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Encyclopedia > Richmond in the Civil War
Shells of the buildings of Richmond, silhouetted against a dark sky after the destruction by Confederates, 1865.
Shells of the buildings of Richmond, silhouetted against a dark sky after the destruction by Confederates, 1865.

Richmond, Virginia, served as the capital of the Confederate States of America during the vast majority of the American Civil War. It was the target of numerous attempts by the United States Army to seize possession of the capital, finally falling to the Federals in April 1865. Download high resolution version (1380x1111, 212 KB)Shells of the buildings of Richmond, Virginia, silhouetted against a dark sky after the destruction by Confederates, 1865. ... Download high resolution version (1380x1111, 212 KB)Shells of the buildings of Richmond, Virginia, silhouetted against a dark sky after the destruction by Confederates, 1865. ... Flag Seal Nickname: River City Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra Location Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates , Government Country State County United States Virginia Independent City Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 62. ... Motto: Deo Vindice (Latin: With God As Our Vindicator) Anthem: God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (popular) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (February 4, 1861–May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (April 3–April 10, 1865) Largest city New Orleans... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert Edward Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties Killed in action: 110,000 Total dead: 360,000 Wounded: 275,200 Killed in action: 93,000 Total dead: 258... The United States Army is the largest branch of the United States armed forces and has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ...

Contents


Early war years

Historically an area steeped in the plantation and slavery culture, Richmond's aversion to the slave trade was growing by the mid-nineteenth century. In 1848, Henry "Box" Brown made history by having himself nailed into a small box and shipped from Richmond to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, escaping slavery to the land of freedom. A plantation is an intentional planting of a crop, on a larger scale, usually for uses other than cereal production or pasture. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Resurrection of Henry Box Brown at Philadelphia was a lithograph by Samuel Rowse in the 1850s Henry Box Brown (1815-unknown) was an African-American slave in Virginia and is remembered by history for escaping in a shipping box sent north to the free state of Pennsylvania. ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ...


By the time of the 1860 census, Richmond ranked as the 3rd largest city in what later became the Confederacy, but it was only 25th in size in the United States, with a population of 37,910.


At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the strategic location of the Tredegar Iron Works was one of the primary factors in the decision to make Richmond the Capital of the Confederacy. From this arsenal came much of the Confederates' heavy ordnance machinery. In 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederate States of America. One month later Davis placed Richmond under martial law. Two months after Davis' inauguration, the Confederate army fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Civil War had begun. Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, Virginia, USA, photograph by Alexander Gardener Tredegar Iron Works is a historic iron foundry in Richmond, Virginia, United States of America. ... Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808–December 6, 1889) was an American soldier and politician, most famous for serving as the only President of the Confederate States, leading the Confederate States of America to defeat during the American Civil War, 1861-65. ... This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers, and should be edited to rectify this. ... Martial law is the system of rules that takes effect (usually after a formal declaration) when a military authority takes control of the normal administration of justice. ... Some Confederate soldiers The Confederate States Army (CSA) was formed in February 1861 to defend the Confederate States of America, which had itself been formed that same year when seven southern states seceded from the United States (with four more to follow). ... Fort Sumter, located in Charleston, South Carolina, harbor, was named after General Thomas Sumter. ... Nickname: The Holy City, The Palmetto City, Chucktown Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ...


Tredegar Iron Works made the 723 tons of armor plating that covered the CSS Virginia, the world’s first ironclad used in the 2-day Battle of Hampton Roads in March 1862, first successfully against wooden Union ships, then to a draw against the USS Monitor, another innovative ironclad. CSS Virginia was an ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War (built using the remains of the scuttled USS Merrimack). ... Ironclad warships, frequently shortened to just ironclads, were ships sheathed with thick iron plates for protection. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders John L. Worden Franklin Buchanan Catesby R. Jones Strength 1 ironclad, 3 wooden warships 1 ironclad, 2 wooden warships, 1 gunboat, 2 tenders Casualties 2 wooden warships sunk, 1 wooden warship damaged 261 killed 108 wounded 1 ironclad damaged 7... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... USS Monitor was an ironclad warship (the first ever) of the United States Navy. ...


Peninsular Campaign

In 1862, the Peninsula Campaign, led by General George B. McClellan, was a Union attempt to take Richmond, beginning from Union-held Fort Monroe at the eastern tip of the Virginia Peninsula at Old Point Comfort. Efforts to take Richmond by the James River were successfully blocked by Confederate defenses at Drewry's Bluff, about 8 miles downstream from Richmond. The Union march up the Peninsula by land culminated in the Seven Days Battles. Ruses to make the defending forces seem larger by General John B. Magruder, Richmond's defensive line of batteries and fortifications set up under General Robert E. Lee, a daring ride around the Union Army by Confederate cavalry under General J.E.B. Stuart, and an unexpected appearance of General Stonewall Jackson's famous "foot cavalry" combined to unnerve the ever-cautious McClellan, and he initiated a Union retreat before Richmond. Even as other portions of the South were falling, the failure of the Peninsula Campaign to take Richmond led to almost three more years of bitter and bloody warfare between the states. McClellan and Johnston of the Peninsula Campaign The Peninsula Campaign (also known as the Peninsular Campaign) of the American Civil War was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater. ... George McClellan George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826 – October 29, 1885) was a major general during the American Civil War. ... Satellite Photo of Fort Monroe Fort Monroe, Virginia (also known as Fortress Monroe) is a military installation located at Old Point Comfort on the tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads on the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay. ... Old Point Comfort is a point of land located in the independent city of Hampton at the extreme tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads in the United States. ... The James River at Cartersville The James River in the U.S. state of Virginia is 547. ... View of Fort Darling at Drewrys Bluff from James River in 1865, Drewrys Bluff is located in northeastern Chesterfield County, Virginia in the United States. ... Lee and McClellan of the Seven Days The Seven Days Battles was a series of six major battles over the seven days from June 25 to July 1, 1862, near Richmond, Virginia, in the American Civil War. ... John B. Magruder John Bankhead Magruder (May 1, 1807 – February 19, 1871) was a U.S. Army officer in the Mexican War, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... For the author of Inherit the Wind and other works, see Robert Edwin Lee. ... James Ewell Brown Stuart (February 6, 1833 – May 12, 1864) was an American soldier from Virginia and a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War. ... Stonewall Jackson Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson (January 20 or 21[1], 1824–May 10, 1863) was an American teacher and soldier. ... Stonewall Jackson Foot cavalry was an oxymoron coined to describe the rapid movements of infantry troops serving under Confederate General Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson during the American Civil War (1861–1865). ...


Richmond under siege

The Confederacy hit its high-water mark at Battle of Gettysburg in mid-1863. Subsequent campaigning in the balance of the year failed to bring a decisive battles, and Richmond residents settled down to the winter of 1863–64 mostly still optimistic about the Confederacy's fortunes. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign resulted in Robert E. Lee's Confederate army retiring to the vicinity of Richmond and Petersburg, where they checked Grant's progress. Grant decided to lay siege to the Confederates. Gettysburg is a borough 38 miles (68 km) south by southwest of Harrisburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA, of which it is the county seatGR6. ... Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American soldier and politician who was elected the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... Ulysses S. Grant Robert E. Lee The Overland Campaign, or Grants Overland Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June, 1864, in the American Civil War. ... For the author of Inherit the Wind and other works, see Robert Edwin Lee. ... Location Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates , Government Country State County United States Virginia Independent city Founded December 17, 1748 Mayor Annie M. Mickens Geographical characteristics Area     City 60. ...


Fall of Richmond

After a long siege, Union General Ulysses S. Grant captured Petersburg and Richmond in April 1865. As the fall of Petersburg became imminent, on Evacuation Sunday, President Davis, his Cabinet, and the Confederate defenders abandoned Richmond, and fled south on the last open railroad line, the Richmond and Danville. The retreating soldiers were under orders to set fire to bridges, the armory, and warehouses with supplies as they left. The fire in the largely abandoned city spread out of control, and large parts of Richmond were destroyed, reaching to the very edge of Capitol Square mostly unchecked. The conflagration was not completely extinguished until the mayor and other civilians went to the Union lines east of Richmond on New Market Road and surrendered the city the next day. Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American soldier and politician who was elected the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... The Richmond & Danville Railroad was chartered in Virginia in the United States in 1847. ... An armory is a military depot used for the storage of weapons and ammunition. ... Virginia State Highway 5 runs between the independent cities of Richmond and Williamsburg. ...


