Two manuscript volumes, 1897-1908 and 1912-1913, document activities of the Edward Croft Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, in Aiken. The earlier volume, a minute book, contains membership rolls and minutes of meetings beginning with the organizational meeting on 22 April 1897, at which time, the records indicate, the group chose to be known as the Ellison Capers Chapter, drafted a constitution, elected their first officers, and agreed to meet annually on the birthday of General Capers. Three months later the group assembled again to select a different chapter name as Capers had informed the ladies that there was already a chapter at Florence named in his honor. From the alternate names placed before the group, they agreed to adopt the name of Col. Edward Croft, “as he lived in Aiken at the time of breaking out of hostilities and here helped to raise a company in which he was at first a lieutenant, then captain, and before the war ended, he had been promoted to colonel.”|
Noteworthy items interspersed among the minutes of quarterly meetings and annual observances in celebration of the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis include references to memorial resolutions upon the deaths of “Daughter of the Confederacy” Winnie Davis (10 October 1898) and Gen. Wade Hampton (21 April 1902), the groundbreaking for the Confederate monument at Finley Park in Aiken (2 May 1901), and a steady stream of appeals for contributions to assist in the erection of Confederate monuments throughout the United States by other United Daughters of the Confederacy and Confederate veterans groups.
A particularly intriguing entry in the 2 March 1899 minutes reports that “Dr. [B.H.] Teague offered his museum, consisting of Confederate papers and relics, to the Daughters, on condition that they would build a nice brick hall to keep the museum in, and take care of them, allowing him to overlook everything. The Chapter was very anxious to accept the offer, but could not promise to build a hall, so the offer had to be refused.”
Accompanying the minute book is a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings and memorabilia from the 1912 and 1913 general conventions of the national organization held in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans, La.