The United Daughters of the Confederacy was a significant leader of the “Lost Cause,” which was a movement that revised history to look more favorably on the South after the American Civil War.
Women from elite antebellum families used their social and political clout to fundraise and pressure local governments to erect monuments that memorialized Confederate heroes. They also formed textbook review committees that monitored what Southern schoolchildren learned about the war.
According to Bunk History,
In 1941, a local division of the group published North Carolina’s Confederate Monuments and Memorials, a book that handily compiles various tributes to the Confederacy from around the state, many of them the UDC’s own handiwork. Writer James Huffman got his hands on a first pressing, in which he noted the monument’s inscription:
“In commemoration of the ‘Ku Klux Klan’ during the Reconstruction period following the ‘War Between the States,’ this marker is placed on their assembly ground. Erected by the Dodson-Ramseur chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 1926.”
Since the UDC’s founding in 1894, the elite white Southern ladies’ group has dedicated itself to erecting Confederate monuments around the country and, in more recent years, quietly ensuring those markers remain standing…
Despite its influence, the UDC is rarely name-checked in national discussions about Confederate monuments overtly celebrating white supremacy. And the group remains active, with its national conference—an explosion of antebellum dresses and nostalgia for slavery.