1908 Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans

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The 1908 Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans was held in June 911, 1908 as the 18th annual meeting of the United Confederate Veterans organization. It was organized by the UCV, the United Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Southern Confederate Memorial Association. J. M. Wilzin chaired the reunion committee.

As Division Commander for Alabama, George Harrison served as chief marshal of the parade. He was escorted by Sarah Lee Evans, daughter of Clement Evans of Georgia, serving as "Sponsor of the South". She was attended by maids Varina Cook of Arkansas and Emma Leedy of Birmingham.

According to an editorial by W. E. Doyle published in the Confederate Veteran, it had become common for the aging veterans, living meagerly from pensions, to be overlooked during the reunions as the organizations made up of their sons and daughters planned elaborate concerts and balls which were beyond their ability to afford. The editors published the letter, but countered that the organizations made it a practice to raise a fund to offset the costs for those being honored, and that residents of the host city sought out veterans to see that they were, "given the best of everything, regardless of inconvenience or expense."

To this end, a "large, commodious, well-ventilated building" was constructed at the Alabama State Fairgrounds to serve as the "Hotel John B. Gordon", housing veterans at no charge, and serving food for a nominal charge from a nearby mess hall. Streetcar tickets for the 12-minute ride to downtown were free to those attending. A band was also provided to the camp for entertainment. Distinguished guests were hosted in private homes and organizers and executives of the various participating organizations used the Hillman Hotel as their headquarters. Forrest's Cavalry Corps, commanded by H. A. Tyler, occupied rooms at the Morris Hotel and arranged for 300 horses for its escort company during the parade. Additional horses or carriages could be obtained from a committee chaired by Byron Dozier.

Coinciding with the veterans' reunion, the United Confederate Choirs of America held their own 2nd annual convention on June 10 in the Florence Hotel.



  • Confederate Veteran (May 1908), Vol. 16, No. 5