Confederate Graves Survey Archive of the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, 2003-2017
Creator: Sons of Confederate Veterans
Collection #: S 1828.1
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a voluntary association of male descendants of those who served the Confederate States of America in the Confederate Army or Navy. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is neither political nor sectional; membership is distributed across the entire United States, plus Europe and Brazil. Among activities of the SCV are maintenance of historic sites such as Beauvoir, the home of President Jefferson Davis, sponsorship of symposia such as the annual Confederate History Symposium at the Confederate Research Center in Hillsboro, Texas, the marking of Confederate graves, sponsorship of reenactment groups and Confederate honor guards, the encouragement of historical literacy achievement, and the awarding of scholarships. Individual camps and Divisions establish their own calendars and schedules of activities in addition to national projects. The SCV Texas Division's mission is to preserve and protect the history and heritage of the South and its Confederate Soldiers.
On June 30, 1889, the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) was organized at New Orleans, Louisiana. Descendants of those veterans met with the UCV, but never with the full official status. In 1896, Edwin P. Cox of Richmond, Virginia, led a well-organized effort to establish a national structure for the "Sons" of Confederate Veterans. At the 1896 convention of the UCV, a resolution was presented and adopted calling for the foundation of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a separate national organization, but before the vote was taken on the UCV resolution the Sons had already acted.
On June 30, 1896, in the Auditorium at Richmond, representatives of twenty-four camps and societies met to take action. J. E. B. Stuart, Jr., son of the noted calvary leader, was selected as temporary chairman and a committee was appointed to draft a constitution. On the next day, July 1, 1896, the constitution was completed and adopted. The United Sons of Confederate Veterans had been born. In 1912 in Macon, Georgia, the name "United Sons of Confederate Veterans" was shortened to "Sons of Confederate Veterans."
By the end of 1897, the number of United States of Confederate Veterans camps had grown to thirty-seven, with one in Texas. Cities large and small were the homes of SCV camps, all of which met on a regular basis, presented historical programs, and worked on local projects to promote the memory of the Confederate veterans and their ideals. In 1904 there were a total of 1,563 UCV Camps with 314 in the Texas Division, and there were 481 SCV Camps with eighty-six in the Texas Division. However, as the veterans passed away, the SCV membership and number of Camps waned.
In 1923 there were only twenty-three SCV Camps in the Texas Division. The number of camps increased to 166 by 1927, but the membership and numbers of camps dwindled as the Civil War grew distant, and young Southerners became less interested in their heritage. In 1941 the Texas Division became inactive, but in 1954 the Division began the process of rebuilding under the leadership of Division Commander Dr Ralph W. Widenener, Jr. Membership fluctuated until the mid-1970s, and the 1980s and early 1990s saw steady SCV growth both in terms of members and new Camp development
Scope and Contents
The Confederate Graves Survey Archive of the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans consists of surveys of cemeteries throughout Texas, and portions of Oklahoma and New Mexico. The surveys document the interment of Confederate States of America military veterans. United States of America (Union) veterans, as well as able-bodied men at the time of the Civil War, are also documented. 13 boxes entitled "Grave Surveys" contain grave surveys listed county-by-county, 3 boxes of "Unit Files" list surveyed individuals by their military unit. Finally, 17 boxes contain "Veteran Files" that document each veteran by name in "last name, first name, middle initial" format. An index that cross-references each of the collection series (Grave Surveys, Unit Files, and Veteran Files) is included, as are institutions to surveyors on how and what to document while conducting surveys.
For those unfamiliar with the naming and abbreviating conventions of U.S. military units during the Civil War, please reference the following key:
Note that the dates in the collection's title (2003-2017) reflect the dates the surveys were conducted by the SCV.
Open for Research
Related Material in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library:
Confederate Graves Survey, Archive of the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, 2003-2017, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Robert Weaver, 2017