The Century Chest Collection

History of the Daughters of the Confederacy

(Transcribed from the original)

United Daughters of the Confederacy.
The aims and ideals of this organization are memorial, historical, benevolent, educational, and social, namely, to honor the memory of those who fell in the service of the Confederacy, to obtain and preserve material for a truthful history of the War Between the States, to endeavor to have it correctly taught in the schools, to protect historic places of the Confederacy, to fulfill the sacred duty of charity to surviving veterans and those dependent on them, to cherish the ties of friendship among members of the organization and to record the part taken by Southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle, as well as their untiring efforts after the war in the reconstruction of the South.
The constitution provides that those women are entitled to membership who are the widows, wives, mothers, sisters and nieces and lineal descendants of such men as served honorably in the Confederate army, navy or civil service; or of those men, unfit for active duty, who loyally gave aid to the cause. Also Southern women who can give proof of personal service or loyal aid to Southern cause during the war and the lineal descendants of such women. The whole membership is based on Confederate blood, the one exception being a Northern woman who marries a Confederate veteran and this honor dies with her.

This organization is unique among organizations; it is easy to champion a cause when success has placed upon its brow the laurel crown of victory but where in all the history of the world, save among the followers of the Confederacy, do we find intelligent, enthusiastic men and women giving their time, talents and hearts & affections to a Cause that is lost? And though the Cause of our fathers did not succeed, it will live in the hearts of their descendants and their deeds if valor will be told in song and story and we will teach his children and have them teach their children and their children tell it yet to another generation, that though the banner of our fathers is furled, never to kiss the breeze again, we, their daughters, cherish it and the principles for which it stood and our children shall  no longer be taught that Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis were traitors.

80,000 of these women are today banded together, doing the work of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
Beginning with the dark days following the War between the States, Southern women, by common impulse, associated themselves together for the purpose of caring for wounded soldiers, for securing hospital supplies and in many instances, assisted by faithful slaves, in burying the dead.

After the war was over memorial associations were formed in the various Southern states for providing a last resting place for the many Confederate dead scattered throughout the country and when ever possible, each state gathered together her own, placing them in separate cemeteries and erecting monuments to their memory. In instances where it was not possible to bring them home, the women collected money to assist in building a general monument, such as they Pyramid, in Hollywood, in Richmond, where lie buried 16,000 Confederate dead, representing every Southern state, many of them marked "Unkown", the saddest epitaph ever carved above a soldiers grave. It is said that the first monument ever erected to a woman by women, was that one raised over the grave of Anne Carter Lee, daughter of General Robert E. Lee, in 1866. Gen. Lee's family found that it was necessary for them to evacuate their home early in the hostilities and after trying several temporary homes, drifted down to the then famous Warren County White Sulphur Springs in North Carolina and it was here in 1862 that the frail daughter Anne passed into the unknown. The marking of her grave by a handful of Confederate Daughters, seven in number, with Mrs. Jos. Speed Jones as chairmen, formed the corner-stone of the United Daughter of the Confederacy.

However, no permanent organization was formed until after the federation known as the United Confederate Veterans, when they by natural process became "daughters of the Confederacy" and these were formally organized into a body known as "the United Daughters of the Confederacy" on September 10th, 1894 at Nashville, Tenn., and Mrs. M. C. Goodlett, of that city was recognized as the founder of the order and so called. The same idea seems to have fostered in other minds, just as memorial day came into existence in many Southern localities at nearly the same time, and the first constitution and by-laws were drawn by Mrs. L. H. Raines of Savannah, George.

The badge adopted by the U.D.C. is of gold and consists of the flag the Confederacy, known as the "Stars and Bars", surrounded by a wreath of laurel, with the letters U.D.C. under its folds and on the loop of the ribbon beneath it, the years 1861-65, and to honor its significance, it is forbidden to make it into ornaments: it is never places on sale in the stores: none may wear it save a Daughter of Confederacy, and she may procure it only through her chapter president. The emblem of the U.D.C. represents a full cotton boll (sic), suggestive of the wealth of the South, before the war, places against a large star, on the five points of which are engraved the words "dare, think, pray, live, love".

The seal of the U.D.C. consists of a reproduction of the great seal of the Confederacy, with the addition of the inscription, "The United Daughters of the Confederacy on the outer rim.

The great seal was designed by and made by Joseph Wyon of London in 1864 for James M. Mason and was the symbolic emblem of the sovereignty of the Confederacy and the motto of the seal was "Deo Vindice".

At the fourth convention, which convened in Baltimore in 1897, the Grand Division of Confederate Women of Virginia, came into the organization and in 1898 at Hot Springs, Ark., the Daughters of the Confederacy of Missouri relinquished their separate organization and joined the general order.

At the convention which met in Richmond, Va. In 1899, resolutions were passed adopting the name "War Between the States" to describe the struggle of 1861-1865 and the "Confederate Veteran", published at Nashville, Tenn. by Mr. S. A. Cuningham, one of the most honored and revered soldier patriots of the South, was recognized as the official organ.
The idea of the Southern Cross of Honor given by the Daughters to Confederate veterans and descendants of decreased soldiers and sailor, originated with Mrs. Mary Ann Cobb Erwin, Athens, Ga.

The design offered by Mrs. S. E. Gabbett, Atlanta, Ga., Chairman of the committee appointed by Mrs. Katie Cabell Currie, President U.D.C., at Hot Springs, Ark., Nov. 1898, to procure designs, was accepted at Richmond Va., Nov. 1899.

The birthday of Jefferson Davis, (June 3rd.) and that of Robert E. Lee, (January 19th.) have annual observance and Crosses of Honor are bestowed on these dates.

