Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.
The SCV is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans, and the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers. Organized at Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the SCV continues to serve as a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.
Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces.
The Stonewall Brigade Camp was formed in 1999 as the only Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp to be located in the Rockbridge County area since 1975. The organizer and founding Camp Commander was Michael W. Pursley. Since that time the camp has met actively. Beyond regular camp meetings, the camp provides a color guard for opening ceremonies at events such as grave marker dedications, social functions, and veterans events. The camp regularly sets up informational booths at area events to inform the community about the history of the Confederacy and to raise awareness of the camp. The camp's largest single annual project is the large scale Lee-Jackson Day commemoration that features memorial services, a parade, a luncheon, and sometimes a period Confederate ball.
The Stonewall Brigade was the third in a series of SCV camps to meet in this area. The original camp was the General Frank Paxton Camp which grew out of the Lee-Jackson Camp United Confederate Veterans. The camp met regularly at the "old" county courthouse in Lexington and was the host of many early Lee-Jackson Day celebrations. We are not sure at this time exactly when the Paxton camp folded, but we suspect it occurred during the WWII period when many social organizations became the casualties of the war effort. When the Sons of Confederate Veterans re-established itself in the Rockbridge area, the second camp was known as the Rockbridge Artillery Camp #1296 which was named for a well known artillery unit from the area. This camp ceased to operate after one or more of its leaders moved away. When The Stonewall Brigade Camp was formed, it assumed the camp number designation of the Rockbridge Artillery Camp as camp number 1296.
(Above: Original Gen. Frank Paxton Camp SCV Flag)
In 1991 the Sons of Confederate Veterans (Fincastle Rifles Camp) was denied the right to display the Confederate Flag during the 100th anniversary rededication of the Stonewall Jackson statue at the General's gravesite in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. The ACLU brought a lawsuit against the City of Lexington on behalf of the Virginia Division, SCV. The city agreed to settle the suit in federal court for $1 in damages and accepted a permanent court order to never interfere with the public display of the symbols of the Confederacy.
Read the lawsuit Decree (settlement): SCV v. Lexington Decree.pdf