I’ve often wondered just what percentage of Confederate veterans actually belonged to organizations such as the U.C.V. More importantly, just how many did not… and why?
I know there were some vets who didn’t think much of reunions with their former adversaries (though I cannot recall, at this time, in what sources I’ve seen this mentioned). I also know that the mandatory endorsement of pension applications by local U.C.V. camps (at least in Virginia) occurred without the applying vet being a member of the organization. It would seem like a perfect opportunity to join, but from what I’ve seen, it appears that a good number refrained from going that extra step. So, I’m left with the idea that those in the organizations actually were small by comparison with the greater representation remaining out of the ranks. If they were so concerned (as several seem to suggest these days) with the preservation of the legacy of the “Lost Cause”, why weren’t more of them members? Was it because they felt the past would be best if left to the past? It was part of their lives… their memories, but had most of them moved on? How many today, speak in a manner very contradictory to how their Confederate ancestors represented themselves. ..or, more importantly, how they did not represent themselves in organizations and/or events?