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Die konfederale hoofstad van Richmond word gevange geneem

Die konfederale hoofstad van Richmond word gevange geneem

Die Rebel -hoofstad Richmond, Virginia, val aan die Unie, die belangrikste teken dat die Konfederasie sy laaste dae nader.

Tien maande lank het generaal Ulysses S. Grant tevergeefs probeer om die stad te infiltreer. Nadat Lee op 25 Maart 'n wanhopige aanval op Fort Stedman langs die Unie -lyn gemaak het, het Grant hom voorberei op 'n groot offensief. Hy het op 1 April by Five Forks toegeslaan en die einde van Lee se lyn suidwes van Petersburg verpletter. Op 2 April slaan die Yankees langs die Petersburg -lyn en die Konfederate stort in duie.

LEES MEER: Amerikaanse burgeroorlog: oorsake en datums

Die aand van 2 April het die Konfederale regering uit die stad gevlug met die leër agter. Nou, die oggend van 3 April, het troepe met blou bedekking die hoofstad binnegekom. Richmond was die heilige graal van die Unie -oorlogspoging, die doel van vier jaar veldtog. Tienduisende Yankee -lewens het verlore gegaan om dit te kry, en byna net soveel Konfederale lewens het verloor om dit te verdedig.

Nou het die Yankees hul prys in besit geneem. Een inwoner, Mary Fontaine, skryf: "Ek het gesien hoe hulle 'n klein vlag vou, en ek sak op my knieë, en die bittere, bittere trane kom in 'n stroom." 'N Ander waarnemer het geskryf dat terwyl die Federale inry, die swart inwoners van die stad' heeltemal gek was, gedans en geskree het, mans omhels en vroue gesoen het '. Onder die eerste magte in die hoofstad was swart troepe van die 5de Massachusetts Cavalry, en die volgende dag het president Abraham Lincoln die stad besoek. Vir die inwoners van Richmond was dit simbole van 'n wêreld wat onderstebo was. Een verslaggewer het opgemerk: "... te aaklig om te onthou as dit moontlik was om uitgevee te word, maar dit kan nie wees nie."

LEES MEER: Waarom die burgeroorlog eintlik 16 maande geëindig het nadat Lee oorgegee het


Gevangenes in Richmond

Die konflik was veronderstel om vinnig te eindig. Namate die oorlog in 1862 voortgesit het, het sowel die Unie as die Konfederale regerings krygsgevangenekampe nodig gehad om die toenemende aantal gevange mans te hou. Na raming is 400 000 gevangenes tydens die oorlog in moeilike en onstuimige omstandighede van ontneming in die unie- en konfederale kampe aangehou. Ongeveer 56 000 van hierdie gevangenes, tien persent van die oorledenes van die oorlog, het in hierdie kampe omgekom. As die hoofstad van die Konfederasie was Richmond 'n sentrum van aktiwiteit tydens die oorlog. Talle gevangenisse is in en om die stad gevestig om die groot toestroming van gevangenes uit die oostelike en westelike teaters te akkommodeer. Libby Gevangenis, Castle Thunder, Castle Lightning en Belle Isle is verteenwoordigend van die gevangenisse in Richmond, onderskei in die gevangenes wat hulle aangehou het en in die daaglikse lewe van die gevangenes.

    Libby gevangenis
    In 1861 het die Konfederale owerhede beslag gelê op 'n baksteenpakhuis van drie verdiepings in Cary en Canal Street wat die berugste gevangenis van Richmond sou word: Libby-gevangenis. Hierdie afgesonderde en maklik bewaakte plek was ideaal vir 'n gevangenis, en dit was toeganklik met spoorweg en water. Kort nadat die eerste gevangenes in Maart 1862 aangekom het, het die Libby -gevangenis vinnig oorvol geword en ekstra gevangenisse in die stad was nodig. Libby -gevangenis het gedien as die hoofkwartier van die militêre gevangenisse van die Konfederale State en was die depot waarheen alle gevangenes wat gevange geneem is, gebring is voordat hulle na omliggende gevangenisse oorgeplaas is. Alhoewel Libby -gevangenis hoofsaaklik gevangenisbeamptes van die vakbond huisves, het dit geen lewensgehalte -voordeel bo ander gevangenisse gebied nie. Gevangenes het gebuk gegaan onder beknopte woonbuurte, swak sanitasie, uitbrake van siektes en uiterste temperature gedurende die winter- en somermaande.
    Toe generaal Lee Petersburg verlaat en Jefferson Davis in April 1865 aangeraai het om Richmond te ontruim, het Libby -gevangenis ook ontruim en slegs 'n paar siek of gewonde krygsgevangenes agtergelaat. Die gebou het die ontruimingsbrand oorleef, is in Desember 1888 ontmantel en is na Ohio geneem om dit as 'n museum op te rig. Teen 1895 is dit weer afgebreek met die doel om dit na Washington DC te verskuif.
    Die Libby -gevangenis was nie so onontkombaar as wat die konfederale owerhede gedink het dit is nie -Volg hierdie skakel om te lees oor een van die suksesvolste ontsnappings uit die burgeroorlog.