The motto of the U.D.C. is "Lest We Forget".

There are now chapters in 33 States and Territories, in the District of Columbia and the Republic of Mexico, with a total membership of 80,000.

The Indian Territory Division of the U.D.C. was organized August, 1903 in Durant, Mrs. Katie Cabell Currie of Texas acting as temporary chairman, with eight chapters represented; -namely, Chickasaw Chapter, Ardmore; Gov. Guy Chapter, Davis; Lee-Jackson Chapter, Chickasha; Mrs. Stonewall Jackson, Purcell; Chelsea Chapter, Chelsea Chapter, Chelsea;  Choctaw Chapter. South Mcalester and the charter chapter of the Division, Stonewall Jackson of McAlester.
Mrs. W. T. Culbertson was elected president, being re-elected at each successive convention, declining the nomination in 1907 in McAlester when Mrs. Zol Wood of Purcell was chosen for this position.

The Oklahoma Territory Division was organized in 1905 in Oklahoma City, the following chapters being represented: ---Gen. S. J. Wilkin, Altus; Mildred Lee, Lawton; Robt. E. Lee, Pawnee; Marian Wallace Vail afterward known as the oklahoma City Chapter of Oklahoma City.

Mrs. Ruth Tesson, Oklahoma City was elected president and served two years, until the time of her death.
After the two Territories became the state of Oklahoma, in accordance with the rules of the general organization, prohibiting two Divisions within the confines of one State, plans were made for amalgamating the two Divisions. This was accomplished with the aid of an amalgamation committee consisting of members from each Division, meeting in Sulphur, August 6-12, 1908. Mrs. W. T. Culbertson of Kiowa was chosen president of the new Division, serving the two successive years.

Mrs. W. R. Clement of Oklahoma City served the Division as president During the years 19010-12, being succeeded in office by Mrs. T. D. Davis, of McAlester, the present incumbent.

It was during Mrs. Clements's administration that the Confederate Home, located at Ardmore, was completed; the Division had worked long looking to the realization of this dream, every chapter giving liberally of its labor and means.
Mr. W. F. Gilmer aided very materially in collecting money for the "Home", which was builded largely subscription, later receiving State aid. This institution is now caring for 74 persons, all Confederate veterans of their wives or widows. It is governed by a Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor and is as follows: -- -- D. M. Hailey, McAlester; John Threadgill, Oklahoma City; R. A. Sneed, Lawton; George H. Bruce, Ardmore; J. W. Blanton, Rocky; N. F. Hancock, Muskogee and Mrs. W. R. Clement, Okla. City.

The Educational work having been taken up methodically only two years ago, has three scholarships to its credit. An Oklahoma girl, Miss Flo Alexander of Armore winning the $1000 Bristol scholarship at Washington, D. C.; Miss Willie Shipley of Mangum being awarded the Alabama scholarship and our very own scholarship at the Chickasha Industrial school and College held by Miss Marita Baldridge, Mountain View

Oklahoma Division is aiding in the two great works of the General organization, namely the erection of a monument of the Shiloh battlefield and one at Arlington National Cemetery. The State Director in the former is Mrs. D. A. McDougal of Sapulpa and in the latter, Mrs. W. R. Clement of Oklahoma City.

Just here it seems well to mention an item of interest, that is that the first two presidents of the Oklahoma State Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. John Threadgill and Mrs. D. A. McDougal are also efficient members of the U.D.C. That Mrs. W. N. Redwine, State Regent, D.A.R. is also an ardent U.D.C. is another source of pride.

The present Oklahoma City Chapter, No. 1181, was organized in 1905 and was known as the Marian Wallace Vail Chapter. Mrs. J. W. Bookwalter was selected for the first chapter president. In 1906 Mrs. John Threadgill was made president, she being followed in office by Mrs. W. R. Clement, who during her administration was advanced to president of the State Division. Mrs. Clement was succeeded by Mrs. John Graves, she in turn being succeeded by Mrs. R. E. Looney.
The chapter has a well established social standing, their annual ball being one of the big social features of the year. They are always hospitable to the stranger within their gates; also giving lectures, musicals and card-parties to raise funds to carry on their work in charitable and intellectual lines. Assisting on these occasions, are the white haired haired (sic) veterans and sons of veterans and many are the pleasant meetings of these organizations.

Numbering over a hundred members, regular meetings are held in the homes of members, the 4th. Monday in each month, taking on the nature of social affairs, with a program of music, readings and Southern History. Officers at ptesent are: --
There is much work accomplished aling (sic) lines memorial, historical, benevolent, educational and social.

The United Daughyers (sic) of the Confederacy are a practical body, engaged in much active philanthropy but the nature of our formation is such that much of our work deals with "Old unhappy far off things, And battles long ago".

We do endeavor to see that the tongue of tradition is not swallowed up in silence. We do not seek to stir the dying ember of hate, nor would we, if we could, fan fury into flame; under the benevolent smile of Peace, the sections have reached an understanding, where respect is rapidly ripening into regard. This has brought about that unique condition, difficult for those not allied with us to understand, that is, a class of people, loyal to a re-united country, loving its institutions and its flag, giving their sons to die under its starry folds, teaching exalted patriotism and extreme Americanism, yet binding to rheir (sic) hearts a blood stained banner, forever furled, and weeping over the fallen hosts of the Gray.

Proud of our re-united country and tis manifest great destiny, we yield to no oyher (sic) section in the depth of our devotion, but we would to untrue to ourselves if we would prove unfaithful to our own or ever fail to tell in solemn sweetness,

"The story and the glory
Of the men wore the Gray"

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