Louise Wigfall Wright

In May, 1895, the Maryland Division became one of the first to join the National Organization known as the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Even before that time, our Maryland women were actively working, not long after the War ended, supporting needy Confederate Veterans, widows, and orphans, raising funds and decorating their graves. They were then known as the 'Ladies Memorial Association of Maryland.'

The Maryland Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will celebrate its 120th Anniversary on December 7, 2017, making it one of the 10 oldest Divisions within the General Organization. The first President of this Division was Mrs. D. Girard Wright (1896-1897), who simultaneously served as the First Vice President General in our National Organization; she was a member of Baltimore Chapter No. 8.

Memorial activities are ongoing within all Chapters of our Division. Our ladies began participating in Confederate Memorial Day ceremonies in 1873, long before the UDC was formed, and they continue to gather on Confederate Hill (Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore) on the 1st Saturday of each June - a date which coincides with the birthday of the first President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Chapter members are responsible for providing cold drinks and other refreshments reminiscent of their Southern heritage. Members of the Fitzhugh Lee Chapter co-sponsor with the Trimble Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans a Confederate Decoration Day ceremony during the month of April in the Confederate section of historic Mt. Olivet cemetery within Frederick City.

In 1906, a wealthy Confederate Veteran, Mr. James R. Wheeler, founded the Confederate Women's Home on Linden Avenue in Baltimore. The UDC ladies of Baltimore Chapter No. 8 and "later" the James R. Wheeler No. 1859 organized the women's Board for the home and supervised the day to day care of the residents, including medical needs, a cleaning lady, food, clothing and fuel. A final resting place in Loudon Park Cemetery's Bethel section was also provided for the residents at their death.

Our current benevolent activities include contributing to the welfare of surviving Confederate widows, daughters, and other family members through a national relief fund entitled The Mrs. Norman V. Randolph Relief Society. Our educational activities include a Division Scholarship program which is without par for a Division of our size, awarding thousands of dollars in college scholarships to eligible Confederate descendants each year. Many of our Chapters also donate WBTS (War Between the States) history books to local school libraries.