Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization
requires significant documentation of genealogy, according to the group's website, which said it has a network of researchers available to help trace service records.
Any male descendants of Confederate armed forces veterans are allowed to apply for membership. Noted the website: "Membership can be obtained through either lineal or collateral family lines and kinship to a veteran must be documented genealogically."
Rigorous scrutiny of such credentials is required, the group said. Proof must be obtained through documents located in state archives where the relative soldier fought. The organization noted that microfilm records are available in all Southern states of those who fought for the Confederacy.
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It also added that those soldiers and their widows were awarded pensions, and records of those are available for review.
"All of these records contain a wealth of information that can be used to document military service," the website said.
A young man may apply for membership in the group starting at age 12. Those younger than 12 who are interested may join the Cadets.
While some may view the historical heritage group as racist, the Sons of Confederate Veterans rallied against the Ku Klux Klan in Memphis, Tennessee, in March 2015. The Klan wanted to rally against the renaming of three city parks, The Huffington Post reported
Sons of Confederate Veterans, with about 35,000 members, was founded in Richmond, Virginia, on July 1, 1896, and has its current headquarters in Columbia, Tennessee. Its charter states that it was founded "to encourage the preservation of history, perpetuate the hallowed memories of brave men, to assist in the observance of Memorial Day, to aid and support all members, widows and orphans, and to perpetuate the record of the services of every Southern Soldier."
It boasts some famous members, including presidents Harry Truman and Woodrow Wilson. Academy Award-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood is also reportedly a member.
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After years of internal battling, a power shift occurred within the organization in 2005, when the group's leadership ousted 13 of 25 of its directors at its annual convention, the Civil War News reported
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