United Daughters of the Confederacy

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This article is about the nonprofit organization. For Memorial Building of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, see Memorial to Women of the Confederacy.
United Daughters
of the
United Daughters of the Confederacy logo.png
Abbreviation UDC
Motto "Think, Love, Pray, Dare, Live"
Established September 10, 1894; 122 years ago (1894-09-10)
  • Caroline Goodlett
  • Anna Raines
Founded at Nashville, Tennessee
Type Nonprofit organization
Purpose Historical, benevolent, educational and social
Headquarters Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates 37°33′26″N 77°28′26″W / 37.5571518°N 77.4738453°W / 37.5571518; -77.4738453
Membership (2015)
Patricia Bryson
  • Frances Woodruff
  • Jennie Stone
  • Michele Miller
Karen Pieroni
Linda Edwards
General Executive Board
Publication UDC Magazine
Subsidiaries Children of the Confederacy
Website hqudc.org
Formerly called
National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Inc., also known as the UDC, is a hereditary society of Southern women established on September 10, 1894, at Nashville, Tennessee, by Caroline Goodlett and Anna Raines. The name United Daughters of the Confederacy is a registered trademark, registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The organization was incorporated on July 18, 1919. The trustees of the corporation are the President-General, Recording Secretary-General, and Treasurer-General. The UDC is a nonprofit organization and it meets the requirements of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c)(3) as a tax-exempt organization. The headquarters is located in the Memorial Building to the Women of the Confederacy, 328 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia.[1][2]


The official badge of the UDC is a representation of the First National Flag of the Confederate States of America in scarlet, white, and blue enamel surrounded by a laurel wreath, with the monogram "UDC" under the Flag and "61-65" on the loops of the bow that ties the wreath.[3][4] It was designed by Theus Bros. of Savannah.[5]


"The business and objects of the UDC is historical, benevolent, educational and social—to honor the memory of those who served and those who fell in the service of the Confederate States; to protect, preserve, and mark places made historic by Confederate valor; to collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States; to record the part taken by Southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle for independence, as in untiring efforts during the reconstruction of the South; to fulfill the sacred duty of benevolence towards the survivors and towards those dependent upon them; to assist descendants of worthy Confederate veterans in securing proper education and to cherish the ties of friendship among the members of the Organization."[6]


Early work[edit]

Monument dedicated August 8, 1908, by the A. J. Bates and James H. Berry chapters of the U. D. C.

Across the Southern United States, associations were founded after the Civil War, chiefly by women, to organize burials of Confederate soldiers, establish and care for permanent cemeteries, organize commemorative ceremonies, and sponsor impressive monuments as a permanent way of remembering the Confederate cause and tradition.[7] They were "strikingly successful at raising money to build monuments, lobbying legislatures and Congress for the reburial of Confederate dead, and working to shape the content of history textbooks."[8] They also raised money to care for the widows and children of the Confederate dead. Most of these memorial associations gradually merged into the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which grew from 17,000 total members in 1900 to nearly 100,000 by World War I.[9]


Monument dedicated September 19, 1928, by the James F. Fagan and Jenkins' Ferry chapters of the U. D. C.

The UDC was influential primarily in the early twentieth century across the South, where its main role was to preserve and uphold the memory of the Confederate veterans, especially those husbands, sons, fathers and brothers who died in the Civil War. Memory and memorials became the central focus of the organization.[10][11]

Historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall argues that the UDC was a powerful promoter of women's history:

"UDC leaders were determined to assert women's cultural authority over virtually every representation of the region's past. This they did by lobbying for state archives and museums, national historic sites, and historic highways; compiling genealogies; interviewing former soldiers; writing history textbooks; and erecting monuments, which now moved triumphantly from cemeteries into town centers. More than half a century before women's history and public history emerged as fields of inquiry and action, the UDC, with other women's associations, strove to etch women's accomplishments into the historical record and to take history to the people, from the nursery and the fireside to the schoolhouse and the public square."[12]

"The number of women's clubs devoted to filiopietism and history was staggering," says Historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage. He notes two typical club women in Texas and Mississippi, who between them belonged to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Daughters of the Pilgrims, Daughters of the War of 1812, Daughters of Colonial Governors, and Daughters of the Founders and Patriots of America, Order of the First Families of Virginia, and the Colonial Dames of America, as well as a few other historically oriented societies. Comparable men, on the other hand, were much less interested in historical organizations, and devoted their energies to secret fraternal societies, while they emphasized athletic, political and financial exploits. Brundage notes that after women's suffrage came in 1920, the historical role of the women's organizations eroded.[13]


After 1900 the UDC became an umbrella organization coordinating local memorial groups.[14] The UDC women specialized in sponsoring local memorials. After 1945, they were active in placing historical markers along Southern highways.[15] The UDC has also been active in national causes during wartime. According to the organization, during World War I, it funded 70 hospital beds at the American Military Hospital on the Western front and contributed over US$82,000 for French and Belgian war orphans. The homefront campaign raised $24 million for war bonds and savings stamps. Members also donated $800,000 to the Red Cross. During World War II, they gave financial aid to student nurses. The UDC donated $50,000 for the construction of a Confederate memorial hall on the campus of Vanderbilt University in 1935.[16][17] By August 2016, the university returned $1.2 million to the UDC after the board of trust, backed by anonymous donors, agreed to remove the word "Confederate" from the building.[16][17]


