see it clearly

The Southern Cross of Honor

Bronze cross pattee, bearing in the center a laurel wreath encircling the inscription in four lines, DEO VINDICE 1861 1865. The four arms of the cross inscribed SOUTHERN CROSS OF HONOR.

The Southern Cross of Honor

Reverse. In the center a similar wreath encircling the Confederate battle flag, the four arms of the cross inscribed UNITED DAUGHTERS CONFEDERACY TO THE U.C.V. Suspended from a plain bar, on which the name of the recipient may be engraved.

At a meeting of the Athens (Georgia) Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy held late in the summer of 1898, the following resolutions were presented by Mrs. Mary Cobb Erwin, and were enthusiastically received and adopted:

Whereas, It has been the custom of every civilized nation to bestow upon its members of the Army and Navy, and such others as peculiarly deserve it, medals and crosses of honor, such as the Victoria Cross of England, the Iron Cross of Germany, and the Cross of the Legion of Honor of France, and medals and crosses bestowed by the United States Government; and

Whereas, We, the Daughters of the Confederacy, recognizing the fact that the army and navy of the Confederate States have never had such decorations conferred upon them, consider it especially our duty and privilege to supply the deficiency; and

Whereas, Every veteran of the army and navy of the Confederate States "quitted themselves like men" in the "times that tried men's souls," and gave an exhibition of dauntless and unyielding courage in the face of overwhelming odds, such as has never been known in the history of the world, therefore be it

Resolved, That we, the Daughters of the Confederacy, do confer upon each and every member of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States of America a cross, to be known as "The Southern Cross of the Legion of Honor," to be handed down from one generation to another as the most priceless heritage, bought as it was, with the blood of their fathers, and though of no intrinsic value within itself, to stand as a record for all time of the memory of those men who represented all that was lofty in principle, pure in patriotism, and dauntless in courage.

Resolved, That upon those who distinguished themselves by remarkable feats of courage, the cross to be attached to a laurel leaf pin, to distinguish it as a special mark of valor.

Resolved, That it be made a feature of Memorial Day to confer these crosses.

These resolutions were referred to the Georgia state division of the Daughters of the Confederacy and were approved in October, 1898, and referred to the main society for final adoption, which took place in November, 1899, a committee at that time being appointed to prepare a design. The cross was designed by Mrs. S.E. Gabbett, of Atlanta, Georgia, and the first presentation to Confederate veterans took place on the Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, 1900, about twenty-five hundred crosses being distributed at that time. The distribution would have been much larger had it not been that the manufacturer failed to supply the amount needed.

Since that time the Southern Cross of Honor, as it has since been called, was bestowed upon many thousands of Confederate veterans, given to such that were entitled to receive it. 

The American Numismatic Society is fortunate in possessing two specimens of the Southern Cross of Honor, one of which was presented by the brother of a deceased Confederate soldier, who gave it for the reason that he wanted to place his brother's cross where it would have a permanent home, and never be passed from hand to hand, as having a value simply commercial.

During the Civil War there were many small bands of irregular troops operating in the states west of the Mississippi.

Lossing states, in the Field Book of the Civil War, Vol. I, page 477, that three of the most noted leaders of these irregular bands were named Taylor, Anderson and Tod, and that they "gave to the bravest of their followers a silver badge, star shaped, and bearing their names."

The badge, from which the illustration was made, was, in 1865, in the possession of Mr. John Ross, former Chief of the Cherokee Indians, who was at that time residing in Philadelphia. Mr. Lossing states that it is the exact size of the original.

There are two small silver medals regarding which the information at hand is meager and unsatisfactory. The first of these is mentioned in a short article on page 95 of the second volume of the American Journal of Numismatic (February, 1868), describing two medals belonging to Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet, of New York.

It bears on the obverse the head of Gen. Beauregard facing left. Legend, G. T. BEAUREGARD. BRIG. GEN. C . S. A. Below, the initials of the engraver, C. R.

Reverse. Inscription in four lines, MANASSAS 21 JULY 1861 encircled by a laurel wreath.

Size 18mm. Short die-projecting loop for suspension, reeded edge.

The article states:--"The Beauregard medal, which has the original red ribbon still attached to it, was sold by a Confederate soldier in New York. It is one of a number presented by the city of New Orleans immediately after the first battle of Bull Run."

The other medal is of the same size, has a similar loop and edge, and is by the same engraver. The obverse bears the head of Jefferson Davis facing left. Legend, JEFFERSON DAVIS below, C. R.

Reverse. Legend, C S A FIRST PRESIDENT. In center, 1861, encircled by a laurel wreath.

These two medals are described and illustrated in the catalogue of the collection of Benjamin Betts (Nos. 393 and 394), sold by Lyman H. Low, January 11 and 12, 1898.

While they were undoubtedly struck either during the Civil War, or shortly after it, I doubt exceedingly if they were ever awarded to Confederate soldiers. They may have been, but I think it is more likely that they were struck as commemorative souvenirs. A little more definite light on their history would be of much interest.

A specimen of the Davis medal is in the collection of The American Numismatic Society.

There are a number of badges of Confederate Veteran Societies, that are of much interest, though their description would be out of place in this paper, but even with these, and including medals of reunions and anniversaries, there are but few medallic memorials left to tell us of "the lost cause."