10/5/2009 - Preserving Confederate Heritage in Marion
By Susanna Gaston
"Nothing historical should ever be done away with," said Judy Davis, president of the Andrew Barry Moore Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Marion.
The UDC is a women's heritage association dedicated to honoring the memory of those who died in service to the Confederate States of America.
The Marion UDC makes many benevolent contributions to the community, including monetary donations to the cemetery, library and Veterans Hospital. The chapter places monuments and grave markers in the cemetery. Members also offer a college scholarship to a relative of a member of the chapter.
The UDC was founded as the "National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy," organized in 1894 by Caroline Meriwether Goodlett and Anna Davenport Raines.
The UDC traces its lineage to older heritage organizations such as the "Daughters of the Confederacy" in Missouri and the "Ladies' Auxiliary of the Confederate Soldiers Home" in Tennessee, making it the oldest patriotic organization in the country.
The national association changed its name to UDC in 1895 and was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in 1919.
The UDC motto is "Love, Live, Pray, Think, Dare."
Membership in the UDC is open to women at least sixteen years of age who are descended from men and women who served honorably in the army, navy or civil service of the Confederate States of America. Membership is through a local chapter, usually where the prospective member resides.
The UDC chapter in Marion took its name from the governor of Alabama at the time of secession. It was organized on February 17, 1903, with the motto "Lest We Forget."
Prior to this it was known as the "Ladies' Memorial Association," which was most likely organized a short time after the close of the War Between the States. The original group placed headstones on the graves of soldiers who are buried in the St. Wilfrid's Episcopal cemetery in Marion.
The organization also placed a monument to the unreturned dead in the Public Cemetery, which was unveiled on April 26, 1882.
When the current chapter was organized, there were twenty-eight members enrolled, eight of whom remain in the chapter today.
Their signature flower is, quite naturally, the Confederate Jasmine.
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.