"UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERANS."
The first article of the constitution of the association declares: "The object and purpose of this organization will be strictly social, literary, historical and benevolent. It will endeavor to unite in a general federation all associations of the Confederate veterans, soldiers and sailors, now in existence or hereafter to be formed; to gather authentic data for an impartial history of the war between the States; to preserve the relics or mementoes of the same; to cherish the ties of friendship that exist among the men who have shared common dangers, common suffering and privations; to care for the disabled and extend a helping hand to the needy; to protect the widow and orphan and to make and preserve the record of the services of every member, and as far as possible of those of our comrades who have preceded us in eternity."
The last article provides that neither discussion of political or religious subjects nor any political action shall be permitted in the organization, and any association violating that provision shall forfeit its membership.
Gen. J. B. Gordon, the Commander of the Veterans, in an address to the soldiers and sailors, said:
Comrades, no argument is needed to secure for those objects your enthusiastic indorsement. They have burdened your thoughts for many years; you have cherished them in sorrow, poverty and humiliation. In the face of misconstruction you have held them in your hearts with the strength of religious convictions. No misjudgments can defeat your peaceful purposes for the future. Your aspirations have been lifted by the mere force and urgency of surrounding conditions to a plane far above the paltry consideration of partisan triumphs. The honor of the American government, the just powers of the Federal government, the equal rights of States, the integrity of the constitutional union, the sanctions of law and the enforcement of order have no class of defenders more true and devoted than the ex-soldiers of the South and their worthy descendants. But you realize the great truth that a people without the memories of heroic suffering or sacrifice are a people without a history. To cherish such memories and recall such a past, whether crowned with success or consecrated in defeat is to idealize principle and strengthen character, intensify love of country and convert defeat and disaster into pillars of support for future manhood and noble womanhood. Whether the Southern people under their changed conditions may ever hope to witness another civilization which shall equal that which began with their Washington and ended with their Lee, it is certainly true that devotion to their glorious past is not only the surest guarantee of future progress and the holiest bond of unity, but is also the strongest claim they can present to the confidence and respect of the other sections of the Union.
In conclusion, I beg to repeat, in substance at least, a few thoughts recently expressed by me to the State organization, which apply with equal force to this general brotherhood. It is political in no sense except so far as the word "political" is a synonym of the word "patriotic." It is a brotherhood over which the genius of philanthropy and patriotism, of truth and of justice will preside; of philanthropy, because it will succor the disabled, help the needy, strengthen the weak and cheer the disconsolate; of patriotism, because it will cherish the past glories of the dead Confederacy and transmute them into living inspirations for future service to the living republic; of truth, because it will seek to gather and preserve as witnesses for history the unimpeachable facts which shall doom falsehood to die that truth may live, of justice, because it will cultivate National as well as Southern fraternity and will condemn narrow-mindedness and prejudice and passion, and cultivate that broader, higher and nobler sentiment, which would write on the grave of every soldier who fell on our side: "Here lies an American hero, a martyr to the right as his conscience conceived it."
I rejoice that a general organization too, long neglected, has at last been perfected. It is an organization which all honorable men must approve and which heaven itself will bless. I call upon you, therefore, to organize in every State and community where ex-Confederates may reside, and rally to the support of the high and peaceful objects of the United Confederate Veterans, and move forward until by the power of organization and persistent effort your beneficent and Christian purposes are fully accomplished.
UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERAN CAMPS.
|Bessemer||Bessemer||157||W.R. Jones, N.H. Sewall|
|Birmingham||W.J. Hardee||39||Gen. F.S. Ferguson, R.E. Jones|
|Eutaw||Sanders||64||Capt. G.H. Cole, T.H. Mundy|
|Mobile||Raphael Semmes||11||Capt. Thos. T. Roche, Wm. F. Mickle.|
|Montgomery||Lomax||151||Capt. Emmet Selbels, J.H. Higgins|
|Bentonville||Cabell||89||Capt. N.S. Henry, A.J. Bates|
|Fort Smith||Ben T. Duval||146||Capt. P.T. Devaney, John T. Duval|
|Brookville||W.W. Loring||13||Gen. John C. Devant, Col. Fred L. Robertson|
|Dade City||Pasco C.V. Ass'n||57||Capt. John B. Johnston, A.H. Ravesles|
|Fernandino||Nassau||104||Thos. A. Hall|
|Iverness||Geo. T. Ward||148||Capt. W.C. Zimmerman, W.S. Turner|
|Jacksonville||R.E. Lee||58||Gen. Wm. Baya, C.W. Smith|
|Jasper||Stewart||155||Capt. H.J. Stewart|
|Lake City||Columbia Co||150||Capt. W.R. Moore, W.M. Ives|
|Marianna||Milton||132||Capt. W.D. Barnes, Frank Philip|
|Monticello||Patton Anderson||60||Capt. W.C. Bird, B.W. Partridge|
|Ocala||Marion County C.V.A.||56||Capt. J.J. Finley, Wm. Fox|
|Orlando||Orange Co||54||Capt. W.H. Jewell, B.M. Robinson|
|Palmetto||Geo. T. Ward||53||Capt. J.C. Pelot, J.W. Nettles|
|Pensacola||Ward C.V. Ass'n||10||Gen. Geo. Reese, C.V. Thompson|
|Quincy||D.L. Kenan||140||Capt. R.H.N. Davidson, D.M. McMillan|
|St. Augustine||E. Kirby Smith||175||Capt. J.A. Enslow, Jr.|
|Sanford||Gen. J. Finnegan||149||Capt. A.M. Thrasher, C.H. Lefler|
|Tampa||Hillsboro||36||Capt. F.W. Merrin, H.L. Crane|
|Titusville||Indian River||47||Capt. Jas. Pritchett, A.D. Cohen|
|Atlanta||Fulton Co., Ga.||159||Gen. W.L. Calhoun, John F. Edwards|