Burying the Dead but Not the Past
Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Series: Civil War America
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I first discovered the Ladies’ Memorial Associations as an undergraduate in the spring of 1998, and in the ten years since they have become part of my life to no small degree. In the process of preparing this book (something I certainly never envisioned a decade ago), I have accumulated an untold number...
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A few short miles from busy U.S. I-66, which carries throngs of politicians, bureaucrats, and visitors to the nation’s capital each day, rest the remains of more than two hundred Confederate soldiers in a small, unassuming cemetery. Located on the property of the Manassas National Battlefield...
1 Patriotic Ladies of the South: Virginia Women in the Confederacy
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While Virginia’s men and boys gathered their muskets and marched off to battle in the spring of 1861, the Commonwealth’s women understood that they, too, had an important role to play during this time of national crisis. Women willingly sent their husbands, brothers, and sons off...
2 A Fitting Work: The Origins of Virginia’s Ladies’ Memorial Associations, 1865–1866
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The spring of 1865 brought peace to Virginia, but the scars of war remained visible throughout the state. During the past four years, graves of southern soldiers had been scattered across the Commonwealth, and with each passing month, residents uncovered more and more...
3 The Influence and Zeal of Woman: Ladies’ Memorial Associations during Radical Reconstruction, 1867–1870
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Even in the “tender” hands of southern women, Memorial Days and cemetery dedications smacked of unrepentant rebellion. The relatively lenient period of presidential Reconstruction had not quelled the Confederate spirit; in fact, it appeared to have stoked it. Southern Unionists...
4 A Rather Hardheaded Set: Challenges for the Ladies’ Memorial Associations, 1870–1883
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On the night of October 12, 1870, a brief and solemn telegram reached Richmond announcing the death of the South’s famed chieftain, Robert E. Lee. Th e news of Lee’s passing brought a deep wave of mourning throughout the city, not experienced since the surrender at Appomattox five...
5 The Old Spirit Is Not Dying Out: The Memorial Associations’ Renaissance, 1883–1893
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Beginning in 1866, the white citizens of Richmond had welcomed the warm days of spring with their annual memorial tributes at the Hebrew, Oakwood, and Hollywood Cemeteries. Whether in grand processions with orations or more subdued occasions of merely laying flowers on...
6 Lest We Forget: United Daughters and Confederated Ladies, 1894–1915
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In 1894, a new Confederate women’s organization, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (udc or Daughters), entered the memorial scene. Th e birth and overwhelming success of the Daughters in many ways served as a testament to the triumph of the Ladies’ Memorial...
Epilogue: A Mixed Legacy
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One hundred and forty years after the close of the Civil War, reminders of the Confederacy can be seen and in many ways felt in nearly every southern community. Rare is the southern town or city that cannot boast of a Confederate cemetery or, at the very least, a marble statue...
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: Civil War America
The Civil War America series interprets the field broadly to include biography, military and nonmilitary history, works that explore the immediate background of the conflict, and studies of postbellum topics related to the war. A few diaries, sets of letters, and memoirs that make exceptional contributions to our understanding of the era also will appear as volumes in the series.