GENERAL BEN HARDIN HELM CAMP #1703
SCV History
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About The GBHHelm Camp
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Camp Facts:
Official Name: General Ben Hardin Helm Camp
Camp Colors:  Maroon, Gray, White and Black
Camp CS Flag: First National of the Confederacy (This flag was the first one to fly over the new Confederate Cemetery at Mill Springs Battlefield)
Camp Newsletter: The Chickamauga
 

The General Ben Hardin Helm Camp was formed in November of 1995 by local men, who had a strong desire to erect military grave markers for Confederate soldiers.  The GBHHelm Camp received their charter on March 1st, 1996. 
 
Although many Hardin County men served in the SCV since it's beginning in 1896, no evidence of a camp has been found until the GBHHelm Camp.   
 
Harry Sommers of Elizabethtown, who was the editor of the Elizabethtown News and an influential politician of Hardin County served as a Kentucky Division Brigade commander in the 1920s.
 
The GBHHelm Camp has been very active in the SCV since 1995. The membership has increased from 13 charter members to almost 50 members in 2011.  The camp has received various awards on both National and Division levels.  Today, the camp strives to keep the Confederate history alive in Hardin County, with the main focus being on marking the graves of the soldiers who served in the War Between The States.
 
Officer elections are held every two years. The GBHHelm Camp Commander and Lt. Commander are elected by the membership.  Other offices are appointed by the commander.  Officers serve a two year term.
 
The GBHHelm Camp is an official non-profit organization and a member of the:
-Bluegrass Brigade, SCV
-Kentucky Division, SCV
-Army of Tennessee, SCV
-National, SCV

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Past Commanders of the GBHHelm Camp Include:
Joey Oller
Tim Bowman
John Clark
John Eastridge

 

CHARGE TO THE SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
"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."

Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee, Commander General,
United Confederate Veterans,
New Orleans, Louisiana, April 25, 1906.

The Kentucky Division

The Sons of Confederate Veterans was formed in 1896 by a resolution approved by the dwindling ranks of the United Confederate Veterans Association. The SCV, the direct heir of the Confederate Veterans, is the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers. The objectives of the SCV are to serve as a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Southern Cause during the war between the states. The National organization is made up of state divisions which consist of local chapters, known as camps.

Kentucky chartered its first SCV camps in 1897 at Lexington, Glasgow, Bowling Green and Richmond with R.C.P. Thomas serving as first Division Commander. There were 27 camps chartered in Kentucky by 1925 with a membership of 1,500. However, in 1939 Kentucky was reported to have only five camps with 54 members. Kentucky eventually fell below the national minimum requirement of five camps and lost its Division status. Kentuckians wishing to remain members of the SCV joined other state divisions or National Headquarters Camp. It was not until 1983 under the determination of Frank G. Rankin that Kentucky regained their Division status by chartering three new camps.

The leadership of the Kentucky Division has included many influential men. Two Louisville Mayors, Robert Worth Bingham and Charles Rowland Peaslee Farnsley served as Division Commanders. From Louisville, Biscoe Hindman led the National SCV as Commander-in-Chief in 1900. Governor Albert Chandler was well known in the SCV and was a noted speaker at Memorial Day services.

In recent years, The Kentucky Division has been active in many historical and heritage programs across the state, but most importantly have been the erection of grave markers for those Confederate Soldiers buried at Mill Springs and Tebbs Bend Battlefield, Confederate sections at Bardstown and Hopkinsville City Cemeteries and hundreds of others in various cemeteries across Kentucky. The Kentucky Sons have also had the honor of hosting the National SCV Convention in 1900, 1905 and 1993.

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What Is The SCV?

The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built.

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. Membership can be obtained through either direct or collateral family lines and kinship to a veteran must be documented genealogically. The minimum age for membership is 12.

Proof of kinship to a Confederate soldier can take many forms. The easiest method is to contact the archives of the state from which the soldier fought and obtain a copy of the veteran's military service record. All Southern states' archives have microfilm records of the soldiers who fought from that state, and a copy of the information can be obtained for a nominal fee. In addition, the former Confederate states awarded pensions to their veterans and their widows. All of these records contain a wealth of information that can be used to document military service.

The SCV has a network of genealogists to assist you in tracing your ancestor's Confederate service.

The SCV has ongoing programs at the local, state and national levels which offer members a wide range of activities. Preservation work, marking Confederate soldiers' graves, historical re-enactments, scholarly publications, and regular meetings to discuss the military and political history of the War Between the States are only a few of the activities sponsored by local units, called camps.

All state organizations, known as Divisions, hold annual conventions, and many publish regular newsletters to the membership dealing with statewide issues. Each Division has a corps of officers elected by the membership who coordinate the work of camps and the national organization.

Nationally, the SCV is governed by its members acting through elected delegates to the annual convention. The General Executive Council, composed of elected and appointed officers, conducts the organization's business between conventions. The administrative work of the SCV is conducted at the National Headquarters, 'Elm Springs,' a restored ante-bellum home at Columbia, Tennessee.

In addition to the privilege of belonging to an organization devoted exclusively to commemorating and honoring Confederate soldiers, members are eligible for other benefits. Every member receives the Confederate Veteran, the bi-monthly national magazine which contains in-depth historical articles on the war along with news affecting Southern Heritage. The programs of the SCV range from assistance to undergraduate students through the General Stand Watie Scholarship to medical research grants given through the Brooks Fund. National historical symposiums, reprinting of rare historical books, and the erection of monuments are just a few of the other projects endorsed by the SCV.

The SCV works in conjunction with other historical groups to preserve Confederate history. However, it is not affiliated with any other group or organization. The SCV rejects any group whose actions tarnish or distort the Confederate soldier or his reasons for fighting.

If you are interested in perpetuating the ideals that motivated your Confederate ancestor, the SCV needs you. The memory and reputation of the Confederate soldier as well as the motives for his suffering and sacrifice are being consciously distorted by some in attempts to alter history. Unless the descendants of Southern soldiers resist those efforts, a unique part of our nation's cultural heritage will cease to exist.

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Gen. Bennett H. Young of the U.C.V.

Gen. Bennett Henderson Young of Nicholasville, KY was Commander of the United Confederate Veterans.  He had been a colonel in the 8th Kentucky Cav. who made the famous raid into St. Albans, Vermont.  This raid was considered the most northern action of the war.  Gen. Young is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.  Young is also considered one of the fathers of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
 
The Fort Knox Military Reservation in Hardin, Meade and Bullitt Counties was first named Camp Young, after the famed Confederate Colonel.  The name was later changed to Camp Knox, after George Washington's famed general, Henry Knox of the Revolutionary War.