Gleanor's Tobacco Factory en twee kleiner baksteengeboue, Palmer's Factory en Whitlock's Warehouse, is in beslag geneem deur die Konfederale regering en hergebruik as 'n gevangenis. Hierdie kompleks is gepas vernoem na sy uiterste brutaliteit: Castle Thunder. Die drie geboue huisves 1 400 politieke gevangenes en deserters wat geskei is, geslag, ras en strafbare oortreding. Die omstandighede by Castle Thunder was besonder onmenslik met uiterste fisieke straf en mishandeling. Daar is opgemerk dat gevangenisbeamptes op skoolhoof dikwels 50 tot 100 wimpers aan nuwe aankomende Konfederale woestyne gee.

Soos Libby -gevangenis, het Castle Thunder die ontruimingsbrand oorleef wat bykans alle ander tabakfabrieke en pakhuise in die stad verwoes het. Na die oorlog is die eiendom aan die oorspronklike eienaars teruggestuur, wat die kompleks in 1879 aan die brand gesteek het.

Oorkant die straat van Castle Thunder het Castle Lightning gestaan, 'n gevangenis wat opgerig is om kriminele beskuldigdes van die Konfederale soldate en burgerlikes te hou. Hierdie gevangenis het hoofsaaklik verlate persone uit die Konfederale Weermag gehuisves, asook gevangenes uit Castle Thunder. Dit lyk asof Castle Lightning in 1863 gesluit het en omskep is in kaserne vir die huisvesting van verskeie ondernemings wat in die stad diens doen. Die gevangenes wat hier opgesluit is, is verwyder en waarskynlik in Castle Thunder geplaas.
Sommige gevange woestyne het nooit hul begeerte om aan die oorlog te ontsnap, verloor nie. Lees hul verhale hier.

Hierdie gewilde ontspanningsgebied vir die 19de eeu Richmonders is aan die begin van die burgeroorlog omskep in 'n opleidingsgesig vir nuwe rekrute. Teen die tweede somer van die oorlog het Belle Isle egter as 'n krygsgevangenekamp geopen om die oorbevolking in die Libby -gevangenis te verlig. Belle Isle is teen September dieselfde jaar gesluit omdat 'n uitwisselingstelsel tussen gevangenes tussen die Unie en die Konfederasie die aantal soldate wat langdurige bevalling benodig, verminder het. Die onderbreking van hierdie stelsel het egter weer die ruimte op Belle Isle nodig gemaak, en die gevangenis is in Mei 1863 heraktiveer.

Die vinnige strome rondom Belle Isle, wat naby 'n vallyn in James River geleë was, het 'n afskrikmiddel teen gevangenes ontsnap. Die kamp het bestaan ​​uit gevangeniste, offisiere en wagkwartiere, 'n kookhuis, vyf hospitaaltente en 'n begraafplaas. Alhoewel die beoogde kapasiteit 3 ​​000 was, was daar slegs 300 gevangenistente vir skuiling. Op sy hoogtepunt was daar 10 000 gevangenes op Belle Isle, en baie gevangenes het gebrek aan skuiling gehad. Gedurende die koue winter van 1863 sou tot veertien mense elke aand dood vries.

Die elemente was nie die enigste bedreiging in die kamp nie. Siektes soos dysenterie, tifus, longontsteking en pokke het deur Richmond en die gevangenisse gewoed. Siek gevangenes op Belle Isle is in die nabygeleë hospitaaltente behandel, en ernstige gevalle is na 'n hospitaal in die stad gestuur. Die karige en inkonsekwente voedselvoorraad was nie genoeg om die gevangenes te onderhou nie, en desperate gevangenes het gesteel. Dit is bekend dat honger soldate die troeteldiere van die wagte, soos hoenders en honde, gesteel het en dit verslind het.

Teen Februarie 1864 is gevangenes op Belle Isle na 'n nuutgestigte gevangenis in Andersonville, Georgia, verplaas. Die mans wat Belle Isle verlaat het, was vuil, swak geklee, en byna almal weeg minder as 100 pond. In sy agtien maande van periodieke operasie tussen 1862-1864 is ongeveer 20 000 gevangenes ontvang en byna 1 000 is dood. Vandag is Belle Isle 'n gewilde ontspanningsgebied vir plaaslike inwoners, net soos voor die burgeroorlog. Deur bloot na die skoonheid en rustigheid van die eiland vandag te kyk, sou 'n mens nie verwag dat dit sulke afgryse en lyding sou beleef nie.

Sommige gevangenes het dagboeke gehou van hul ervarings. Lees hier oor die ervaring van een man op Belle Isle.