The UDC encouraged women to publish their experiences in the war, beginning with biographies of major southern figures, such as Varina Davis's of her husband Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. Later, women began adding more of their own experiences to the "public discourse about the war", in the form of memoirs, such as those published in the early 1900s by Sara Pryor, Virginia Clopton, Louise Wright and others. They also recommended structures for the memoirs. By the turn of the twentieth century, a dozen memoirs by southern women were published. They constituted part of the growing public memory about the antebellum years and the Lost Cause, as they vigorously defended the Confederacy.[18]

Children of the Confederacy[edit]

The Children of the Confederacy, also known as the CofC, is an auxiliary organization to the UDC. The official name is Children of the Confederacy of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It comprises children from birth through the time of the Children of the Confederacy Annual General Convention following their 18th birthday. All Children of the Confederacy chapters are sponsored by UDC chapters.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UDC Handbook March 2013, pp. 3-5.
  2. ^ Minutes 2014, p. 12.
  3. ^ UDC Handbook March 2013, p. 6.
  4. ^ Minutes 2014, p. 52.
  5. ^ History 1956, p. 156.
  6. ^ Minutes 1944, pp. 290-291.
  7. ^ Cynthia Mills and Pamela H. Simpson, eds., Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (2003)
  8. ^ Faust 2008, pp. 237–247.
  9. ^ Blight 2001, pp. 272–273.
  10. ^ Cynthia Mills, and Pamela Hemenway Simpson, eds. Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (U. of Tennessee Press, 2003)
  11. ^ Megan B. Boccardi, "Remembering in Black and White: Missouri Women's Memorial Work, 1860-1910" (PhD. Dissertation, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2011, online Archived July 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine..
  12. ^ Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "'You must remember this': Autobiography as social critique." Journal of American History (1998): 439-465 at p 450. in JSTOR Archived July 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ W. Fitzhugh Brundage, "White Women and the Politics of Historical Memory in the New South, 1880-1920." in Jane Dailey, Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, & Bryant Simon, eds., Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton UP, 2000) pp. 115-39. esp. 119, 123, 131
  14. ^ Janney, 2012
  15. ^ H. E. Gulley, "Women and the Lost Cause: Preserving A Confederate Identity in the American Deep South." Journal of Historical Geography (1993) 19#2 pp 125-141
  16. ^ a b Tamburin, Adam (August 15, 2016). "Vanderbilt to remove 'Confederate' from building name". The Tennessean. Retrieved August 15, 2016. Anonymous donors recently gave the university the $1.2 million needed for that purpose; the Vanderbilt Board of Trust authorized the move this summer. 
  17. ^ a b Koren, Marina (August 15, 2016). "The College Dorm and the Confederacy". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 15, 2016. Vanderbilt will return $1.2 million to the Tennessee chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the present value of the $50,000 the group donated to the school in 1933 for the construction of the dorm. [...] The $1.2 million payment will come from anonymous donors who gave specifically for the removal of the inscription, the school said. 
  18. ^ Gardner 2006, pp. 128–130.
  19. ^ History 1956, pp. 181-189.
  20. ^ UDC Handbook March 2013, p. 5.


  • Blight, David (2001). Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 
  • Cox, Karen L. Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture (University Press of Florida, 2003)
  • Faust, Drew (2008). This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 
  • Gardner, Sarah (2006). Blood And Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. 
  • Gulley, H. E. "Women and the Lost Cause: Preserving A Confederate Identity in the American Deep South." Journal of Historical Geography (1993) 19#2 pp. 125–141.
  • Janney, Caroline E. Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (Univ of North Carolina Press, 2012)
  • Mills, Cynthia and Pamela H. Simpson, eds. Monuments To The Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (2003)
  • Minutes of the Fifty-first Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Incorporated, Held at Nashville, Tennessee, November 21-24, 1944. 
  • Minutes of the One Hundred and Twenty-first Annual General Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Incorporated, Held in Richmond, Virginia, November 6-10, 2014. 
  • Rutherford, Mildred Lewis (1916). What the South May Claim. Athens, Georgia: M'Gregor Co. 
  • The History of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Volume I and II: 1894 - 1955. Raleigh, N.C.: United Daughters of the Confederacy. 1956. LCCN 94135238. OCLC 1386401 – via Edwards & Broughton Company. 
  • UDC Handbook (6th ed.). Richmond, Virginia: United Daughters of the Confederacy. March 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Codieck, Barrett. "Keepers of history, shapers of memory: The Florida division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1895-1930" (MA Thesis, Florida State University, 2012).
  • Foster, Gaines M. (1987). Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Parrott, Angie (1991). "'Love Makes Memory Eternal': The United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, 1897–1920," in Edward Ayers and John C. Willis, eds. The Edge of the South: Life in Nineteenth-Century Virginia, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
  • Simpson, Pamela and Cynthia Mills, eds. Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (U of Tennessee Press, 2003).
  • The History of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Volume III: 1956 - 1986. Raleigh, N.C.: United Daughters of the Confederacy. 1988 – via Edwards & Broughton Company. 

External links[edit]

General information