Confederate Medal of Honor

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The Confederate Medal of Honor was first conceptualized and authorized on October 13, 1862 by the Confederate Congress and began establishing a Roll of Honor for soldiers and sailors who had performed above and beyond the call of duty. However, due to metal shortages and the subsequent dissolution of the Confederacy in 1865, the award was never realized. [1]

Beginning in 1977, the Sons of Confederate Veterans began minting a medal to recognize the bravery of these American soldiers who had been forgotten for over a century. The first 48 awards were made based on the original roll of honor compiled during the war, but have since added more honorees. Little more than 50 CMOHs have been awarded, compared to about 1,500 Federal MOHs awarded during the American Civil War.[2] The SCV uses the more modern standard of valor for new nominees, whereas the Federal MOH was presented from 1861-1865 much more liberally.

The same Roll of Honor established by the Confederate Government in 1862 also listed 2,104 soldiers for acts of valor comparable to the British Army's "Mentioned in Dispatches". Unlike the Confederate Medal of Honor, the government never intended any physical medal to accompany this honor. However, after the success of the medal of honor program, the SCV minted a medal for the 2,104 honorees also on this list. This second-tier medal is the Confederate Roll of Honor.[1][2]

In spite the similar sounding names, the Confederate Medal of Honor is NOT related in any way to the Southern Cross of Honor. The CMOH is an award for extreme valor in battle and is comparable to the Federal Medal of Honor, while the Cross of Honor is more akin to an Honorable Service campaign medal, presented by the United Daughters of the Confederacy from 1900-1913 to 78,761 Confederate veterans for honorable service during the war.

Notable recipients[edit]

Some notable recipients include :[2]

Maj.Gen. Camille de Polignac
Maj.Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne (KIA)
Brig.Gen. Wade Hampton III (Later promoted to Lt.Gen. of the Cavalry Corps Army of Northern Virginia)
Brig.Gen. W. Dorsey Pender (KIA) West Point Class of 1854
Brig.Gen. Richard B. Garnett (KIA) West Point Class of 1841
Brig.Gen. Thomas Green (KIA) As a major, commanded the artillery at the Battle of San Jacinto under General Sam Houston.
Capt. Isaac Newton Brown, CSN of the CSS Arkansas
Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest (Later promoted to Lt.Gen. of the Cavalry Corps Army of Tennessee)
Maj. John Pelham (KIA) West Point Class of 1861 (Posthumously promoted to Lt.Col. as J.E.B. Stuart's artillery chief)
Capt. John Singleton Mosby (Later promoted to Col. of the 43rd Virginia Cavalry)
The entire 8-man crew of the CSS H.L. Hunley (KIA)
Capt. Henry Wirz (Unjustly hanged in 1865)
1st Lt. Richard W. Dowling (Later promoted to Maj. of the 1st Texas Artillery) for the Second Battle of Sabine Pass
Nurse Juliet Opie Hopkins (WIA in 1862)

It is worth noting that Nurse Hopkins, the only female recipient of the Confederate Medal of Honor, received her award for treating wounded men under fire in 1962 wherein she was twice wounded by enemy fire at the Battle of Seven Pines. By comparison, the only female recipient of the Federal Medal of Honor is Mary Edwards Walker who was never under fire and only treated soldiers behind the lines after battles.

Other CSA Honors[edit]

The Confederate Medal of Honor with little over 50 recipients.
The Confederate Roll of Honor with 2,104 recipients.
The David Guard Medal a one-time award to the 50 men of F Battery, 1st Texas Artillery at the Second Battle of Sabine Pass[3].
The New Market Cross of Honor presented by the Virginia Government to the 294 cadets of the Virginia Military Institute present at the Battle of New Market in May 1864. The Corps of Cadets suffered 10 KIA and 47 WIA at the battle[3] for a casualty rate of just over 19%.
The Southern Cross of Honor presented by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to 78,761 living Confederate veterans from 1900-1913 for honorable service, without regard to any unique act of valor.
The Civil War Campaign Medal issued by the U.S. Government in 1906 to servicemen on both sides of the war.


  1. ^ a b "Home". Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Confederate Medal of Honor Winners" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  3. ^ a b "Medals and Honors". Retrieved 23 June 2017.