Southern Iron Cross, a question?

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larry_cockerham

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Folks, we Southeners need a little help with correctness. Locally, spurred by interest in the soldier unearthed at Franklin, many Iron Crosses (cast iron ones) are proposed to be added to various known gravesites of soldiers. The Confederate ones, as funds are available, about $100 bucks a pop, will be marked as time permits with heavy cast iron crosses. Our challenge, as always, is vandalism and respect for the soldier. We are being challenged in finding accepted "standards" for placements of these markers relative to the existing gravestones or other markers. Local existing examples are not consistent to say the least. Can anyone give us some guidance? Thanks in advance.
 

K Hale

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Wouldn't the United Daughters of the Confederacy be a good place to start?
 

johan_steele

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I would suggest looking at the American Legion procedures for placement of flags at stones. It would give consistancy. Incidently, bravo.
 
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larry_cockerham

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You've all noted my swift responses and superior documentation in the past, so it's no surprise I 'stumbled' across the Sons of Confederate Veterans handbook for this activity, which has considerable detail. I felt a bit embarrassed, but if the shoe fits.....
 

captainrlm

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Can you give us a brief re-cap of some of the main points? That might be interesting to know, at least a broad overwiew of it.

You've all noted my swift responses and superior documentation in the past, so it's no surprise I 'stumbled' across the Sons of Confederate Veterans handbook for this activity, which has considerable detail. I felt a bit embarrassed, but if the shoe fits.....
 

sf46

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Here's a link to the SCV grave etiquette handbook: http://www.scv.org/pdf/grave_etiquette.pdf

It outlines information about the cross, placement, and procedures for cementing them into the ground.

Cementing is recommended to keep them from growing legs and ending up for sale in an antique shop.

The $100+ crosses for sale through the SCV and a few SCV camps is the recommended one to go with. Those are heavy cast iron and double sided. The $20+ crosses available on E-bay are not quite as heavy, and are only one sided. The back side does have a flag holder though, which the two sided version does not have.

Excerpts from the handbook:

Decorating graves, or “Flags in”
To place the small 4” X 4” flag, place your foot against the front center of the stone and place the flag in to the ground running it down against your heel. For larger flags 12” X 18”, place it 2 foot lengths from the front center of the stone so as not to obstruct the inscription.

If there is a Southern Cross of Honor, or bronze plaque with flag holder, make sure they are cemented in place 6 inches to 8 inches to the right (as you look at the stone) leaving the left side open for the 12”X12” flags.

Smaller 4”X4” flags can still be centered in the front. Flowers can be placed in front of the stone irrespective of the flag size.


A comment on the “Southern Cross on Honor” in Iron or other medals, please cement the post in. Take any screws and tack weld them to place to keep them from being unscrewed. These should only be used in church cemeteries, or rural cemeteries, Try not to use them in intercity cemeteries. In many cases they have been found in antique shops for sale “just for the cost of a six pack of beer”. Please ask the Sexton for permission to install a new Iron Cross. I have never heard of them saying no, but it’s more of a courtesy. Placement of the cross is best done to the base of the grave. Stationary crosses can be ordered for $100.00 ...


In the past, many Antique shops have had the iron Southern Cross of Honor for sale. It’s a no-brainer, the only place these are found is in a cemetery. They are starting to wise up because of public interest and you are the public. Politely call the Police and have them explain how they obtained it....
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captainrlm

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Thanks for the link.

Here's a link to the SCV grave etiquette handbook: http://www.scv.org/pdf/grave_etiquette.pdf

It outlines information about the cross, placement, and procedures for cementing them into the ground.

Cementing is recommended to keep them from growing legs and ending up for sale in an antique shop.

The $100+ crosses for sale through the SCV and a few SCV camps is the recommended one to go with. Those are heavy cast iron and double sided. The $20+ crosses available on E-bay are not quite as heavy, and are only one sided. The back side does have a flag holder though, which the two sided version does not have.
 

larry_cockerham

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Thank you sf46 for the excellent response and posting the link. Saved me some finger wigglin'!

Our thoughts about the various types had to do with vandalism mostly as well as ease of reading and recognition. Brass and aluminum are far too attractive to the average 'collector'. The cast iron, being non glossy black also blends into the groundscape a little better and is perhaps less obstrusive. Much of the placement decision has to do with other factors such as the configuration and condition of the existing mounument, if any, and the ability for maintenance of the ground to occur without too much hinderance as well as watching not to create a trip hazzard.

Both groups of interested parties, Union and Confederate, do what we can to mark as many unmarked and damaged sites as possible. "If we don't do it, nobody will." Much history can be learned from walking some of these cemeteries and a little introspective thought never hurt anyone.
 

Elennsar

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Both groups of interested parties, Union and Confederate, do what we can to mark as many unmarked and damaged sites as possible. "If we don't do it, nobody will."
Here's hoping that the spirits of the dead will appreciate the efforts of the living.

And speaking as one of the living (but uninvolved) to one of the living involved in this, the thought counts, whether or not the dead feel strongly one way or another.
 
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larry_cockerham

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And speaking as one of the living (but uninvolved) to one of the living involved in this, the thought counts, whether or not the dead feel strongly one way or another.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit the battlefield at Shiloh, spending some time walking over the ground there, and then step through the gate into the cemetery, let me know if you change your mind on that one. I'm not consciously superstitious, but..........
 

Elennsar

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If you ever have the opportunity to visit the battlefield at Shiloh, spending some time walking over the ground there, and then step through the gate into the cemetery, let me know if you change your mind on that one. I'm not consciously superstitious, but..........
Will do. Its something I try to take seriously even in my more skeptical moments. The dead are not to be taken lightly.
 
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johan_steele

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Peach Orchard and the Bloody Pond did that for me at Shiloh. Nothing similar at Vicksburg or Mission Ridge... but Chickamauga I stood next to a US Battery Marker at Kelly Field and good God the fury that came over me I cannot describe. I moved away **** quick. Upon further research I discovered some of the heaviest fighting of the battle had taken place there.
 

larry_cockerham

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Yep, the spirits are there. I've felt 'em. Though it's been suggested otherwise a few times on this forum, I ain't completely crazy.

The commemoration of the battle of Franklin will again include the march from the summit of Winstead Hill with nose and thoughts pointed at the center of the Federal defense in south Franklin and trying to imagine the thoughts of the men who were there going into certain hell in 1864. This is a feeling you have to experience. It can't be described.
 
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