Friday, March 12, 2010

The UDC in WWI

The women of the United Daughters of the Confederacy provided considerable comfort and support to Confederate veterans living in the soldiers’ homes. But when the United States entered the Great War and Southern boys were sent “Over There”, the women of the UDC took off their hats, rolled up their sleeves and went to work for this new generation of soldiers.

Chapter President Mrs. F. N. Gardner reported that in one year, the 42 women of her Paducah, Kentucky, chapter had bought $250 in Liberty Bonds and donated $1,300 to the local Red Cross chapter. (They also gave $5 to “the fatherless children of France.”)

At Christmastime, the Paducah chapter assembled gift boxes for soldiers, including 38 knitted sweaters, 24 knitted helmet liners, 31 pairs of socks, 47 knitted mufflers, and “a nice letter of Christmas cheer” for each box. They sewed 100 pillow cases, 125 bed shirts, 39 “helpless case shirts” (!!!), and 361 surgical dressing cases. Putting aside their knitting needles and sewing eggs, the 42 women of Paducah collected 1,359 garments for Belgian relief and sent them overseas in nine large packing cases.

And this was just one of 25 UDC chapters in the state!

(See Minutes, Twenty-Second Annual Convention, Kentucky UDC, Winter, 1918)

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