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What does an Iron Cross Grave Marker Mean?

Discussion in 'Campfire Chat - General Discussions' started by Unregistered, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. DWMack65

    DWMack65 Private

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    I can't imagine anyone having the audacity to steal anything like that from a grave. It's not only a disrespect to our nations history but also to the soldier who fought bravely, no matter what side, to earn the honor bestowed by family, friends and country.
     

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  3. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    I'm afraid that some of our neighbors, and their kids in particular, have little respect for much of anything.
     
  4. catspjamas

    catspjamas First Sergeant

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    The Confederate Iron Cross grave marker that was returned to Gen. Watie's grave was not necessarily the original. The marker that was placed on his grave was an old one, and it had Gen. S Watie Chapter 1450 on it. Which means it was an iron cross issued by the Gen. S. Watie Chapter 1450 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Doesn't mean it was the original one that was stolen from Gen. Watie's grave. Unless the UDC had records that only Gen. Watie's Iron Cross was marked with the name of the Chapter named for him.

    http://www.paulridenour.com/ironcross.htm

    The Confederate Iron Cross is not a SCV exclusive marker. The UDC orders the exact same marker from the same firm, Smith Brothers, in Moultrie, GA. I can't find any history as to when the marker was developed, but I do know it was patterned after the UDC's Southern Cross of Honor medal.
     
  5. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    Thanks for the information on the Watie marker. It makes a lot of sense and certainly answers the question.

    I did not mean to imply that the Confederate Cross of Honor, AKA Confederate Iron Cross was a SCV emblem. In fact I have always more associated it with the UDC, maybe because the Southern Cross of Honor is exclusively a UDC medal. Furthermore,I get the two names confused on a regular and routine basis..
     
  6. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    Age.....at least you're vertical. The marker is a Confederate thing. The UDC was first on the horse because of the link to their medal as you stated. The SCV is probably more active with this pursuit today. One of the main differences between the two organizations has to do with biology and sex, if you will. I can't pass the UDC physical. The same emblem (cross) is engraved on the newer VA gravestones, though not very well done. It simply (along with the straight slopes on the top), separates Confederates from Union soldiers. As they say, the ridge keeps yankee descendants from sitting on 'em.
     
  7. Littlestown

    Littlestown 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Very interesting link. Thank you for providing it.

     
  8. Littlestown

    Littlestown 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Photo of headstone provided by the Veterans Administration for permanently marking graves of Confederate deceased. Inscription of the Confederate Cross of Honor in a small circle on the front face.
    IMG_0812.jpg
     
  9. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    While this image (graphic design) is indeed the cross of honor, it is used on the gravestone as simply the Confederate Cross. All stones have this inscription regardless off any particular service the soldier may have performed. Not to be confused with the UDC Medal, the origin of the use of the design. Those were for individuals with specific service requirements. I'm not sure what qualified the soldier for the medals, that was done through the UDC.
     
  10. Littlestown

    Littlestown 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Sorry, I simply copied (because I didn't want to use the wrong name) what was on the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs website under the heading of "History of Government Furnished Headstones and Markers". Here's the complete sentence...
    "On May 26, 1930, the War Department implemented regulations for Confederate headstones that also authorized the inscription of the Confederate Cross of Honor in a small circle on the front face of the stone above the standard inscription of the soldier's name, rank, company and regiment." http://www.cem.va.gov/hist/hmhist.asp
     
  11. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    This is a very minor point from my perspective. I've been trying to explain that the cross of honor was the medal. The cross of honor on a gravestone is more generic in nature. We Southerners honor all Confederate soldiers, so it get confusing perhaps. It's a shame we can't get more folks paying attention to these soldiers and their graves, many of which really need a lot of attention. By the way, Welcome to the Forum. We all look forward to getting to know more about your interests and your research! This is a group of very knowledgeable folks. I just prod 'em for answers from time to time and try to stay out of trouble.
     
  12. Will Posey

    Will Posey First Sergeant

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    I can see there being confusion about the cross emblem....I get confused myself. :smile:

    I think the UDC called its medal the Southern Cross of Honor and it was presented to individual veterans. Maybe there was some criteria for its award, such as a significant contribution to the war effort. Someone, perhaps in the UDC, perhaps in the SCV, came up with the idea for an attachment to the gravestone of a Confederate veteran, hence the "Confederate Cross of Honor". When the United States government decided to provide grave markers for Confederate veterans, the same design was chosen for inscription on those stone markers.

    Will

    It is just another way to recognize and honor our Confederate soldiers.
     
