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United Daughters Of The Confederacy Medals


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#1 seanmc1114

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 01:08 PM

I thought I would post three medals that are very special to me. They are Crosses of Military Service awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to wartime veterans who are direct descendants of Confederate veterans. The one on the left is for World War I and was awarded to my great-grandfather, the one in the center is for World War II and was awarded to my grandfather and the one on the right is for Vietnam and was awarded to my father. I was present at my father's awarding ceremony which the UDC conducts each year on Confederate Memorial Day. They are not technically military awards but I think they are interesting nevertheless.

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#2 seanmc1114

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 01:08 PM

Here is the last one. It wouldn't fit in the first post.

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#3 Bluehawk

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 02:14 PM

Quite wonderful and poignant... thank you for showing them.

#4 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 08:49 AM

Here is the last one. It wouldn't fit in the first post.


I include these medals in my State and Local collection because they are for a specific military service and are just as valid as any other private group issued medal recognizing military service. Your grandfather served in both world wars! Neat medals. Fred

#5 seanmc1114

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 11:26 AM

I include these medals in my State and Local collection because they are for a specific military service and are just as valid as any other private group issued medal recognizing military service. Your grandfather served in both world wars! Neat medals. Fred

No. These were awarded to three different people. My great-grandfather for WWI, my grandfather for WWII and my father for Vietnam.

#6 SARGE

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 02:09 PM

A wonderful identified set of boxed UDC wartime service medals. Are they engraved with your relatives names or simply numbered?

#7 seanmc1114

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 03:28 PM

A wonderful identified set of boxed UDC wartime service medals. Are they engraved with your relatives names or simply numbered?

They are not engraved but they are numbered.

#8 SARGE

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the info. I checked years ago and the UDC said that they no longer have the old lists of medal numbers and who they were issued to unfortunately.

#9 Paul S

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 09:08 AM

Hello,

Treasure those medals as they represent a remarkable heritage. As most historians would agree, soldiers of the Confederacy were mostly kids, just like any other army or navy in any other war...they had no personal quarrel with the Union, but did see their States and neighborhoods as their sovereign land. From their point of view, they saw in 1861, Union armies marching southeast from St. Louis through Springfield intent on invading NW Arkansas, and south along the Mississippi intent on taking control of the river to New Orleans as an invasion of their homeland. The film, "Of Gods and Generals" portrays the story and feelings pretty well.

They, the young Confederates, were grandsons of Patriots of the Revolution and many of them grew up hearing first hand, the stories their grandfathers told of their early day exploits in fighting for their freedom and settling what was for them wilderness--imagine...TN wilderness...KY wilderness...MS wilderness...AL wilderness...and AR wilderness...and TX didn't even exist in those early times.

The freeing of slaves was a rallying call to be sure..and a noble one, but the real issue was economic and the exercise of political power of one region over another to dictate economic terms, by force of arms if need be.

Anyway, know that beyond the man who was eligible to hold one of the original Crosses of Military Service, was his grandfather, or great grandfather who very likely served in a Militia during the Revolution. There could very well have been a father or grandfather who served in the War of 1812 also.

If my own family is in anyway typical, then these medals represent a soldier of the Confederacy, who in his own view was fighting to preserve freedom for his family and himself; then a soldier of the United States who served in France during WWI; then an aviator of the United States who flew missions against the Reich in WWII; then a Vietnam War sailor who wasn't too sure why the heck he needed to be there, but was there nonetheless, serving interests of the United States.

Each generation of descent had the same notions...they were fighting to preserve freedom for their families and themselves. Although it is a noble thought that soldiers take up arms to preserve democracy, I think far more of them are keenly interested in preserving themselves, their own, and their buddies.

To qualify for a UDC Cross of Military Service, a person must prove--and this is a legal proof--(1) lineal descent from a soldier, sailor, or leader of the Confederacy; and (2) that he, himself served in a combat zone during the war the UDC medal commemorates. If you think about it, there is no other recognition that better represents a family record of service to the country from its very beginnings...not even the DAR which limits its interest to the Revolution. BTW, the UDC is just about as old as the DAR, dating to the 1890's when they were formed and still are going strong.

I would recommend researching your grandfathers' service, discover their service numbers, and the units to which they were assigned. Then have a local jeweler engrave their full names, branch of service, service numbers, and units on the backs of the medal each of them were awarded. My family's medals are all so engraved, and the cost was nominal...about $40 for the lot. If you do this, several things will happen...one, the medal is forever attached to your ancestor's service and his recognition will live on indefinitely; two, the value of the medals skyrockets; three, when you pass them to your children, you won't be burdened with having to try and remember anything.

