What is the UDC?

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

by Rhonda Copeland

What is the United Daughters of the Confederacy?

Rather than being what is sometimes thought, it is not a group of little old, white-haired ladies wearing hats and gloves while sitting around sipping tea. The UDC is an organization of women who are lineal or collateral descendants of men and women who served honorably in the military or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America, or gave aid to the cause, provided authentic proof can be furnished.

The organization honors veterans of the War Between the States as well as of all wars, and its members strive to collect letters and other memorabilia to learn as much as possible about the Confederacy and the South.

The objectives of the UDC are historical, educational, benevolent, memorial and patriotic.


The organization was founded by Southern women who established cemeteries for the fallen Confederate veterans and provided care for their survivors. Contributions of hospital beds were made during World War I and it supported the American Red Cross by providing ambulances and blood plasma during World War II.


Education has always been a priority of the UDC. At the national level scholarships are given to high school seniors who are direct descendants of a Confederate veteran. With monetary awards, essay contests are sponsored in schools.

To continue its support of excellence in education, the United Daughters of the Confederacy gives awards annually. Recipients are selected by their respective academy or university, which includes all U.S. military academies, Virginia Military Institute, University of Virginia, Union Theological Seminary and Bowdoin College to name a few.

UDC members may receive scholarships to help further their educations, and many members are available to present programs on the history of the War Confederate history books are often donated to libraries.


The association works with local, state and national civic organizations to aid women and children, homeless shelters, food banks, VA medical centers and nursing homes, and the Red Cross with money, reading materials, household and personal hygiene items, and clothing.


In recognition and honor of the Confederate military, the United Daughters of the Confederacy lays wreathes at the foot of Confederate monuments, which have been erected by UDC chapters active in 33 states. These memorial services are held in public areas. Tombstones and iron crosses to mark the burial place of a Confederate veteran are dedicated also. Deceased UDC members are remembered during a chapter meeting.


The UDC recognizes men and women of Confederate lineal descent who served or are serving our country during times of conflict by awarding Crosses of Military Service and National Defense medals. It flies both the U.S. Flag and the Confederacy’s First National flag on all appropriate occasions. It tries to stimulate patriotism throughout our country.

So, what is the United Daughters of the Confederacy? It is a women’s heritage organization dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served in the Confederate military or who gave aid to the cause. It is dedicated to honoring veterans of all wars and to collecting, learning and preserving the history of the South.

It is dedicated to supplying needed assistance to various civic organizations, supporting excellence in education, and stimulating patriotism across our land.