Burying the Dead but Not the Past

Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause

By Caroline E. Janney

304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 11 illus., 2 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-7225-3
    Published: February 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-8270-2
    Published: February 2012

Civil War America

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Immediately after the Civil War, white women across the South organized to retrieve the remains of Confederate soldiers. In Virginia alone, these Ladies' Memorial Associations (LMAs) relocated and reinterred the remains of more than 72,000 soldiers. Challenging the notion that southern white women were peripheral to the Lost Cause movement until the 1890s, Caroline Janney restores these women as the earliest creators and purveyors of Confederate tradition. Long before national groups such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the United Daughters of the Confederacy were established, Janney shows, local LMAs were earning sympathy for defeated Confederates. Her exploration introduces new ways in which gender played a vital role in shaping the politics, culture, and society of the late nineteenth-century South.

About the Author

Caroline E. Janney is the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War and Director of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia.
For more information about Caroline E. Janney, visit the Author Page.


"This excellent and well-written book illuminates the work of an important group in the South's Lost Cause movement."--American Historical 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

"[An] impressive book. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice

"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

"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