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Confederate Leaders

Birthplace of Albert Sydney Johnston


Postcard of Gen. Albert Sydney Johnston’s birthplace in Washington, KY.

 

Women of the Lost Cause wanted to revive Southern culture. Confederate leaders became one way to promote those virtues of the South. Most of the honored Confederate leaders came from the battle fields rather than the government. Southerns admired Confederate President Jefferson Davis. However, the Lost Cause drew more power from military leaders. Men and women commemorated General Albert Sydney Johnston for his honorable fighting and death at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. He signified courage and commitment to the Confederacy. Johnston’s daughter and the women in Louisville admired the general so much that they named their chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UCD) in honor of him.

 

 

 

Women organizations also participated in honoring General Robert E. Lee. As one of the top generals in the Confederacy, Lee became the most distinguished Confederate and memorized man. The constitution of the UCD specifically set aside his birthday, January 19, as an official holiday. The day “shall be observed with special and appropriate exercises.” In 1910, the Albert Sydney Johnston Chapter celebrated the one hundred and third birthday of Lee. The women held the event at the Louisville Free Public Library. Confederate decorations lined the room along with two portraits of Lee. The celebration also included music and an address praising the general. Johnston, Lee, and even Davis represented the virtues and accomplishments of the Confederacy that Southern women wished to preserve.