Less well known than the Union Medal of Honor, the Confederacy also had its Medal of Honor, established by the Confederate Congress and embodied in General Orders No. 93 of the Confederate Army. Unfortunately chronic metal shortages in the Confederacy prevented the actual manufacture of the Medals, but the names of recipients were to be preserved upon rolls of honor, as set forth in General Orders No. 131.
After the War the United Daughters of the Confederacy issued medals, beginning in 1900, known as the Southern Cross of Honor, to those whose names appeared on the rolls of honor and recognized new recipients who had rendered heroic service during the War.
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 93.
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., November 22, 1862,
I. The following acts of Congress, having been approved by the President, are published for the information of the army:
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No. 27.–AN ACT to authorize the grant of medals and badges of distinction as a reward for courage and good conduct on the field of battle.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to bestow medals, with proper devices, upon such officers of the armies of the Confederate States as shall be conspicuous for courage and good conduct on the field of battle, and also to confer a badge of distinction upon one private or non-commissioned officer of each company after every signal victory it shall have assisted to achieve. The non-commissioned officers and privates of the company who may be present on the first dress-parade thereafter, may choose, by a majority of their votes, the soldier best entitled to receive such distinction, whose name shall be communicated to the President by commanding officers of the company; and if the award fall upon a deceased soldier, the badge thus awarded him shall be delivered to his widow, or, if there be no widow, to any relative the President may adjudge entitled to receive it.
Approved October 13, 1862.
By order: S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 131.
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., October 3, 1863.
Difficulties in procuring the medals and badges of distinction having delayed their presentation by the President, as authorized by the act of Congress approved October 13, 1862, to the officers, non-com-missioned officers, and privates of the armies of the Confederate States conspicuous for courage and good conduct on the field of battle, to avoid postponing the grateful recognition of their valor until it can be made in the enduring form provided by that act, it is ordered– I. That the names of all those who have been, or may hereafter be, reported as worthy of this distinction, be inscribed on a Roll of Honor, to be preserved in the office of the Adjutant and Inspector General for reference in all future time, for those who have deserved well of their country, as having best displayed their courage and devotion on the field of battle. II. That the Roll of Honor, so far as now made up, be appended to this order, and read at the head of every regiment in the service of the Confederate States at the first dress-parade after its receipt, and be published in at least one newspaper in each State. III. The attention of the officers in charge is directed to General Orders, No. 93, section No. 27, of the series of 1862, Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, for the mode of selecting the non-commissioned officers and privates entitled to this distinction, and its execution is enjoined.