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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dixie Man

My husband had a very interesting meeting this morning.

For some weeks, my husband was corresponding with a fellow from an organization called the Sons of Confederate Veterans. My husband, while born and raised in Texas, had ancestors in Louisiana who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV, for short) purports itself to be an organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Confederate soldiers who fought to keep the South free from Union control and interference. Members must be documented heirs of the Confederate soldiers.

From a video called "The Irish Brigade". Many Irish immigrants were put into service on both sides of the Civil War, some enlisting as soon as they'd disembarked from the immigrant ships as a means of securing their families' new existence in America ("Gangs of New York" does a pretty good portrayal of this practice). Pic (and video) found here

Though my husband never had much to do with this organization, his family in Texas did. His brother was a member of the SCV, and they paid his funeral expenses when my husband's brother died in a car accident. Since his brother had been able to procure the required proof of ancestry, my husband figured it wouldn't be too hard for him to join the SCV as well. When asked, my husband responded that he would be joining the SCV for both fellowship in the Southern cause, and networking with the intention of picking up gigs from time to time. While I supported my husband's decision, I had some reservations about him joining the SCV. For one, solidarity organizations like this tend to be targeted by infiltrators from intelligence agencies, or used as fronts for ones. While the SCV goes back to the late 19th Century, long before the birth of most intelligence agencies to lend itself credibility to not being a front, it didn't rule out the possibilities of infiltrators since the Anti-Defamation League has labeled the SCV as a hate organization. My husband, who had more than his fair share of dealing with infiltrators of one stripe or another, acknowledged the possibility but didn't give it much thought.

Today was the introductory meeting for new members to the SCV here in southern Arizona. The subject discussed was the role of Arizona during the Civil War. Arizona, according to the leader, requested assistance from the Confederacy because Apache attacks were making living on the frontier dangerous, and that calls to the Union for help had gone unheeded. The Confederacy responded by sending out some assistance to the then Arizona Territory. See map below for reference.

There's something you don't learn much of in school. Pic found here

It may surprise some of you to know that what is today southern Arizona actually seceded with the Confederacy. It was that decision that made the Union government move the state capital from Tucson to Phoenix, where it remains the capital to this day.

Other than that interesting little geographical tidbit, there were some plans discussed regarding a day trip to a shooting range and just general chitchat. My husband got to meet some of the other members. Only men are allowed at SCV meetings, but despite some elderly members, my husband was not the youngest one there. There was a man in his thirties who was of mixed Mexican and White ancestry. He and my husband got to talking, and they hit it off pretty well. My husband's impression of this organization is so far pretty good. If they have a branch for women, I might look into getting involved too. I love history, and though I'm a 2nd generation Serb, my marriage to a descendant of a Confederate veteran might be acceptable grounds for admission.

I still have my reservations about the SCV, but only time will tell if I'm right or just paranoid.

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