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Forming the Lines 

Welcome to the official home website of Camp Douglas Memorial #516, Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Our camp is named after the Union prisoner of war camp that was located on the south side of Chicago.  It is estimated from cemetery records and press accounts, that 6,000 Confederate soldiers died in the camp, and are now buried at Oakwood Cemetery.  The cemetery is located near 67th Avenue and Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago.  The burial site is considered to be the largest mass grave site in the Western Hemisphere.  Our camp was first organized and chartered on July 9, 1989 and was named The Andrew Jackson Eaton Camp.  At that time there were only 13 founding members.  The first commander was Andrew Wilson.  James F Barr, DCS, and Compatriot Donald Hatch are the only founding member still with the camp.  The name was later changed to honor the Camp Douglas dead.  Our camp performs a memorial service at Oakwood Cemetery every April.  This service is open to the public.  Our camp is part of the Illinois Division.  The Illinois Division is a part of the Army of Tennessee.  The Army of Tennessee makes up one of three armies that comprise the Sons of Confederate Veterans national organization.

After Camp Douglas was founded on July, 9, 1989 we were assigned the number of 1507 by SCV International Headquarters.  It would be nearly 15 years later that it was discovered there was an SCV camp in Chicago as early as May 30, 1895.  A Chicago Tribune newspaper article relates to the Memorial Day observances at Confederate Mound.  The original camp was named John T. Graves, then it was renamed, General Nathan Bedford Forrest.  It was during the transition years that the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) had their 1929 National Reunion in Chicago on 8 June 1929.  The transition years was the time that the UCV, made up of the original Confederate Veterans, was fast becoming the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans).  In the summer of 2009 Camp Douglas asked International Headquarters if we could retire the number 1507, and use the original number assigned to Chicago.  Our request was granted, and the number 1507 was retired only to be used should a second SCV camp be formed in Chicago.         

The men who are members of the camp have all traced their genealogy back to one or more Confederate soldier(s) who served honorably with the Confederate Armed Forces between 1861-1865.  Our roster now has 66 members.  Our members come from all walks of life.  Membership is open to any male 12 years or older.  We do have a camp genealogist who can assist you with your ancestor search.  Our members do battlefield and living history re-enactments, competition black powder shooting matches.  One of our national projects that we are participating is to locate, and mark unknown Confederate soldiers graves throughout Illinois.  One of our goals is to insure that the War Between the States is taught accurately.  We have found many Confederate ancestors with a diverse range of ethnic heritages! American Indians (from the 5 civilized nations, led by Gen. Stan Watie), African-American (estimates range from 36,000 to 90,000 troops), Hispanic ( regiments formed in Texas) as well as, Anglo, Jewish, Irish, Scottish, French-Creole and others. 

Today the SCV has nearly 30,000 members from all over the United States, Europe, and Asia. As we continue to grow, we invite you to join the descendants of yours and others Confederate ancestors.   

The Sons of Confederate Veterans was formed 1896 as a lineal descendent and heritage society.  One of the last living Confederate Generals, Gen. S.D. Lee, passed the Confederate battle flag to the members of the 1906 convention in New Orleans, Louisiana told them:

"To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish."

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (S.C.V.) is a non-profit, non-political organization.  The S.C.V. objects to the use of our sacred battle flag as a symbol for hate groups, but rather we support its preservation.

Confederate Memorial marker at Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.


“For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago....William Faulkner, Intruder In The Dust”

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