  13. Littlestown

    Littlestown 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    LOL, yes, its a bit confusing, but, very interesting. Yes Will, the UDC honor was called the Southern Cross of Honor. I've been doing some 'googling' on the subject, and found this on the UDC site:
    "While attending a reunion of Confederate veterans in Atlanta in July 1898, Mrs. Alexander S. (Mary Ann Lamar Cobb) Erwin of Athens, Ga., conceived the idea of bestowing the Southern Cross of Honor on Confederate veterans. ...design of the medal: a Maltese cross with a wreath of laurel surrounding the words "Deo Vindice (God our Vindicator) 1861-1865" and the inscription, "Southern Cross of Honor" on the face. On the reverse side is a Confederate battle flag surrounded by a laurel wreath and the words "United Daughters of the Confederacy to the UCV." "
    "...first order was not given until the UDC had secured a copyright (February 20, 1900). ... During the first 18 months of the Cross's availability, 12,500 were ordered and delivered. Only a Confederate veteran could wear the Southern Cross of Honor, and it could only be bestowed through the UDC. Money could not buy the Cross; they were bought by loyal, honorable service to the South and given in recognition of this devotion."
    http://www.hqudc.org/so_cross/
     
  14. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    This reads as if the intent was to present medals to all Confederate soldiers, which may well have been the attempt. By 1900 comparatively few of these men would have been alive. (Much the same as occurred in actuality with soldiers to receive state pensions.) The move to inscribing the gravestones and the installation of the iron crosses must have been an attempt to incorporate the rest. Makes sense to me, at least.
     
  15. catspjamas

    catspjamas First Sergeant

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    Yes, the intent of the UDC Southern Cross of Honor was to present medals to all living Confederate Veterans. The only criteria was they had to serve the CSA honorably. They could not have taken the oath of allegiance before April 9, 1865. The enlisted men and officers received the exact same Southern Cross of Honor, there was no distinction between rank in awarding it. By 1913, 78,761 Crosses had been bestowed. Marking Confederate graves has always been a UDC objective. My Chapter here in Johnson City, TN purchased graves in order to bury indigent Confederate veterans, so they wouldn't end up in unmarked pauper's graves.
     
  16. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    Glad to see you sharing your knowledge and UDC perspective again! Thank you.
     
  17. Littlestown

    Littlestown 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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  18. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    "current" medals of honor

    This recent communication, posted by permission, has some interesting content.

    "Mr. Clemmer--As you have pointed out, there may have been four MOH medals "lost" over the years. It is of note that two, or 50% of those replaced to date were in Kentucky. We in Kentucky take great pride that the Confederate MOH, "on display", gives the folks at large the knowledge that our Grandfathers were men of honor. Hundreds or in some cases thousands of folks have stopped to view these medals and given thought to the sacrifice those men made in defense of their family and homes. However the small number of Confederate MOH on display nation wide is so small, our total impact is little noted or long remembered.

    In a effort to rectify the short comings of the SCV MOH program, starting about nine years ago, about ten or twelve divisions or more passed resolutions of support, to award all Confederate Roll of Honor soldiers the MOH who had sponsors. I would list all divisions who voted support, but my memory is now so bad, I am sure I would leave off some. The main point is a majority of the SCV membership were in support, of placing as many SCV Confederate MOH in public view as possible. In a effort to do a end run around this growing support by the SCV membership, the Roll of Honor medal came into being. The major problem with this these programs, was the copious amount of documentation required for the MOH and the new Roll of Honor medal did not change. I know not how many "Roll" medals have been awarded, but due to the stringent requirements, I would guess very few.

    The enemies of the South with the aid of the lame media, have for years waged wave after wave of attacks on us. Those who ask for diversify, think nothing of calling us hicks, stupid, racist, traitor, and without honor. Even in light of events in AZ. this past week, little will change toward us.

    Mr. Clemmer if you truly have had a "Saul of Tarsus, Road to Damascus" transformation, we welcome you to the flock. We must do all possible to reach as many folks as we can with our message of truth. Even with all Medals on public display, letters to the editor, post on Chuck's SHNV, and a endless stream of blogs, we are only scratching the surface of the millions we need to reach.

    Permission to re-post far and wide----Fred C Wilhite Camp 1744 SCV"
     
  19. Southland

    Southland Banned

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    Anything bronze that is used as a grave marker is usually at risk from robbers. The price if any copper Item is very expensive if it is found in the graveyard.

    They are made now with a iron core plated with bronze. Still a beautiful item.
     
  20. Southland

    Southland Banned

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    Looks like the old ones but is not bronze.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    I haven't seen one like this as yet. We poor folks in TN buy the black cast iron.
     

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