WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MEMBERSHIP?
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 lineal (Direct ancestor) or collateral (Sibling of direct ancestor) family lines.
As anyone who has experienced it first hand can attest, being a Southerner in New York City is a different sort of experience, to say the least! While thrilling and rewarding, it can also, at times, be a trying and lonely thing. Being able to attend meetings and meet-ups and enjoy the fellowship of fellow Southerners can be a great source of comfort for “Southern expatriates”.
Additionally, as dire and cynical as he was likely being, time has proven Confederate General Patrick Cleburne tragically prescient in writing:
“Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy, that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers, learn from Northern school books their version of the war and taught to regard our gallant dead as traitors and our maimed veterans as fit subjects of derision.”
Much like their Revolutionary War forebears, the soldiers of the South stood up against insurmountable odds. In defense of their homes and families, these men took arms against an invader vastly stronger in numbers and resources. And yet with each passing generation, their sacrifice is forgotten further, and their motives maligned. Gone are the days when the New York Herald wrote of General Robert E. Lee’s passing:
“We have claimed him as one of ourselves; have cherished and felt proud of his military genius; have recounted and recorded his triumphs as our own; have extolled his virtue as reflecting upon us—for Robert Edward Lee was an American, and the great nation which gave him birth would be today unworthy of such a son if she regarded him lightly.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans works to restore the correct view of the Southern Cause, and acts as a proud defender of our shared Southern heritage.
WHAT IF I’M NOT SURE IF I HAVE A CONFEDERATE ANCESTOR?
The Confederate Military was blessed, over the course of existence, with the service of 90 percent of Southern men aged eighteen to sixty years of age (Compare this to the Union Army, which, though vastly larger due to a much higher population, saw only about 44 percent of eligible men serve).
So if you have any roots at all in the South, it’s almost certain that one of your ancestors served.
If you know any of the names of your ancestors alive at the time of the War Between the States, you can use the National Park Service’s free Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System to check a massive database of troops.
If you don’t know your genealogy that far back, the Archibald Gracie Camp has several great resources to help you. Often, just knowing the name, approximate age, and location of an ancestor who lived as recently as 1930 is enough to work back to a Confederate ancestor.
You can use the following form to submit as much information as you have, and we will be happy to assist you!
HOW DO I JOIN?
If you’re eligible, the Archibald Gracie Camp would love to have you join us as a member, and we want to make the process as easy as possible. So get in touch with us! We’d be happy to have you join us at upcoming events, and can work with you on putting together your application.
But if you’d like to do it yourself, there are three steps.
1) Find an ancestor who served honorably in the Confederate Armed Forces, and get a paper copy of proof of their service. Services such as Broadfoot Publishing will send you this information for a fee, but our Camp likely can provide everything you need at no charge, so again, get in touch with us!
2) Put together an outline of your relationship to the ancestor. A simple document with your name, the ancestor’s name, and the relatives that connect you is all you need.
3) Send this information, along with this application, and a check for $50 made out to “Archibald Gracie Camp” (This is made up of $35 annual dues to Sons of Confederate Veterans, a one-time recording fee of $5.00 for new members, and $10 annual dues for the Archibald Gracie Camp), to:
Michael H. Charles
Commander, Archibald Gracie Camp
420 E 58th St., Apt. 5B
New York, N.Y. 10022