In Remembrance: Confederate Funerary Monuments in Alabama and Resistance to Reconciliation, 1884-1923
Type of DegreeThesis
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This thesis will examine Alabama Confederate monuments in terms of their style and location. In so doing, it explores their connection to the greater memory of the Civil War in the South. Scholars writing on southern monuments have noted two phases of memorialization; the first entailed the building of funerary-style monuments (usually taking the form of an obelisk) in cemeteries, while the second marked the rise of the “soldier” statue placed on prominent locations such as courthouse lawns or major intersections. Although scholars provide many different reasons for this rise in the construction of celebratory soldier statues, none have speculated as to why local communities continued to raise funerary-style monuments. This thesis directly addresses this issue, and argues that the continued construction of funerary monuments represented a last vestige of resistance to reconciliation in communities that experienced exceptionally difficult trials during the war. While describing the process of memorialization in Alabama communities, this thesis will also address gender and racial aspects associated with Confederate remembrance. Finally, it will discuss the continuation of disunity throughout the twentieth century up to the present.