Even without the right to vote, members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy proved to have enormous social and political influence throughout the South-all in the name of preserving Confederate culture. Karen L. Cox's history of the UDC, an organization founded in 1894 to vindicate the Confederate generation and honor the Lost Cause, shows why myths surrounding the Confederacy continue to endure.
The Daughters, as UDC members were popularly known, were daughters of the Confederate generation. While southern women had long been leaders in efforts to memorialize the Confederacy, UDC members made the Lost Cause a movement about vindication as well as memorialization. They erected monuments, monitored history for "truthfulness," and sought to educate coming generations of white southerners about an idyllic past and a just cause-states' rights. Soldiers' and widows' homes, perpetuation of the mythology of the antebellum South, and pro-southern textbooks in the region's white public schools were all integral to their mission of creating the New South in the image of the Old. UDC members aspired to transform military defeat into a political and cultural victory, in which states' rights and white supremacy remained intact.