- Series: Civil War America
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (March 3, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 080783176X
- ISBN-13: 978-0807831762
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,922,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (Civil War America)
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This clearly written and well-researched book definitely deepens our understanding of the earliest roots of Confederate memorialization and the Lost Cause.--Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
A well-documented study of this unique women's movement after the Civil War. Any serious student of the Civil War or Reconstruction should be aware of the powerful arguments extended by Janney.--On Point
Sheds light on a previously obscure part of southern women's history. . . . Convincingly demonstrates that women continued to participate in a civic role after the fall of the Confederacy.--Virginia Quarterly Review
Janney's fine monograph is grounded in an impressive body of archival material supported by a very strong command of a wide array of secondary source literature.--Southern Historian
Janney's thoughtful study helps the Ladies to claim their rightful place in the history of Confederate memory making. Her lively stories of their hard-fought campaigns to build some of the most notable monuments of the state likewise make this an entertaining and valuable addition to the history of southern women's activism after the war.--Virginia Magazine
An elegant, informative study that restores these forgotten women to postwar southern history and successfully challenges important scholarly arguments.--The Alabama Review
[This] excellent study speaks to a significant gap in the literature of southern cultural memory, gender, and Reconstruction. Not only is it a must-read for anyone working in those areas, but it is a key contribution to the study of women and gender in this period.--Journal of American History
Janney has succeeded in crafting a thoughtful study that illuminates a little known area of the formation of the Lost Cause ideology.--South Carolina Historical Magazine
This excellent and well-written book illuminates the work of an important group in the South's Lost Cause movement.--American Historical Review
[An] impressive book. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice
Janney has performed a valuable service in restoring the importance of the Ladies' Memorial Associations as instrumental to the Lost Cause. The LMAs were at this game much earlier than the better-known United Daughters of the Confederacy. More significant, Janney has shown how the memorial associations figured prominently in postwar political struggles. This book is a valuable resource for students, scholars, and the public.--William Blair, The Pennsylvania State University, editor of Civil War History
This smart, well-researched, well-written, and well-argued book addresses an important problem within Civil War studies: the tendency of scholars to ignore the central role of women's contributions to the making of Civil War memories within American culture. Janney's analysis helps us to rewrite and reshape our understandings of the making of the Lost Cause from 1865 through 1915.--Alice Fahs, University of California, Irvine, coeditor of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture
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Top Customer Reviews
Ladies Memorial Associations, or LMAs as they are called in the book, were groups of mostly elite, solidly white women that took shape almost immediately after the war. Within a year of the surrender at Appomattox there were more than seventy such groups. With the federal government of course giving priority to Union soldiers and dead the LMAs in effect took on a governmental role. Some of their goals were the helping of the poor and injured but most important was memorializing the dead and bringing dead Confederate soldiers home for a proper burial.
For Janney the women of the LMAs were becoming more political despite the traditional view that women were not interested in politics. Janney's definition of politics is the "ability of individuals or groups to wield influence in their community, state, or region". Using this definition there can be little doubt that many Southern women were indeed becoming more political.
While there were Associations across the former Confederate states this book focuses almost exclusively on those from Virginia with those from the cities of Richmond, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Lynchburg, and Winchester. The Hollywood Memorial Association and Oakwood Memorial Association, both of Richmond, appear to have been the leading organizations and take the lead in this work.
These groups experienced much success including the formation of Confederate Memorial Day which helped lead to the celebrating of our current Memorial Day. Due to the hard work and fund raising undertaken by various LMAs many Confederate monuments, including the famous Pyramid at Hollywood Cemetery, were built. Perhaps the greatest achievement however was the finding and returning of Confederate dead and burying them in what Janey calls National Confederate Cemeteries. Thousands of Confederate dead were eventually brought "home" due to the efforts of these women.
While there were great accomplishments all was not roses for these groups. There was the constant struggle to raise money. In fact the Hollywood Memorial Association was unable to pay for the removal of all the Confederate dead from the Gettysburg battlefield. This debt haunted them for many years. Another struggle was with former Confederate men who were regaining their ability to be active politically. The men who had played a supporting role to women for many years in the immediate aftermath of the war expected the women to return to their prewar social position. These women were having no part in this and fought the men bitterly. Another struggle was declining membership as time went on. During the 1890's the rise of the United Daughters of the Confederacy also raised concerns as the UDC was seen as a younger and more vibrant organization.
Janey has put together an impressive listing of sources. She has scouted through many manuscript repositories, has referenced the remaining records of several LMAs, and has a large listing of other primary and secondary sources. The research looks to be very thorough and it shows in the writing which is smooth and easy to read.
This is a book that should be read by anybody with an interest in the post Civil War period, those wanting to learn about a seldom discussed aspect of Confederate women's history, or those interested in the memorializing of Confederate dead. Highly recommended!