The title may have caught your attention! I hope so. It is the title of a book by Caroline E. Janney, Burying The Dead But Not The Past, subtitled Ladies Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause. I picked my autographed copy up at the Confederate Museum in Richmond.
We all know the mettle of Southern women was tempered and tested during the hardships of The War. These stalwart women banded together into groups for more effective service. In Montgomery there was the Laides’ Aid Societyand the Ladies Hebrew Sewing and Benevolent Society, as well as various Hospital societies.
The Historic and Monumental Association of Alabama was founded November 23, 1865 by a group of prominent Alabama men. The main purpose was to erect a monument on the Capitol grounds; however the more immediate problem became the condition of the cemeteries where shallow graves were being washed away by rains.
The ladies of Montgomery soon began to devise ways to raise money to have the remains of Alabama soldiers properly buried. The Ladies Society for the Burial of Deceased Alabama Soldiers came into being. This soon became the Ladies Memorial Association.
This group helped raise the money to complete the Confederate Monument which I wrote about in my blog of 11/15 and 11/21. They arranged headstones for 800 soldiers, and a monument and a chapel were built in Oakwood cemetery. The Chapel/Pavilion is still used today for the Confederate Memorial Day ceremonies each April 26, which have continued unbroken from 1866 until today. The Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery is alive and well under the leadership of their energetic President, Leslie Kirk. Google them at Ladies Memorial Association in Montgomery AL.