Southern Cross of Honor

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Southern Cross of Honor
Southern Cross of Honor.svg
Date 1899; 119 years ago (1899)
Presented by United Daughters
of the Confederacy

The Southern Cross of Honor, also known as the Cross of Honor, was a commemorative medal created in 1899 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor Confederate Veterans.[1]



The Southern Cross of Honor is in the form of a cross pattée suspended from a metal bar with space for engraving. The award has no cloth ribbon. The obverse displays the Confederate battle flag placed on the center thereof surrounded by a wreath, with the inscription UNITED DAUGHTERS [of the] CONFEDERACY TO THE U. C. V. (the UCV is the United Confederate Veterans) on the four arms of the cross. The reverse of the medal is the motto of the Confederate States, DEO VINDICE ([With] God [As Our] Vindicator) and the dates 1861 1865 also surrounded by a laurel wreath. The arms of the cross bear the inscription SOUTHERN CROSS OF HONOR.[1]

Eligibility and allocation[edit]

The Southern Cross of Honor could only be bestowed through the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It could not be purchased; it was given in recognition of loyal, honorable service to the South and only a Confederate veteran could wear it. The first cross ever bestowed was upon Mrs. Erwin’s husband, Captain Alexander S. Erwin, by the Athens (Ga.) Chapter on April 26, 1900.[2] Original crosses are serial numbered and an incomplete list of the 78,761 recipients, by serial number, is maintained by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to this day.[3]

Although no Civil War veterans are still living, the last verified Confederate veteran dying in 1951, Virginia Code section 18.2-176(b) remains in effect and makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than US$500, to "wear any Southern Cross of Honor when not entitled to do so by the regulations under which such Crosses of Honor are given."[4]

Headstones and markers[edit]

The Southern Cross of Honor is also used as an emblem or marker on the graves of Confederate veterans who served honorably. The cross is still available to be placed as an emblem on all United States Government-furnished headstones or markers. This emblem will only be issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be placed on the grave of a Confederate veteran. The is also available to be placed on existing headstones by some private monument companies and stone carvers. The second form of the Southern Cross of Honor seen on graves is a two-sided, cast iron marker. This marker stands atop a metal rod placed into the ground at the Confederate veteran's grave. The marker is typically installed by a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, or other interested parties. The grave of any Confederate Veteran who served honorably is eligible for placement of the government-furnished headstone.[5]


Other CSA honors[edit]

Medal Awards Authorized Presented Established
Confederate Medal of Honor >50 CSA SCV 1862
Confederate Roll of Honor 2,104 CSA SCV 1862
Davis Guard Medal 50 CSA Texas 1864
New Market Cross of Honor 294 Virginia VMI 1904
Southern Cross of Honor 78,761 UDC UDC 1899

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b United Daughters of the Confederacy. History Committee. (1956). The History of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Volume I and Volume II: 1894-1955. Raleigh, North Carolina: Edwards & Broughton Company. pp. 145–150. LCCN 94135238. 
  2. ^ Inscoe, John. The Civil War in Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 2011. p. 203. 
  3. ^ "Library Services". United Daughters of the Confederacy. Retrieved June 22, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Code of Virginia". Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Pre-World War I Era Headstones and Markers". U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]