Research Log 2

Research Log Questions

What did you find?

I found The Confederate Belle by Giselle Roberts.

Why does it matter?

Roberts stresses the failure of historians to use age as a category of analysis when studying Confederate women. The purpose of this work is to study the wartime experiences of young, elite women in the "planter ideology" driven societies of Mississippi and Louisiana. She argues that Confederate women continued to embrace antebellum ideals not only because of the privilege granted to them by race, class, and gender, but also because of standards set forth by southern honor. A southern woman upheld her honor by being pious, submissive, pure, and domestic. She reinforced her status by her physical appearances, social relationships, familial roles, and accomplishments. Roberts asserts that young Confederate women experienced the war differently than older women because they did not manage the households, were less interested in politics, employed unique coping strategies, and they understood Union occupation to be an assault against their honor and status. The young women were caught between antebellum ideals, patriotic femininity, and wartime reality.

How did you get there?

I located this monograph at Simpson Library.

Did it lead you anywhere? If so, where?

Roberts emphasizes the lack of scholarship on the importance of honor on the socialization of southern women as well as the women's embrasure of honor during the war. She asserts that historians should study roles and contributions of young Confederate women who acted to uphold their family's honor.