President Abraham Lincoln, who had been staying nearby at City Point, toured the fallen city by foot with his young son Tad, and visited the former White House of the Confederacy and the Virginia State Capitol. Also, about one week later after the evacuation of Richmond, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant ending the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse. Unfortunately for the South, within the same week, Lincoln was assassinated in Washington D.C.. Northern leadership would deal much more harshly with the fallen states than Lincoln had planned. Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was an American politician who served as the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... Waterfront at City Point, Virginia (now Hopewell) in 1865 City Point was a town in Prince George County, Virginia in the state of Virginia. ... White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, built in 1818, photo circa 1939. ... Virginia State Capitol Building at Richmond, Virginia Virginia State Capitol is a building in Richmond, the city which is the third State Capital of Virginia. ... For the author of Inherit the Wind and other works, see Robert Edwin Lee. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant Robert E. Lee Strength Army of the Potomac, Army of the James Army of Northern Virginia Casualties 260 440 (27,805 paroled) The Battle of Appomattox Courthouse was the final engagement of Robert E. Lees Army... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United...


Richmond's Civil War heritage

The Jefferson Davis Monument, located at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Davis Avenue in Richmond.
The Jefferson Davis Monument, located at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Davis Avenue in Richmond.

The city has a number of markers and monuments commemorating the Civil War and the town's role in the Confederacy. Monument Avenue was laid out in 1887, with a series of monuments at various intersections honoring the city's Confederate heroes. Included (east to west) were J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Matthew F. Maury. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 206 KB)Photo of the Jefferson Davis Monument, midway along Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. Photo taken in summer 2004 by Gabriel Snyder and licensed under terms of GNU free doc. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 206 KB)Photo of the Jefferson Davis Monument, midway along Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. Photo taken in summer 2004 by Gabriel Snyder and licensed under terms of GNU free doc. ... Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia Monument Avenue, in Richmond, Virginia, memorializes Confederate heroes of the Civil War, and one Richmond native. ... Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia Monument Avenue, in Richmond, Virginia, memorializes Confederate heroes of the Civil War, and one Richmond native. ... James Ewell Brown Stuart (February 6, 1833 – May 12, 1864) was an American soldier from Virginia and a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War. ... For the author of Inherit the Wind and other works, see Robert Edwin Lee. ... Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808–December 6, 1889) was an American soldier and politician, most famous for serving as the only President of the Confederate States, leading the Confederate States of America to defeat during the American Civil War, 1861-65. ... Stonewall Jackson Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson (January 20 or 21[1], 1824–May 10, 1863) was an American teacher and soldier. ... Matthew Fontaine Maury Matthew Fontaine Maury (January 14, 1806 – February 1, 1873), nicknamed Pathfinder of the Seas, was an oceanographer who made important contributions to charting wind and ocean currents. ...


Richmond is the final resting place of both Stuart and Davis, as well as many other Civil Wat notables (see Hollywood Cemetery). A view of Hollywood Cemetery and Presidents Circle Hollywood Cemetery is a large, sprawling cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, characterized by rolling hills and winding paths overlooking the James River. ...


The Richmond National Battlefield Park, a unit of the National Park Service, maintains several battlefields from the Peninsula Campaign and subsequent actions. The White House of the Confederacy houses a museum. A driving tour is well marked (Virginia Civil War Trails). Richmond National Battlefield Park is a unit of the National Park Service in and around Richmond, Virginia. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, built in 1818, photo circa 1939. ...


External links

U.S. cities in the Civil War
North: Cleveland - New York City - Romney, WV - Washington, D.C.
Border states: Louisville - St. Louis
South: Atlanta - Charleston - Mobile - Nashville - New Orleans - Richmond - Wilmington

 
 

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