Richmond, Embattled Capital, 1861-1865

3 April 1865. & quot Terwyl die son op Richmond opkom, word so 'n skouspel aangebied wat nooit deur die wat dit gesien het, vergeet kan word nie. Al die gruwels van die laaste vuur, toe die aarde in vlamme toegedraai en met vurige hitte sal smelt, was in ons hoofstad voorgesien. Die gedreun, geknetter en gesis van die vlamme, die gebars van skulpe by die Konfederale Arsenal, die geluide van die instrumente van gevegsmusiek, die gekerm van die perde, die geskree van die menigtes. het 'n idee gegee van al die gruwels van Pandemonium. Bo al hierdie toneel van terreur hang 'n swart rookwol waardeur die son skyn met 'n vurige woedende glans soos 'n ontsaglike bol bloed wat strale ligstrale uitstraal, asof dit 'n afsku wil skyn oor 'n toneel wat so afgryslik is. . [Toe] word 'n kreet opgewek: 'The Yankees! Die Yankees kom! '& Quot

So onthou Sallie Putnam, wat gedurende die hele oorlog in Richmond gewoon het, die laaste rampspoedige ure van die stad wie se bestaan ​​Noord -en Suid -Afrikaners deur vier bitter, bloedige jare beset het en waarvan die laaste onderwerping die begin van die einde vir die Konfederale State aangedui het Amerika.

Richmond, geleë aan die hoof van die seevaart op die Jamesrivier en slegs 176 kilometer (110 myl) van die federale hoofstad Washington, was sedert die begin van die burgeroorlog in 1861 'n simbool en 'n uitstekende sielkundige doelwit. gevange geneem word, kan suidelike mense hul wil om te weerstaan ​​te verloor-so beredeneerde leiers aan beide kante. Maar daar was nog meer oortuigende redes waarom Richmond 'n militêre teiken geword het, omdat dit nie net die politieke sentrum van die Suidelike Konfederasie was nie, maar ook 'n mediese en vervaardigingsentrum en die primêre voorraaddepot vir troepe was wat op die noordoostelike grens van die Konfederasie werk.

Van die sewe groot dryfkragte wat teen Richmond geloods is, het twee die Unie-magte binne die gesig gestaar van die stad-George B. McClellan se skiereilandveldtog van 1862, wat uitloop op die sewe dae gevegte, en Grant se verpletterende oorlandse veldtog van 1864, wat uiteindelik die Konfederasie laat tuimel het. .

Vroeg in 1862 het genl. George B. McClellan saamgesmelt om die "regerende regimente" wat die Eerste Slag van Manassas oorleef het, 'n swaar maar gedissiplineerde gevegsmasjien van 100,000 man, die Army of the Potomac genoem. Daarmee beweeg hy per water om in die ooste van Virginia te belê en Richmond te verower. Die operasie sou bygestaan ​​word deur 'n aanval op die land deur troepe onder genl Irvin McDowell en gekoördineer word met 'n watergedrewe beweging teen die Jamesrivier. 'N Vlootaanval van die Unie is op 15 Mei by Drewry's Bluff gestaak en teen 24 Mei, toe McClellan binne 10 kilometer van die Konfederale hoofstad ontplooi was, het president Lincoln ontsteld geraak oor die veiligheid van Washington en McDowell se beweging opgeskort.

Genl Joseph E. Johnston, die Konfederale bevelvoerder. nou van mening dat McClellan van plan was om noord van die Jamesrivier te bly, besluit om aan te val. Op 31 Mei val Johnston se troepe op die Federals naby Fair Oaks. Alhoewel die gevolglike stryd besluiteloos was, het dit vir beide leërs beduidende resultate gelewer. Die reeds doelbewuste McClellan is nog meer versigtig as gewoonlik gemaak. Belangriker nog, as gevolg van 'n ernstige wond wat generaal Johnston tydens die geveg opgedoen het, het president Jefferson Davis genl Robert E. Lee in bevel van die verdedigende magte geplaas.

McClellan, wat 'n gevaarlike posisie langs die Chickahominy -rivier behou het en verwag het dat McDowell se korps by hom sou aansluit, huiwer te lank. Op 26 Junie val Lee's Army van Noord -Virginia die regterflank van die Unie by Mechanicsville aan, waarna hy groot verliese gely het in futiele aanvalle teen die sterk Unie -posisies op Beaver Dam Creek. So het die Seven Days 'Battles begin, 'n reeks onttrekkings wat onttrek is en optrede gehou het wat die Peninsular Campaign by Malvern Hill bereik het en die leër van die Unie in staat gestel het om 'n ramp te vermy deur oos van Richmond na die veiligheid van federale geweerbote op die James River by Harrison's Landing te sirkel. . Toe die sewe dae geëindig het, was ongeveer 35 000 soldate, noord en suid, slagoffers, en baie van beide kante het waarskynlik die siening gedeel van 'n jong Georgiër wat huis toe geskryf het: & quot; ek het die afgelope week baie dinge gesien, gehoor en gevoel wil weer sien, hoor of voel. & quot

Terwyl die leërs besluiteloos in die noorde van Virginia, Maryland en Pennsilvanië twee jaar lank beslis besluit het, het Richmond die onafgebroke suksesse van Lee versterk en toegejuig om die noordelike leërs weg te hou. In Maart 1864 neem genl Ulysses S. Grant die bevel oor alle leërs van die Unie in die veld. Grant het hom aangesluit by die Army of the Potomac, toe onder bevel van genl George Gordon Meade, met 'n onwankelbare veldtog teen Richmond en die Army of Northern Virginia. Lee het gesê: 'Ons moet hierdie leër van Grant stop voordat hy by die Jamesrivier kom. As hy daar kom, sal dit 'n beleg word, en dan is dit net 'n kwessie van tyd. & Quot

In 'n reeks flankerende bewegings wat bedoel was om Lee van die Konfederale hoofstad af te sny, het die leër van die Unie by die suidelike inwoners van die Wildernis, Spotsylvania Court House, Noord -Anna -rivier en Totopotomoy Creek verbygegaan, alhoewel dit swaar ly. By Cold Harbour op 3 Junie 1864 het Grant se massiewe frontaanvalle teen die sterk gevestigde Konfederale lyne misluk, met afgryslike ongevalle. Tien dae lank braai die erg gekneusde Federale en honger Konfederate in die loopgrawe onder hitte van 100 grade, dan trek Grant stilweg terug, steek die Jamesrivier oor en ry na die belangrike spoorweg van Petersburg, suid van Richmond.

Gedurende die laat somer en herfs het Grant voortgegaan met die bedreiging van die buitenste verdediging wat Richmond en Petersburg beskerm. Verskeie groot aanrandings het gedeeltelike sukses behaal, waaronder die verowering van Fort Harrison in September 1864. Winterweer het uiteindelik aktiewe bedrywighede tot 'n einde gebring. Die lewe in die loopgrawe rondom die beleërde stede het roetine en vaal geword. Om net genoeg te vind om te eet en warm te bly, het konstante besorgdheid geword.

Grant se suksesvolle beleg van Petersburg in die winter van 1864-1865 het Lee genoop om op 2 April 1865 uit die stad weswaarts terug te trek. Die volgende dag, kort na dagbreek, het die burgemeester van Richmond, Joseph C. Mayo, die volgende boodskap oorgedra aan die bevelvoerder van die uniemagte wat wag om die Konfederale hoofstad binne te gaan: & quot dat u dit met georganiseerde geweld in besit sal neem om die orde te bewaar en vroue en kinders en eiendom te beskerm. & quot

By die ontruiming van die stad het die Konfederale regering toestemming gegee om pakhuise en voorrade te verbrand, wat aansienlike skade aan fabrieke en huise in die sakekern tot gevolg gehad het. Voordat die verkoolde ruïnes van Richmond afgekoel het, het Lee met die oorblyfsel van sy leër op 9 April 1865 aan Grant oorgegee by Appomattox Court House. Die ineenstorting van die Konfederasie het vinnig gevolg.


Hoofstede van die Konfederasie

Die Capitol -gebou in Richmond, Virginia (Library of Congress)

Alabama, gestig in 1819, op die hoë blapse bo die Alabama -rivier en 330 myl van die Golf van Mexiko, Montgomery, het vinnig die hart geword van die staat se plantasie -ekonomie. Teen 1846 is Montgomery die hoofstad van Alabama. In 1861 het 9 000 mense in die stad gewoon, wat as die rykste vanweë die grootte daarvan in die land beskou word. Montgomery was 'n vervoersentrum, met stoombote wat na Mobile reis, koetsiers oos en 'n spoorlyn wat noordoos en suidwes loop.

Op 11 Januarie 1861 het die staat Alabama van die Unie afgestig. Minder as 'n maand later, vroeg in Februarie, het die afskeidingskonvensie in Alabama afgevaardigdes van die ander afgeskeide state genooi om in Montgomery te vergader om die nuwe Konfederale nasie te vorm. Afgevaardigdes uit ses van die sewe afgesonderde state (die Texane het laat aangekom) het 'n grondwet vir die Konfederale State van Amerika opgestel in slegs vier dae die volgende dag dat hulle Jefferson Davis die president van die Konfederasie verkies het. Einde Februarie het Davis die eed afgelê terwyl hy op die portiek van die staatshoofstad in Montgomery gestaan ​​het.

Montgomery se drie hotelle en talle losieshuise was stampvol regeringsamptenare, politici, soldate en koerante. Dit het meer 'n metropool geword as 'n rustige dorpie, met sy strate vol waens en perde, en mense op soek na skinder, argumente en besprekings. Almal het die skoonheid van die stad bewonder.

Maar teen Mei verander die somer se vogtige hitte en die muskiete baie mense se gedagtes oor Montgomery. Toe die pasgemaakte Virginiërs dus hul eie staat en hul eie hoofstad as die setel van die Konfederasie aanbied, was baie gretig om die aanbod te aanvaar. Mary Boykin Chesnut het in haar dagboek opgemerk dat haar man, 'n voormalige Amerikaanse senator, teen die stap was. Sy het egter opgemerk: "Ek dink dat hierdie ongemaklike hotelle die kongres sal skuif. Ons staatsmanne hou van hul gemak."

Jefferson Davis was aanvanklik teengestaan ​​en het geglo dat die hoofstad in die diep suide moet woon, waar die gevoelens vir afstigting die sterkste was. Die Konfederale Kongres het die besluit egter goedgekeur en 21 Mei verdaag en twee maande later in Richmond vergader. Soos dr James McPherson skryf Battle Cry of Freedom, "Virginia het belangrike hulpbronne na die Konfederasie gebring. Haar bevolking was die grootste in die Suide. Haar industriële kapasiteit was byna net so groot soos dié van die sewe oorspronklike Konfederale state saam. Die Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond was die enigste fabriek in die suide wat swaar wapens kon vervaardig. Die erfenis van Virginia uit die generasie Washington, Jefferson en Madison het haar groot aansien gegee. "

Die permanentste hoofstad van die Konfederasie: Richmond, Virginia

Davis verlaat Montgomery op 26 Mei op die hoogtepunt van die ywer na die val van Fort Sumter en Lincoln se oproep om 75 000 troepe. By aankoms in Richmond, die hoofstad van Virginia, op 29 Mei, word hy deur die skare op die treinstasie ontmoet en langs die strate na die Spotswood Hotel.

Richmond was 'n veel groter metropool as Montgomery. Die hart van die Suid -Afrikaanse nywerheid, Richmond, was ook 'n markstad wat spesialiseer in meel en slawe. Dit was 'n pragtige stad aan die voet van die Great Falls van die Jamesrivier en op sewe heuwels. Sy burgers het dit met Rome vergelyk. Tussen 1861 en 1865 het die bevolking toegeneem tot 100,000 en meer. Tot groot ontsteltenis van die burgers was baie van die nuwe inwoners onstuimig, lawaaierig en lastig. Omdat die stad ook die Konfederale hoofstad was, het dit die aandag van die Unie geword. Die bedreiging van gevangenskap deur die federale magte was konstant.

Richmond floreer aanvanklik as die hoofstad van die Konfederasie. Toe verhonger. Toe brand dit toe uiteindelik Robert E. Lee se magte moes terugtrek en die stad weerloos laat.

Die laaste hoofstad: Danville, Virginia

Danville, geleë in die suide van Virginia, nie ver van die grens van Noord -Carolina nie, was die westelike eindpunt van die Richmond- en Danville -spoorweg en 'n belangrike Konfederale toevoerbasis. Jefferson Davis en sy regering het na Danville gereis toe Richmond aan die federale weermag geval het. Die stad was slegs agt dae, 3-10 April 1865, die setel van die Konfederale regering.

Danville se kwartiermeester, majoor William T. Sutherlin, bied sy huis aan Davis en die Konfederale regering aan. Davis het 'n slaapkamer bo, en die konfederale kabinet het in die eetkamer van Sutherlin vergader. Davis het op 4 April sy laaste afkondiging aan die Konfederale nasie by die huis afgelewer.

Davis het geglo dat Danville slegs 'n tydelike plek vir die regering was. Hy was van mening dat die Konfederasie ''n nuwe fase van die stryd aangegaan het', waarin die stryd nie gekoppel sou wees aan die verdediging van stede nie, maar in die guerrillaoorlog na die berge gebring word.

Maar Lee se vervalle leër kon nie uithou nie. Die kabinet het tydens die ete gesit toe die woord van Lee se oorgawe by Appomattox Danville bereik. Die Konfederale regering sou onmiddellik moes trek. Hulle was oorspronklik van plan om na Lynchburg te trek, maar sonder dat 'n leër in Virginia werksaam was, sou die regering suidwaarts moes beweeg, in die rigting van Joseph Johnston se leër. Davis het steeds die hoop gehad dat die Konfederasie die onlangse reeks rampe kon oorleef. Hy het Danville, Virginia, na Greensboro, Noord -Carolina, in die reën verlaat.


Richmond Virginia tydens die burgeroorlog

Confederate Museum (Jefferson Davis se huis), Richmond, Va. Library of Congress

Richmond, Virginia, was tydens die Burgeroorlog die hoofstad van die Konfederale State van Amerika. Alhoewel dit veral bekend is as die hoofstad, het Richmond gedurende die oorlog as stad verander van 'n landboudorp na 'n industriële kragstasie. Die onstuimige tydperk van vier jaar van die burgeroorlog het Richmond verplaas van 'n stad van regeringsamptenare en industriële fabrieke wat die oorlogspoging in 1861 ondersteun het, na 'n verwoeste en verlamde stad in 1865.

Die Virginia State Capitol moes die nuwe Konfederale Kongres sowel as die staatswetgewer akkommodeer. Die twee wetgewende liggame het in hierdie gebou vergader tot 1865, toe dit deur Unie -soldate soos hierdie gevange geneem is, wat op die portiek stilgehou het vir 'n foto.

In 1860 was 'n groot deel van Virginia oorspronklik gekant teen afskeiding as gevolg van die sterk ekonomiese bande met die Unie deur die tabakbedryf, sy landbouhandel en die vervaardigingskragstasie Tredegar Ironworks wat yster vervaardig wat in spoorweë en wapens vir die federale voorraad gebruik word.

Toe Virginia op 17 April 1861 van die Unie afskei, is die debat gevoer oor die vraag of die hoofstad van die Konfederasie van Montgomery, Alabama, na Richmond, Virginia, moet verskuif. Konfederale vise -president Alexander Stephens het geglo dat die verskuiwing van die hoofstad Virginiërs 'n aansporing sou gee om vir die Konfederasie te veg. Richmond se nabyheid aan Washington, DC, sou Virginians byeenbring om te veg vir die nuutgestigte konfederasie. Richmond het ook 'n belangrike simboliese geskiedenis uit die era van die Revolusionêre Oorlog gehad. Stephens, saam met ander konfederate, het geweet van Patrick Henry se toespraak "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" wat in Richmond gelewer is, en hulle het ook geweet dat Thomas Jefferson die Capitol -gebou in Richmond ontwerp het. Die simboliese geskiedenis van Richmond was een van die redes waarom die hoofstad verhuis is, aangesien Montgomery, Alabama, nie so 'n historiese oorsprong gehad het nie. In werklikheid was Richmond egter die mees geïndustrialiseerde stad in die Suide, sowel as een van die min stede in die Suide met 'n groot spoorwegnetwerk en het die Konfederasie 'n groter industriële voordeel gebied as wat Montgomery kon.

Tydens die oorlog was Richmond 'n anargistiese stad wat vol misdaad was. Namate die bevolking van Richmond eksponensieel uitgebrei het weens die toename in konfederale amptenare uit ander state wat na die hoofstad verhuis het, was kriminele aktiwiteite wydverspreid in Richmond. Whiskeywinkels het in Mainstraat gestap en soldate wat in die dronk bedwelm was, het op sypaadjies gesprei. In die begin van die oorlog was dronk soldate die hoofoorsaak van kriminele aktiwiteite in Richmond. Die meeste burgerlikes het eers in die middel en einde van die oorlog kriminele aktiwiteite gehad. Burgers sou sakkers van die verbygangers sak, en sommige sou 'n inval in die tuine maak as daar voedseltekorte was. Op 2 April 1863 vind die Richmond Bread Riot plaas as gevolg van die stygende koste van voedsel en ander benodigdhede. Onluste het twee ure op straat geplunder totdat die Konfederale weermag optrede teen hulle gedreig het. The Bread Riot het die stad meer bewus gemaak van hoe desperaat die stad geword het vir noodsaaklikhede, en probeer om honger te kry met Richmonders.

Richmond was die mediese front van gewonde soldate wat uit die voorste linies van die geveg gekom het. Die grootste hospitaal vir gewonde soldate in Richmond was Chimborazo, geleë op 'n heuwel in die oostelike deel van die stad. Chimborazo was die grootste hospitaal vir die Konfederasie en het een van die laagste sterftesyfers gehad. Die Medical College of Virginia (MCV) was een van die enigste mediese suidelike skole wat gedurende die hele oorlog oop was en klasse behaal het. MCV se pas geboude hospitaal in 1860 het gehelp met die behandeling van gewonde soldate tydens die oorlog, wat Chimborazo sowel as ander veldhospitale wat in Richmond bedrywig was, verligting gebied het.

Richmond was die tuiste van baie slawe, en die oorlog het hul lewens drasties beïnvloed. Voor die burgeroorlog het Virginia die grootste aantal slawe in enige suidelike staat in die Unie gehad. Slawerny was die ruggraat van die Konfederale arbeidsmag, veral in Richmond. Verslaafde mense in Richmond het in alle fasette van die oorlog gewerk. Hulle het op plantasies gewerk om voedsel en verbruikersgoedere soos katoen en tabak te verbou. Hulle het in die industriële sektor in Tredegar Ironworks gewerk, aangesien meer wit werkers deur die Konfederale weermag nodig was. Slawe is as verpleegsters en kokke in die Chimborazo Field -hospitaal aan die werk gesit. Slawe moes ook vestings bou vir die verdediging van Richmond en Petersburg.

