During the War Between the States, a Confederate Medal of Honor never became reality. Disagreement as well as financial difficulties precluded it from coming to fruition. On July 1, 1896, General Stephen Dill Lee, one of the few remaining senior officers of the Confederate army, spoke to a group of sons of Confederate veterans who had gathered at Richmond to form a group to preserve the memory and valor of the Confederate soldier. He told the group it was their duty to present the true history of the South to future generations. This group, chartered as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was committed to that charge. In 1977, Private Samuel Davis of Coleman's Scouts, became the first to be posthumously presented the Confederate Medal of Honor. Since then, many others have been presented and those whose valor went far beyond the call of duty are finally being recognized.
"To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought; to your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations."