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Confederate Memorial Hall
New Orleans, Louisiana
old photo Memorial Hall

An Early Photo of Confederate Memorial Hall

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Varina Anne "Winnie" Davis

Winnie Davis

"Lost Princess of the South"

The members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy® were invited to the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum to attend a special exhibit highlighting the short life of Winnie Davis. The above portrait was commissioned for Mardi Gras in 1892 when she reigned as the Queen of Comus.

The program read in part: This exhibit examines the brief, poignant life of Varina Anne ("Winnie") Davis, youngest daughter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Born in the Confederate capitol, Winnie became a beloved citizen of the world.

Schooled in Germany, Winnie was unprepared to assume her role as Southern symbol. Sentimental veterans proclaimed her "Daughter of the Confederacy." As one newspaper observed, Jefferson Davis would soon be gone "and all that will remain of The Lost Cause is this young and beautiful woman."

Winnie's art and writings, jewelry, and photographs of her coming-of-age reveal the private side of the glamorous public persona that duty compelled her to assume.

When living at "Beauvoir", Winnie's parents urged her to leave their isolated home and join the New Orleans social scene. She was in the court of Comus in 1884 along with daughters of Robert E. Lee, A. P. Hill and Stonewall Jackson. In 1892 she reigned as Queen of Comus.

Revered in the South, she chose ultimately to live out her life in the North. Unable to marry her northern beau, she instead lived with her widowed mother in New York City. Winnie died at age 34, awaiting the publication of her second novel, having lost her health, her family, and her will to live.

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UDC members
Some UDC Members Attending the Exhibit

Pat Gallagher-Division President, Vilma Jefferson-Division Parliamentarian
Joyce Bridges-Division Vice President

The evening was enjoyable, entertaining and educational.

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