UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY
How we got our name.

Origin of the United Daughters of the Confederacy

 

While the movement to organize the daughters of Confederate soldiers and sailors in to a patriotic orders did not originate in Georgia, the expression “The Daughters of the Confederacy” which has become historic, was first used by a Georgian, General John B. Gordon.  On April 30,1886, General Gordon was escorting the aged ex-president of the Confederate States to the Georgia Capital, where he was to be the city’s guest of honor at the unveiling exercise of the Ben Hill monument.  Mr. Davis was accompanied on this trip by his gifted daughter Winnie, then in the prime of her youthful beauty.

 

Enthusiastic crowds everywhere greeted the distinguished party; and at each stop, calls were made for the President to respond to these requests.  When the train reached West Point, Georgia, Mr. Davis was quite exhausted.  Here General Gordon stepped to the rear platform holding Winnie Davis by the hand, and after explaining why Mr. Davis could not speak in response to a call said: ”But I wish to introduce to you, Winnie Davis, the Daughter of the Confederacy”.  It is said that a loud cheer rent the air.

 

At the unveiling exercise in Atlanta on May 1, 1886, Henry W. Grady, as master of ceremonies, once more introduced Miss Davis to the people as the Daughter of the Confederacy: and newspapers of the country, seizing upon the felicitous expression, son make it famous from ocean to ocean.

 

 

The United Daughters of the Confederacy developed from local aid societies that operated throughout the South during the WTBS.

These groups of Southern women gathered to sew, prepare bandages, and entertain to raise money for the Confederate cause. During the war they cared for the sick and wounded and prepared food for the soldiers.

After the war the organizations operated as auxiliaries to Confederate soldiers' homes and continued to aid in whatever manner possible during the rigors of Reconstruction.

By the early 1890s the local groups had affiliated into state organizations in Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia.  Correspondence between Caroline M. Goodlett of Nashville, Tennessee, and Mrs. L. H. Raines of Savannah, Georgia, resulted in a call for a meeting in Nashville to form a permanent organization.

The three state groups united on September 10, 1894, into a single society with one name, one purpose, and one insignia for all women's organizations of the South with the purpose of honoring and serving the men and women of the Confederacy.

The name Daughters of the Confederacy was suggested after Gen. John B. Gordon so introduced Winnie Davis to the veterans; several of the groups during the 1860s had also used similar names.  The name of the organization was changed to United Daughters of the Confederacy at the second meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1895.

Excerpt from Texas Handbook Online

 

Origin of the United Daughters of the Confederacy

While the movement to organize the daughters of Confederate soldiers and sailors in to a patriotic orders did not originate in Georgia, the expression “The Daughters of the Confederacy” which has become historic, was first used by a Georgian, General John B. Gordon.  On April 30,1886, General Gordon was escorting the aged ex-president of the Confederate States to the Georgia Capital, where he was to be the city’s guest of honor at the unveiling exercise of the Ben Hill monument.  Mr. Davis was accompanied on this trip by his gifted daughter Winnie, then in the prime of her youthful beauty.

 Enthusiastic crowds everywhere greeted the distinguished party; and at each stop, calls were made for the President to respond to these requests.  When the train reached West Point, Georgia, Mr. Davis was quite exhausted.  Here General Gordon stepped to the rear platform holding Winnie Davis by the hand, and after explaining why Mr. Davis could not speak in response to a call said: ”But I wish to introduce to you, Winnie Davis, the Daughter of the Confederacy”.  It is said that a loud cheer rent the air.

 At the unveiling exercise in Atlanta on May 1, 1886, Henry W. Grady, as master of ceremonies, once more introduced Miss Davis to the people as the Daughter of the Confederacy: and newspapers of the country, seizing upon the felicitous expression, son make it famous from ocean to ocean.

Essie Jones Childs, from private collection.

 

 

 

 

 

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This site last updated 01/16/2011                                      Col. Thomas Hardeman, Jr.  UDC Chapter 2170 Macon, Ga.

 

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