John Bowie Strange Camp of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV)

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The John Bowie Strange Camp U. V. C. was a local Civil War veterans' organization named in honor of Confederate hero Lieutenant Colonel John Bowie Strange (VMI 1842). Organized on August 22, 1889, the John Bowie Strange Camp, U. C. V. "was only the fourteenth of its kind in any Southern state and symbolized the depth of Confederate feeling in the community."[1] The local chapter of the UCV was supported by local businessmen and the Albemarle Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

John Bowie Strange was born in 1823 in Fluvanna County. During the Civil War, Strange served as Colonel of the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment. Lt. Col.(CSA), J. B. Strange was killed at the Battle of South Mountain (Maryland) on September 14, 1862 (aged 38-39) and is buried at Maplewood Cemetery. [2]

Publications

In 1920, The Michie Company published Memorial History of the John Bowie Strange Camp, United Confederate Veterans which included "Some Account of Others Who Served In the Confederate Armies From Albemarle County, Together With Brief Sketches of the Albemarle Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy And the R. T. W. Duke Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. The publishing committee included C. B. Linney, Channing M. Bolton, John Z. Holladay; Edited by Homer Richey. [3]

Notable members

Reunions

  • 1931: The 44th Annual Reunion of Confederate Veterans and the 36th reunion of Sons of Confederate Veterans was held in Charlottesville from June 23-25.

Local camps met one or more times annually. Except for two years, the UCV met annually for a National Reunion for the veterans and several times met jointly with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) the Union veterans’ national organization.

  • 1924: 37th annual reunion of the Virginia division of the Grand Camp U.C.V. and of the 29th reunion of the sons of confederate veterans held at Charlottesville, Va. May 20, 21 and 22.
  • 1908: A Grand Rally and Reunion of Confederate veterans was held at Scottsville on July 21. Senator Thomas S. Martin was among those who spoke to the reunion crowd assembled at the Henry Gantt campgrounds located near the burial sites for 40 Confederate soldiers who died in Scottsville hospitals during the Civil War.

United Confederate Veterans (UCV) Background

After the Civil War ended in 1865, the two sides each generated a type of veterans program. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a national organization of Union veterans was established in 1866; its counterpart - a national organization for Confederate veterans - was not established until 1889, when some Confederate veterans’ groups met in New Orleans, Louisiana, and organized the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) United Confederate Veterans (UCV), the Union counterpart was the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The UCV was similar to the GAR, however the pensions generated by these groups were not as high paying as the Union. [4]

The UCV itself was formed on June 10, 1889. At its height the UCV had 1,885 local camps and 160,000 members. The organization published its magazine, Confederate Veteran from 1893 to 1932. The UCV was a nonmilitary, educational, social, historical organization concerned with the welfare of its members. Activities included raising funds for and constructing monuments commemorating Confederate heroes and battles, researching and publishing histories, and building Battle Abbey (1912) now the home of the Virginia Historical Society and its extensive collections. Dissolved formally on May 30, 1951, after the death of its last member, the successor organizations to the UCV are the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).

The Virginia Division of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV, or simply Confederate Veterans) headquartered in Richmond. There had been numerous local veterans associations in the South. The organizations grew rapidly throughout the 1890's culminating with 1,555 camps represented at the 1898 reunion. The next few years marked the peak of UCV membership, lasting until 1903 or 1904, when veterans were starting to die off and the organization went into a gradual decline.

Purpose

The UCV outline its purposes and structure in a written constitution, based on military lines. Their declared purpose was emphatically nonmilitary – to foster "social, literary, historical, and benevolent" ends.

Other Virginia Camps

Members held appropriate UCV "ranks" with command from General Headquarters at the top to local camps (companies) at the bottom.

R. E. Lee Camp No. 1, of Richmond

Established in 1883 and chartered in 1884 as the first permanent Confederate veterans organization in the United States. The Lee Camp Soldiers' Home was established in 1884 to provide for needy, often disabled, Confederate veterans with no other means of financial support. The camp was located in Richmond's West End. The farmhouse contained the home's headquarters and rooms for commissioned officers; enlisted men occupied ten cottages built on the property. Support buildings included a hospital, dining hall, recreation center, laundry, print shop, steam shop, storage building, workshop, and chicken house. Veterans also built a nondenominational chapel in 1887. The camp's heyday was from 1890 to 1910, when approximately 300 veterans were in residence at any given time. The last resident died in 1941 and the camp property reverted to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

A. P. Hill Camp, of Petersburg