In 1865 beleef Richmond en haar omliggende bure 'n lang en uitgerekte beleg. Die beleg self was 'n menigte wrede gevegsgevegsgevegte wat nege maande lank in die stad Petersburg gevoer is. Onlangs aangestelde generaal Ulysses S. Grant was in die mantel van die beleg. Grant het gehoop om 'n dooiepunt tussen die Unie en die Konfederasie te verbreek deur die stryd direk na die leër van Robert E. Lee te neem. Grant het Lee se magte in Richmond en Petersburg gebottel, wat die Federale weer toegelaat het om met die konfederale magte in ander sektore in gesprek te tree en om suidelike oorlogsmateriaal te gryp of te vernietig. Gedurende die beleg het Grant probeer om tegelykertyd in Petersburg en Richmond aan te val, wat druk sou uitoefen sodat rebellemagte nie versterkings na bedreigde punte kon verskuif nie.

Algemene siening van die verbrande distrik Richmond Library of Congress

Na die verpletterende nederlaag by die beleg van Petersburg, het die Konfederale regering begin ontruim uit Richmond. By die ontruiming van Richmond het die Konfederasie enige militêre voorrade verbrand wat hulle nie in die hande van die Unie wou val nie. Die brandweer kon nie die brand blus nie weens 'n wind wat die brande deur die stad gedryf het. Nadat hy geen ander keuse gehad het nie, het die burgemeester van Richmond die beheer oor die stad prysgegee aan die Unie -magte om die brande te blus. Op 4 April besoek president Abraham Lincoln Richmond en die voormalige Konfederale Withuis, saam met die Virginia State Capital. Lincoln het 'n oorverdowende loflied ontvang deur pas vrygelate slawe langs sy roete deur die gevalle Konfederale hoofstad. Toe Richmond uiteindelik val na byna vier jaar van oorlog, het die oorblywende leër van generaal Robert E. Lee weswaarts gestroom en uiteindelik sonder voorrade en afsny deur die federale magte by Appomattox beland. Lee het op 9 April 1865 aan Grant oorgegee, met die amptelike oorgawe -seremonies wat op 12 April 1865 plaasgevind het.

Na die oorlog herbou Richmond homself uit die as van die Konfederasie. Richmond is byna verwoes uit die brande. Die lang rekonstruksieproses was vir baie Richmonders 'n uitdagende taak. Staatsamptenare in Richmond herskryf die grondwet van Virginia wat 'n sinvolle verandering bied wat 'n beroep op Demokrate en Republikeine in Virginia was.

Na die oorlog is baie oorlede Konfederale militêre amptenare begrawe in Richmond, spesifiek Hollywood Cemetery. Hollywood Cemetery is die laaste rusplek vir amptenare soos die voormalige Konfederale President Jefferson Davis, saam met 25 Konfederale generaals, waaronder: J.E.B. Stuart, George Pickett, Fitzhugh Lee en Henry Heth. Hollywood Cemetery is ook die laaste rusplek van die voormalige presidente van die Verenigde State, James Monroe en John Tyler. Die Hollywood -begraafplaas huisves die oorblyfsels van duisende Konfederale soldate, sowel as 'n groot klippiramide wat toegewy is aan 18 000 onbekende Konfederale soldate. Na die oorlog het Richmond baie merkers en monumente opgerig ter herdenking van die Konfederale soldate en generaals wat in die oorlog in die beroemde Monumentlaan geveg het.

Richmond het 'n uiters belangrike rol in die burgeroorlog gespeel. Dit was nie net die hoofkwartier van die Konfederasie nie, maar die stad het 'n deurslaggewende rol gespeel in die uitvoering van die oorlogspoging van die Konfederasie. Van industriële sentrums wat artillerie en wapens vervaardig tot veldhospitale wat na die gewondes omsien, Richmond was tydens die Burgeroorlog 'n stad wat die uitdaging aangeneem het om 'n simbool vir die Konfederasie te word.


Die konfederale hoofstad van Richmond word gevange geneem - GESKIEDENIS

As iemand dink aan beroemde of belangrike gevegte uit die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog, kom die Slag van Gettysburg onmiddellik by my op. Die burgeroorlog is gevoer tussen die Unie (Noord) en die Konfederasie (Suid). Die twis het ontstaan ​​uit die debat oor slawerny, maar dit het in werklikheid meer te doen gehad met ekonomie en aardrykskunde. Katoen groei in oorvloed in die suide, maar glad nie in die noorde nie. 'N Groot deel van die konflik het ontstaan ​​as gevolg van die feit dat plantasie -eienaars groot winste pluk deur gratis arbeid te gebruik.

Op hierdie dag, 3 April, in 1865, is Richmond, Virginia, die hoofstad van die Konfederale State van Amerika, deur die Unie -magte gevange geneem. Hierdie geveg het in wese die einde van die burgeroorlog gemerk. Vir almal wat strategie verstaan, is die verkryging van beheer oor 'n regering se kapitaal gelykstaande aan die afsny van 'n dier se kop. Die Noorde het sy prooi in wese gedemp.