BTW, I mention value only in passing...the UDC admonishes the recipients that the medals belong to the UDC and can only be worn by the recipient, not his descendants. And that once the family no longer has use for the medals, the UDC requests that they be returned for use in library and museum displays. Given the general assault that anything attached to the Confederacy is suffering in the present day, their intent is to preserve heritage rather than bow to uneducated attack and to preserve respect for the young men who served.

Each medal was issued together with a high quality certificate that, among other things, lists the recipient's military service unit and adds to the overall integrity of the medal itself. The medals shown below are my family's awards, except the original cross. My great grandfather never applied for one of the 78,000 or so original Crosses as he was living too far out in the backwoods to encounter the opportunity.

The original Cross in the picture is an original, but is inscribed to another soldier. Names have been removed from the picture in the interest of privacy. My father also served in the Air Force during the Korean War, but did not serve in the combat zone, hence he does not qualify for a Korean War Cross of Military Service, but was awarded one of the UDC National Defense medals which is not shown. All but the original medal are of exceptional quality, made from forged bronze, and quite heavy. The UDC does maintain a list by number of the original recipients but it is incomplete. For a $15 donation they will search the list for you.

Hope this illuminates a rather obscure subject. I regard these Crosses very highly, or does it show?

Paul S

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Edited by Paul S, 06 November 2008 - 09:20 AM.


#10 Paul S

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 09:39 AM

You can find a number of pictures posted to various sites on the net that show the old vets proudly wearing their original Crosses. I think most of the activity involving the issuing of the original Crosses was centered around Atlanta where the UDC was first formed, but I have found group pictures taken of reunions on the west coast showing a number of the vets wearing their Crosses.

I love this picture of a very proud old timer...

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#11 101combatvet

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:10 AM

Thanks, for posting your medals..... I have an original UDC Civil War medal with engraving that I have never researched. I am also a descendant of a member of the Company D, 41st Regiment, Tennessee Infantry, CSA but have never joined the SCV... heaven forbid I might offend someone. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/hapy0004.gif

#12 seanmc1114

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:51 AM

I appreciate the recommendations of Paul S about taking steps to preserve information about the medals. My father is still living and I am just keeping his medal for him since I have a large collection of medals and it is just practical for me to keep his with the others. He has his certificate for the medal which was presented to him in 1988 and I intend to get him to make a shadowbox for the medal and certificate since he is a cabinetmaker and does that kind of thing.

My grandfather and great-grandfather have both passed away. Years ago I saw my grandfather's certificate in an envelope in an old cedar chest at his house but I have not been able to locate it since. I am sure it is still there somewhere. I believe he received his in the 50's or early 60's. I have never seen any paperwork on my great-grandfather's medal and as you can see from the pictures, its ribbon is worn and frayed so I imagine it is pretty old.

If anyone has never seen the certificates that are issued with the medals, they state that the recipient is a direct lineal descendant of a Confederate soldier and actually name that soldier and list his unit as well. I actually requested my father's award for him and if I remember correctly, there was quite a bit of paperwork involved in verifying his entitlement.

One thing I should point out is that all three recipients whose medals I posted are not related. The Vietnam medal was for my father and the other two were for my grandfather and great-grandfather on my mother's side. My father has a picture of his ancestor at a reunion many years after the war and he was wearing his Cross of Southern Honor but unfortunately no one in the family knows whatever happened to it. I keep hoping that I will run across it but he had twelve children and that was four generations ago so there is no telling where it wound up.

Here are links to a couple of sites with more information on the medals:

http://www.omsa.org/....php?photo=2620

http://www.cantinier...ry_Crosses.html

http://www.txudc.org...viceawards.html

If you look at the picture of the Southern Cross of Honor on the last site linked above, you will notice that the medal was attached by what appeared to be a screwback device similar to older DUI's.

Edited by seanmc1114, 06 November 2008 - 11:03 AM.


#13 101combatvet

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:06 PM

My father has a picture of his ancestor at a reunion many years after the war and he was wearing his Cross of Southern Honor but unfortunately no one in the family knows whatever happened to it. I keep hoping that I will run across it but he had twelve children and that was four generations ago so there is no telling where it wound up.


I hope it is found.... but I'm sure many Confederate soldiers were buried with them when they were laid to rest.

#14 Paul S

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 03:56 PM

Seanmc--

Here is how I had the medals engraved. I think there is enough information there that anyone in the future who wants to do some research can find what they need about the holder of the medal. Note: The info on this picture is altered to provide privacy. For what it's worth....

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#15 Mark M

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 03:19 PM

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