A Williamson County native, Edith Drake Pope worked as the business secretary (1893-1913) and editor (1914-32) of Confederate Veteran for the magazine’s entire forty-year history. As editor, she faced mounting financial problems caused by increased death rate among Confederate veterans, reduction in the subscription list, and meager advertising. Pope secured modest monetary grants from the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which enabled the magazine to stay in business, but only in the format of an associational newsletter. Content changed as secondary accounts replaced the earlier tradition of printing firsthand wartime reminiscences. Also, Pope’s personal journalism created unnecessary crises for the journals she worked for, as when she stubbornly defended the historical veracity of Whittier’s poem on Barbara Frietchie. Pope also actively engaged in several commemorative projects, including the Matthew Fontaine Maury monument in Richmond, Virginia, the Sam Davis Memorial Association, in Smyrna, Tennessee, and the monument to Confederate women in Nashville.
As editor of Confederate Veteran, Pope associated with some of the highest ranking members of the UDC, including Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Kate Litton Hickman, Janet Henderson Randolph, Katie Walker Behan, and Mary Poppenheim. She joined Nashville No. 1, UDC, in 1914 and became chapter president (1927-30) and recording secretary (1930-35). In retirement, she administered the Confederate Room in Nashville’s War Memorial Building from 1931 to 1938 and served as radio chairperson for the Tennessee Division, UDC (1941-43). She won more than a dozen essay contests sponsored by the UDC. Pope also belonged to the Tennessee Women’s Press and Author’s Club, Confederate Memorial Literary Society, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and the Woman’s Historical Association (Nashville).
Pope died on January 27, 1947, on the ancestral farm in Burwood.