The “other” Southern Cross of HonorGood Saturday morning to you Civil War buffs! Last week we discussed the Confederate Medal of Honor also known as the Southern Cross of Honor. This week we’ll look at the “other” Southern Cross of Honor and its rich history.
After the Civil War many groups were established to honor, remember and help Civil War veterans. One of those groups was the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Formed in 1894 their goals then as today are to protect and preserve Confederate history, to honor the memory of those that served and to remember the support given by Southern women in the war effort, just to name a few. You can read about these in more detail here on the about page.
The highly regarded Southern Cross of Honor was awarded by the UDC. It was in 1898 at a reunion of Confederate veterans, Mary Ann Lamar Cobb Erwin came up with the idea of honoring these veterans. Along with Sarah E. Gabbett they designed a medal. The wonderfully distinct Southern Cross is in the shape of a Maltese cross with a laurel wreath and image of a Confederate flag in the center.
The Cross from the UDC would become a sacred recognition of loyal and honorable service to the Confederacy for veterans. From the first Cross presented in 1900 to 1913 there were 78,761 awarded. The Cross was so highly honored that in Virginia it was a misdemeanor to wear a Southern Cross if you did not have the right to do so.
You may wonder if your Confederate ancestor received a Southern Cross. There is a way to research this. The United Daughters of the Confederacy do not have the original applications made by veterans for the Cross but they do have ledgers documenting those soldiers who did receive the award. Information found in these ledgers include names and the unit of each Cross recipient and some even have the date and place the award was given.
There is a .pdf on their website here to make a research request. There is a fee for this service.
The Southern Cross of Honor, a revered honor for Confederate veterans. Did your ancestor receive one? Please tell us his story in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Civil War Saturday!