As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, you may find it useful to know the role that southern women, particularly the United Daughters of the Confederacy, played in commemorating the Confederate past, and not just through the many monuments that dot the regional landscape.
If so, you may find Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture an interesting read. Published in 2003 by University Press of Florida, the book won the 2004 Julia Cherry Spruill Award for the Best Book in Southern Women’s History, awarded by the Southern Association for Women Historians. It’s available in both cloth and paper.
“At long last, the UDC, founded in 1894, has received a full scholarly treatment. Cox’s superb research encompasses the minutes and papers of UDC leaders and some effective interviews conducted in 1989-1990 with women who had been members of the Children of the Confederacy.” “Cox’s reader does not lack information for imagining how sinister the UDC’s influence may have been over time. But as one tries to estimate a tally sheet of the money and energy spent by the UDC and its allies on monuments, on racist history books, on glorification of the Ku Klux Klan, and on the perpetuation of a tragically misshapen story of the meaning of the Civil War, we might gasp in critical indignation at the sheer weight of the damage done by these dedicated women to American race relations and to the nation’s historical imagination.” — The Journal of American History
“Dixie’s Daughters provides a much-needed institutional history of the UDC at the height of its influence; that alone would be a major contribution. But Cox incorporates into it an exploration of the impact of the group on southern culture and the lives of the upper-class women who participated in it.” — Southern Cultures
“Dixie’s Daughters adds a new dimension to the growing scholarship on the creation of historical memory. Cox treats her subjects as vital, influential, political actors and integrates them into the Progressive Era by suggesting that southern women displayed their own, unique brand of activism. This is a book that would serve well in the classroom in courses on women’s history, southern history, and the Progressive Era.” — H-SAWH
“Cox’s book is an important contribution to our understanding of the creation of the Lost Cause culture which became so dominant in the New South, and it is highly recommended reading for all Southern historians as well as historians of American women’s history.” — Louisiana History