Sons of Confederate Veterans Leader Ron Wilson Faces Controversy

A top official of a Southern heritage group decided to get even with a writer he didn't like. But then he began to boast

SCV Chief of Heritage Defense Allen Sullivant, proprietor of the Web site, describes his goals on a page labeled 'Inspiration.'

An Unreconstructed Neo-Confederate
A few days later, Adams didn't sound so repentant. Hearing that some Florida SCV members were agitating for his ouster from his state post, Adams e-mailed his followers to insist that "no whining political opportunists are going to run me off over some stupid prank I pulled against a known enemy of the SCV."

Then he went further, claiming he had actually notified the executive council about his attack on Beirich in fall 2002, not just this last August.

"They knew about the incident for over a year, and some of them even expressed 'satisfaction' with what I had done," he wrote. "Not one of them objected to it. I notified 19 National GEC [executive council] members in September 2002 of the action I took against the SPLC. How come they waited until now to spill this to the public?"

To John Shelton Reed, an emeritus sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the famous author of many books on the South, the whole episode said something about the changing face of the SCV. The group, he said, seems increasingly political and is losing many of its best members.

"Southern gentlemen aren't what they used to be, and you can quote me on that," Reed said. "The fellows I know in the SCV would never have countenanced that. But they've already bailed out, or they're thinking about it."