The General Organization of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 10, 1894, by Mrs. Caroline Meriwether Goodlett of Tennessee as Founder and Mrs. Lucian H. (Anna Davenport) Raines of Georgia as Co- Founder. The UDC is the outgrowth of numerous ladies’ hospital associations, sewing societies and knitting circles that worked throughout the South during the War Between the States to supply the needs of the soldiers. After the War, these organizations kept pace with the changing times and evolved into cemetery, memorial, monument and Confederate Home Associations and Auxiliaries to Camps of Confederate Veterans. Out of these many local groups, which for nearly 30 years rendered untold service to the South and her people, two statewide organizations came into existence as early as 1890: the Daughters of the Confederacy in Missouri and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Confederate Soldier’s Home in Tennessee. The association with these two organizations makes the UDC the oldest patriotic lineage organization in the country.
When the organizing meeting was held in Nashville in 1894, the ladies chose the name National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy. The source of inspiration for the name was Gen. John B. Gordon’s introduction of Winnie Davis on April 30, 1886, at a train platform in West Point, Georgia. He presented her to an applauding throng of Confederate Veterans as “the Daughter of the Confederacy.” In 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia, at the second meeting of the ladies, the name was changed to United Daughters of the Confederacy.
The UDC was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on July 18, 1919. As stated in the Articles of Incorporation, the Objectives of the society are Historical, Benevolent, Educational, Memorial and Patriotic and include the following goals:
- To honor the memory of those who served and those who fell in the service of the Confederate States.
- To protect, preserve and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.
- To collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States.
- To record the part taken by Southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle and in untiring efforts after the War during the reconstruction of the South.
- To fulfill the sacred duty of benevolence toward the survivors and toward those dependent upon them.
- To assist descendants of worthy Confederates in securing proper education.
- To cherish the ties of friendship among the members of the Organization.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy is a nonprofit organization and it meets the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c)(3) as a tax-exempt organization.