Women and the lost cause: Preserving a confederate identity in the American Deep South

H. E. Gulley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Many white southern women worked as volunteers or as paid employees during the American Civil War. After the war, they organized women's groups to commemorate the Confederacy. In 1894, the United Daughters of the Confederacy emerged as an umbrella organization for memorial groups and shaped public memory in the South by maintaining a positive image of Confederate veterans. Overlapping official and vernacular cultural interests encouraged erection of monuments to anonymous soldiers from 1865 through 1920. After 1945, state agencies dispersed Confederate commemoration across the official and vernacular landscapes by placing historical markers along southern highways. These artifacts emphasize male-dominated military activity but also identify women's roles in patriarchal southern society. Analysis of this landscape evidence in the context of official and vernacular landscapes and cultural expressions yields previously untapped data for understanding women's roles and perceptions of their activities within the Deep South. Although women's contributions are under-represented in the landscape, this imbalance may be redressed in state historical marker programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Archaeology


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