An Honorary Society for the Preservation of Southern Heritage


Founded originally in 1863 as an organization to provide for the relief of disabled soldiers and the widows and orphans of those who had died in service to the Confederacy, today the Society of the Order of the Southern Cross serves as a philanthropic organization whose purpose is the preservation of our Southern Heritage and its history.

The original founders of the Society of the Order of the Southern Cross, Lt. General Leonidas Polk, Major General Patrick Cleburne and Reverend Charles T. Quintard had hoped that the organization they were creating, “The Order of the Comrades of the Southern Cross” would help relieve the soldier’s anxieties as to the suffering of their families, enabling them to rededicate themselves once again to the great battles that lay ahead for the Army of Tennessee.

Today, the main purpose of the Order of the Southern Cross is to provide financial assistance to qualified groups through its Grants Program and to offer scholarships to college bound students through its Peter W. Orlebeke Memorial Scholarship Fund. Thus, continuing to honor the sacrifices of those old soldiers by helping to preserve our Southern heritage and its history.

In 2014, the Society of the Order of the Southern Cross provided grants to organizations in seven different States and to groups which included Historical Societies, United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapters, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camps, Museums and Governmental entities.

Once a year, the Order dispenses monetary grants to charitable organizations that have applied for financial help in their mission of Confederate Heritage preservation. A grant application should be completed and returned by the appropriate deadline to the Grants Chairman.  Grants are reviewed and awarded at the annual meeting of the Order each fall.  If you have a project that you would like to request funding for, please go to the Grants link on this website for more information.

The Order also administers the Orlebeke Scholarship, which is for high school students of Confederate Ancestry.  If you are a high school junior or senior and would like to apply, please go the Scholarship link on this website for more information.

We the members of the Society of the Order of the Southern Cross are proud of our mission and our heritage.  If you would like to join us in our efforts, we hope you take a moment to review the Membership requirements.