The Southern Cross of Honor "originated as an authorized act of the Confederate Congress, approved October 13, 1862, for the grateful recognition of the valor of officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the armies of the Confederate States, conspicuous for courage and good conduct on the field of battle," according to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
James Turner Lyles received the medal in the photo above.
Despite the Confederate Congress' resolution, the medal was not actually produced until the end of the 19th Century, when the UDC designed and produced them. As the UDC says, "due to wartime shortages the medals could not be made, but the men's names were recorded in an Honor Roll preserved in the Adjutant Inspector General's records 'for reference in all future time.'" By 1913, the UDC had bestowed 78,761 medals on Confederate veterans or their survivors.
We don't know exactly when our James Turner Lyles received his medal. But it has passed to James Robert Lyles to James Robert Lyles, Jr. to James Robert Lyles III and, following Jim's death, to Marianne Lyles.