Mississippi Department of Archives and History

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Z 1907.000



The Mississippi Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held its first convention on April 27, 1897, at Meridian, but individual chapters had already begun organizing as early as 1893.

The Southern Cross of Honor was a bronze medal given by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to a Confederate veteran of the army or navy, his widow, or his eldest lineal descendant. The idea originated in 1898 with Mary Ann Lamar Cobb Erwin, and the design was submitted by Mrs. S. E. Gabbett in 1899. The medal was cast in the shape of a Maltese cross at a cost of thirteen cents. The design and cost were to be kept simple so that the medal itself would not be intrinsically valued but that its sentimental value would increase with time.

The first Southern Cross of Honor medal was awarded on April 26, 1900, one of the memorial days designated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The medal was awarded until 1951. Apparently, no more medals were available after that time. In 1954, the United Daughters of the Confederacy began collecting medals for donation to museums.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy has continued giving other memorial awards to veterans of foreign wars. The idea of the Cross of Military Service, given to descendants of Confederate veterans serving in other wars, originated in 1918 with Mary B. Poppenheim and was first awarded in 1923 for service in World War I.

Scope and Content:

The two ledgers recording the recipients of the Southern Cross of Honor appear to be the statewide record for Mississippi from 1900 to 1918. The ledgers were organized in approximate chronological order by each successive recording secretary. The bulk of the records cover the years 1907 to 1918, but a few records refer to awards given as early as 1900. Of particular interest as a source for genealogical and historical information are the listings of veterans' units and time of service. There is no index.

Series Identification:

  1. Ledgers. 1900-1918. 2 bound volumes.

    Volume 1 follows an approximate chronological order. Volume 2 follows a reverse chronological order. Both volumes list the following categories on the record sheets: name of veteran, rank, company and regiment, dates enlisted and discharged, veteran's camp, chapter bestowing the cross, date of bestowal, name of descendant or of widow, endorsers of the veteran, chapter president, and state recorder.

    [Volume 1] 1900-1913 (bulk 1907-1912)
    [Volume 2] 1911-1918 (bulk 1912-1918)

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