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Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home (1884-1941), Richmond. Application for Admission, 1915.
N. Johnson Agnew, of Floyd County, submitted his application for admission to the Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home in January 1915. The Richmond institution's records include thousands of such applications, a detailed source of information on the families, military service, physical description and health, even the financial status of numerous Confederate veterans in Virginia. The collection also includes registers of residents, applications for leaves of absence and discharges, and the minutes of the home's board of visitors. The materials, totaling more than twenty-two linear feet and nine volumes, were presented to the Library by the Virginia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, in March 1958.
Concerned with the plight of so many "invalid and infirm" former comrades, a group of Confederate veterans had met in Richmond on 18 April 1883 to form a benevolent society to minister to the disabled and indigent veterans. The organization was incorporated on 13 March 1884 and opened its home on 1 January 1885 at a site in western Richmond. On 12 February 1886, the General Assembly passed an act authorizing a small annual appropriation and appointed several state officers as ex officio members of the institution's board of visitors. Even with a membership that by the 1890s included many prominent and well-to-do Richmonders, the Robert E. Lee Camp board found that fund-raising for its principal program remained modest. It became increasingly difficult to maintain such a large number of sick, disabled, and elderly veterans in adequate fashion. A sympathetic legislature agreed to increase its annual appropriation substantially by an act passed on 3 March 1892. In return, the Robert E. Lee Camp deeded its property to the state. The home remained open until the last resident died in 1941.
Location: Acc. 24736, Record Group 52