonstration of mostly black Freedmen was set upon by a mob of white rioters, many of whom had been soldiers of the recently defeated Confederacy. The riot quickly descended into a full-scale massacre. The violence erupted outside the Mechanics Institute, site of a reconvened Louisiana Constitutional Convention. The Republican Party of Louisiana had called for the Convention, as they were angered by the legislature's enactment of the Black Codes and refusal to extend voting rights to black men. White Democrats considered the reconvened convention to be illegal and were hostile towards Republican attempts to gain increased political power in the state. The massacre "stemmed from deeply rooted political, social, and economic causes," and took place in part because of the battle "between two opposing factions for power and office." According to the official report, a total of 38 were killed and 146 wounded, with 34 of the dead and 119 of the wounded black. Unofficial estimates were higher. Gilles Vandal estimated 40 to 50 blacks dead and more than 150 wounded. In addition, three white convention attendees were killed, as was one white protester.

The Association of Confederate Soldiers was an organization formed by veterans of the American Civil War in 1887 as an offshoot of the United Confederate Veterans. Its goals included funding the construction of a monument to Confederate valor, caring for Confederate graves, encouraging accounts of the Civil War that would honor and defend the Confederate cause, and bringing living veterans closer through programs designed to benefit ailing Confederate veterans and needy widows and orphans.

Southern Cross of Honor United Daughters of the Confederacy commemorative medal awarded to the United Confederate Veterans

The Southern Cross of Honor was a commemorative medal established in 1899 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor Confederate Veterans.

Camp Moore United States historic place

Camp Moore, north of the Village of Tangipahoa near Kentwood, Louisiana, was a Confederate training base and principal base of operations in eastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. The base was named for Louisiana Governor Thomas Overton Moore. It operated from May 1861 to 1864 during the American Civil War. Confederate monuments were erected at the cemetery and on the grounds in the early 20th century.

James Weldon Johnson Park

James Weldon Johnson Park is a 1.54-acre (6,200 m2) public park in Downtown Jacksonville, Florida. Originally a village green, it was the first and is the oldest park in the city.

Springfield Park (Jacksonville)

Springfield Park is a public park in Jacksonville, Florida, on the southern bounds of the historic neighborhood of Springfield. It is part of a network of parks that parallel Hogan's Creek.

The 48th Ohio Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

The 56th Ohio Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Confederate Memorial (Arlington National Cemetery) Monument in Arlington National Cemetery built in 1914

The Confederate Memorial is a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States, that commemorates members of the armed forces of the Confederate States of America who died during the American Civil War. Authorized in March 1906, former Confederate soldier and sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in November 1910 to design the memorial. It was unveiled by President Woodrow Wilson on June 4, 1914.

Kate Brownlee Sherwood

Kate Brownlee Sherwood was an American poet, journalist, and translator from Ohio, also known as a story writer, philanthropist, patron of art and literature.


Primary sources