white male domination of women and freedpeople persisted through the transition from the Old South to die New Soudi. One of the book's most interesting sections considers the postwar commemorative efforts of elite women and men who established organizations for exConfederates and worked to create public monuments and rituals by which to pass on their version of the Civil War. Mobilizing historical interpretations to suit present-day concerns, Augusta's Ladies Memorial Association and die Confederate Survivors' Association reinterpreted the Civil War as the heroic effort of men to protect their women and children from northern aggression, thus valorizing men's role in the conflict as a defense of their home, with no mention of the de- fense of slavery. "What persisted" in the public telling of die war, according to Whites, "was a white male identity that could survive even amid die new social realities, in which slaves were emancipated and white men were no longer able to 'protect' their own women and children as diey had in die past." Participants in this memorial movement, who established organizations and created public monuments that continue to dot the southern landscape, prevailed in controlling the narrative of the war for decades afterward.
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jan 4, 1998
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