Burying the Dead but Not the Past

Burying the Dead but Not the Past

Dr. Caroline Janney

10.5.2008

Dr. Caroline Janney

Dr. Caroline Janney is an assistant professor at Purdue University specializing in U.S. and Women’s History. She is particularly interested in how race, gender, and combat experience shaped the ways in which Americans thought about the war and its legacy. She received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Virginia. She is the author of essays about the Lost Cause that have appeared recently in Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration and Virginia’s Civil War, as well as an article on the memory of John Brown’s raid that appeared in Civil War History magazine. Her first book, Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause was recently published by the University of North Carolina Press. Her second book will examine how the Civil War has been remembered between 1865 and 1920.

Dr. Caroline Janney discusses her book, "Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause," about the role of Southern women in creating the first Memorial Days to honor fallen Confederate soldiers after the Civil War. While Memorial Day is now a one-day celebration, Janney argues that the concept began in the Spring of 1866 when Southern women began memorials, not only to honor the dead, but also as political statements in the post-Civil War South.