A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 23354
Library of VirginiaContact Information:
The Library of Virginia
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Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
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Processed by: Renee M. Savits
2004 By the Library of Virginia. All rights reserved.
Collection is open to research.
There are no restrictions.
United Confederate Veterans Virginia Division. Records, 1890-1903. Accession 23354, Organization records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
Transferred from the City of Richmond School Board, 23 Feb. 1949.
The Grand Camp Confederate Veterans, Department of Virginia, was formed 13 January 1888 in Richmond, Virginia. Representatives from the Pickett-Buchanan Veterans Camp of Norfolk, Stonewall Veterans Camp of Portsmouth, A.P. Hill Veterans Camp of Petersburg, and R.E. Lee Veterans Camp of Richmond, met during a military conference in Richmond December 1887, and decided to organize themselves under a larger group. They met at the R.E. Lee Camp Hall in Richmond on 13 February 1888, adopted orders and regulations and elected John R. Cooke as the first Grand Commander. The first annual meeting was held at Lee Camp Hall, Richmond, Virginia, on 8 May 1888. On 20 January 1890 the organization was incorporated in Virginia. There were over 80 Confederate Veterans camps organized in Virginia, from Alexandria, Ashland, Culpepper, Danville, Fredericksburg, Goochland, Lexington, Lynchburg, Petersburg, Richmond, Roanoke, Williamsburg, Winchester, etc. In September 1934 the Grand Camp Confederate Veterans merged with the Virginia Division of the United Confederate Veterans. Until that time the Grand Camp remained a separate organization, although all of its members belonged to the UCV.
Grand commanders of the Department of Virginia from 1888 to 1903 include: John R. Cooke, 1888; E.M. Henry 1888-1889; W.P. Smith 1890-1891; Thomas A. Brander 1892; Hugh R. Smith 1893; Thomas Lewis 1894; William A. Smoot 1895; John Cussons 1896; James N. Stubbs 1897; John J. Williams 1898; Stith Bolling, 1899; Richard L. Maury, 1900; Thomas W. Smith, 1901; James MacGill, 1902; and George L. Christian, 1903.
The United Confederate Veterans were organized in New Orleans in June 1889 and elected General John B. Gordon as the first General Commander. The first reunion was held in Chattanooga, Tennessee on 3 July 1890. Its mission was to "unite all associations of Confederate veterans, to gather data for an impartial history of the war, to preserve relics or mementos, to care for the disabled, to protect widows and orphans, and to make and preserve a record of the services of every member." The Sons of Confederate Veterans was created in 1896 in Richmond, Virginia.
Records, 1890-1903, including applications, bills, bylaws, clippings, constitutions, letters, minutes, programs, publications, reports, rosters, and scrapbooks. These records document the membership and work of the Grand Camp Confederate Veterans, Department of Virginia, before they merged with the United Confederate Veterans Virginia Division.
Included are applications, 1891-1900, to form new chapters, which contain the name of the chapter, commanders names, and membership rosters. The circular letters and general order letters, 1894-1899, include information on reunions and elections of officers. A report is included from the Women's Confederate Home, c. 1897, about the efforts to raise money and build a Home for Needy Confederate Women in Richmond, Virginia.
The letters, 1891-1900, primarily pertain to business affairs such as applications for charters, payment of dues, elections of delegates, committee reports, and annual conventions. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Thomas Ellett, who served as Adjutant General during the 1890-1903 period. The correspondence is mainly from Grand Camp Confederate Veterans (GCCV) Virginia headquarters, GCCV Virginia camp commanders and members, and United Confederate Veteran state branches. Some notable correspondents include John Warwick Daniel (1842-1910), James Taylor Ellyson (1847-1919), Richard Irby (1825-1902), George Moorman, James New Stubbs (1839-1919), Claude Augustus Swanson (1862-1939), Washington Taylor, George D. Wise, and Micajah Woods (1844-1911).
Each letter is noted on the outside with a receipt date, correspondents name, and some include notes on the subject of the letter and date it was answered. Topics include death of members, efforts to establish a soldiers' home, appointment of members to various committee and posts, the erection of a Confederate monument for Jefferson Davis, establishment of a national military park at Appomattox Courthouse, and travel arrangements for reunions. Several of the letters include names of delegates elected to serve the individual camps at the state level. In some instances, for example years 1898 and 1900, these election results were maintained in a separate folder because they were written on special election forms. For the most part though, the nominations were written in a letter and they are interfiled with the rest of the letters for that year.
The collection includes publications such as the Dedication of the Confederate Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Richmond, Virginia, 30 May 1894; Minutes of the Third Annual Meeting and Reunion of the UCV in New Orleans, Louisiana, 8-9 April 1892; Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Grand Camp Confederate Veterans, Virginia, held in Winchester, Virginia, on 27-28 October 1896; Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Grand Camp Confederate Veterans, Virginia, held in Richmond, Virginia, on 20-22 October 1897; and a Revised Constitution of the UCV, 1891.
Of note are the reports of officers, 1892-1900, which were sent in from the numerous GCCV Virginia camps every year. These reports include a roster of officers, date of organization and charter, camp name, number, and location, and number of members. The collection also includes numerous reports and resolutions. Included are reports and resolutions of the advisory, executive, and military committees. Also included are minutes from annual meetings, reports on the admissions to Lee Camp Soldiers' Home, reports from the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy, financial reports, and resolutions regarding the establishment of committees, changes to the constitution, and camp name changes.
Also of note are the files relating to the School History Committee, 1894-1901. These files include clippings, hearing proceedings, letters, minutes, publications, and reports. In 1891 a committee was formed to look into publishing a book on the history of the Civil War, "suitable for public schools of the South." The committee members included James N. Stubbs, chairman, John Cussons, John H. Hume, B.S. Tucker, James Garnett, B.D. Tucker, M. W. Hazlewood, John J. Williams, and R.A. Brock. In 1897 members of the History Committee were accused of working with and being influenced by the American Book Company. An investigation committee was formed to study the accusations. The committee consisted of Micajah Woods, Perryman Green, O.B. Morgan, Washington Taylor, and William A. Smoot. On October 22 1897 James Stubbs resigned and appointed John Cussons chairman. John Cussons resigned as chairman in November 1897.
Oversize items include a roster of the GCCV, Department of Virginia, 30 July 1896; General order No. 1, 27 Jun 1896, dividing the camps into brigades for a march; copy of Grand Army Record newspaper, Boston, Massachusetts, March 1899; and a certificate establishing Pierre Gibson Camp No. 15 in Culpepper, Virginia, on 26 September 1890.
These records are arranged alphabetically by title.