Camp 96 History
Camp 96 was chartered 25 June 1898 as Camp 96, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Lawrenceville, Georgia. A Camp in the 13th Brigade, Georgia Division, Army of Tennessee. This was one year after the first meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The first commander was Col. Duncan Brown and the adjutant was J. L. Powell. The camp met monthly at the Gwinnett County Court House at 7:30 PM.
During the Great Depression, the membership dwindled and the Camp was unchartered.
In 1990, Mr. Mike Bowen, a member of the John B. Gordon Camp and a resident of Gwinnett County began recruiting men for a SCV camp in Gwinnett County. His tireless efforts produced enough initial recruits to start a camp.
The organizational meeting was held on 3 December 1990 at the Gwinnett Historical County Headquarters on Clayton Street in Lawrenceville, Ga. Mr. Kelly Barrow, Georgia Division SCV Historian was the keynote speaker.
The first regular meeting was held at 7:00 PM on 7 January 1991 at the Gwinnett Historical Society. The speaker of the evening was Mr. Wayne Stancil of the 42nd Georgia Regiment.
The rechartering ceremony was held on 23 July 1991 at 2:00 PM at the Lawrenceville Female Seminary on Perry Street in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Division Commander Charles M. Clements III presented the Camp Charter to fourteen members. Former Lawrenceville Mayor, Rhodes Jordon was the guest speaker.
The Camp was selected as the Northeast Brigadier's Camp of the year in 1994. Membership grew to 50 in that year. The Camp assisted the Nunnelly Camp in Monroe, Ga. in their successful effort to organize.
It has been the custom of the SCV to honor the memory of Confederate Veterans from their local community who served with honor during the War.
After much research, during the regular Camp meeting of 25 January 1999, a motion was made and passed to name the camp for Major William E. Simmons. Major Simmons was a native Lawrenceville War between the States hero and prominent citizen thereafter. He was a Major in the 3rd Battallion of the Georgia Sharpshooters, Confederate States Army and is buried inthe historic Shadow Lawn Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Ga.