Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow veterans. Thank you for your sacrifices and your service to our country.
Over at Crossroads, Brooks has highlighted why many confederate heritage advocates are despicable scum. Note that the group in question claims affiliation with the Virginia SCV. I’m not surprised. The big question is what is the Virginia SCV going to do about it?
Perhaps they’ll try to palm off the lie that confederate veterans are American veterans.
They aren’t. Some confederate heritage advocates will make the absurd claim that confederate veterans are American veterans by act of Congress. They aren’t. No act of Congress declared confederate veterans to be American veterans. They were declared to be Civil War veterans.
38 US Code 1501 (3) says, “The term ‘Civil War veteran’ includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term “active military or naval service” includes active service in those forces.” It includes confederate veterans as Civil War veterans, not as American veterans.
Congress has authorized government-paid headstones for graves of confederate veterans, and in 1958 authorized payments to widows of confederate veterans as well as a pension to any surviving confederate veterans [there were none].
Here’s that legislation:
It modified a law passed the year before for payments to widows. Here are the relevant parts of that bill.
As we can see, it talks about “Civil War veterans.” The definition of a “Civil War veteran” was expanded in 1958 to include confederate veterans. The US was magnanimous thanks to Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn (D-Texas). The Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs was Representative Olin E. Teague (D-Texas). The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs wasn’t created until 1970. Prior to that, veterans legislation was handled by the Senate Committees on Finance and Labor and Public Welfare [see here]. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and the Public Welfare was Senator Joseph Lister Hill, (D-Alabama). Anyone see any trends in this? They voted pensions to widows of confederate veterans and that worthy effort has today been perverted to a lie that the Congress declared confederate veterans to be American veterans when in fact instead of serving our country they were traitors to the United States of America.
So when someone from the heritage instead of history crowd tries to tell you confederate veterans are American veterans by act of Congress, you can set them straight.