Richmond was 'n sentrale spilpunt vir die spoorweg, vir militêre hospitale en vir krygsgevangenes. Dit was ekonomies belangrik vir die Konfederasie vanweë die uiteenlopende ekonomiese voorsienings, en dit het veiligheid vir baie Konfederate beteken as gevolg van die werk en militêre beskerming wat dit gebied het. Die vaslegging van Richmond was die begin van die einde vir een van die bloedigste oorloë in die geskiedenis van die Verenigde State.


Geskiedenis van Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, geleë langs die vallyn van die Jamesrivier, is die hoofstad van die Statebond van Virginia. Alhoewel Richmond in 1742 as 'n stad ingelyf is om 'die stad Richmond te vorm', is dit eers in 1782 as 'n stad ingelyf. Richmond was volop in die geskiedenis van die rewolusionêre oorlog, en was ook die hoofstad van die Konfederale State van Amerika tydens die Burgeroorlog. Die begin In 1607, na 10 dae se reis langs Powhatan's River (later bekend as die James River), vestig kaptein John Smith en 120 man uit Jamestown, Virginia, hulle op die hoogste seevaarplek van die rivier. Hulle was die eerste poging om hulle by die Falls of the James te vestig. Four years later in 1611, the governor of the new Jamestown colony organized an expedition to sail up the James and settled below the falls in a place they called Henricus. The first hospital in North America was located there, serving also as the home of Pocahontas. Struggles with the indigenous peoples began to simmer and then boil over after the death of Pocahontas in 1617, and her father Chief Powhatan the following year. Widespread Indian attacks during the Powhatan uprising of 1622 destroyed every English settlement along the James River except Jamestown. Led by the more aggressive Chief Opechancanough, the tribe massacred nearly 400 white settlers during a surprise attack in 1644. Two years later, the tribe was forced to sign a treaty that granted the English possession of the land below the Falls of the James. The neighborhoods of Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip, and Church Hill, where St. John's Church had been built the prior year, coalesced into one entity when Richmond was chartered as a town, in 1742. They were governed by the Virginia House of Burgesses, located in Jamestown. Importance during the Revolutionary War Richmond became a center of activity prior to and during the Revolutionary War. Patrick Henry’s famous speech “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” was delivered at Richmond’s St. John’s Church and was said to have inspired the House of Burgesses to pass a resolution to deliver Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War in 1775. One year later, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. In 1780, during the War of Independence, Virginia’s state capital was moved to Richmond from Williamsburg. A year later, Richmond was burned to the ground by British troops during Benedict Arnold’s watch. By 1782, Richmond had recovered and was incorporated as a city. Slave trade center It is believed that between 1800 and 1865, an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 slaves were processed through the Shockoe Bottom slave auction blocks in Richmond, on their way to the Deep South. Shockoe Bottom served also as a burial ground for thousands of Africans whom had not survived the journey or died shortly after their entry into America. In one of the more creative and dangerous escapes by a slave in the mid-1800s, Henry “Box” Brown, with the help of a sympathetic white shoemaker, Samuel Smith, had himself nailed into a two- by three-foot box labeled “dry goods” and was loaded onto a northbound train from Richmond to freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Civil War headquarters With an asset such as the city’s Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond became the capital for the Confederate States of America, in 1861. They served as the largest foundry in the South and the third-largest in antebellum United States. The foundry produced more than 2,200 cannon including 12-pounder Napoleans, three-inch ordinance guns, and heavy coastal cannon, and more than 700 tons of ironclad, some of which was used to cover the CSS Virginia * which engaged the USS Monitor, in the four-hour battle of Hampton Roads, also known as the Battle of the Monitor en die Merrimack, in March 1862. When it was imminent that Ulysses S. Grant would overtake nearby Petersburg in April 1865, CSA President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet abandoned Richmond. Taking the last unobstructed railroad train out of Richmond, they fled south to safer territory in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they met in secret until the end of the war. Having been instructed to set the bridges, armory, and supply warehouses on fire, retreating soldiers caused a fire that destroyed large parts of Richmond. The following day the city’s mayor surrendered Richmond to Union soldiers and requested assistance to put out the fires. Federal troops were removed from Richmond in 1870, after the state was readmitted to the Union. Innovation and Invention Richmond kept its Confederate history alive even after Reconstruction ended, as it embraced the winds of change blowing through the city. Monument Avenue, established in 1877, was erected to honor such important Confederate figures of Richmond as Davis, JEB Stuart, Robert E. Lee, General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and Matthew F. Maury, a prominent oceanographer and nicknamed “Pathfinder of the Seas.” In 1888, the country’s first successful trolley system opened in Richmond. Designed by electric power pioneer Frank J. Sprague, the system soon replaced horse-drawn cars. The street railway system of the late 1800s and beginning of the 1900s brought welcomed growth to Richmond. The tobacco industry aided Richmond in coming out of the economic slump caused by The Great Depression. Thanks to tobacco producer Philip Morris and others, Richmond was back on its feet within five years, and the value of its real estate had increased 250 percent between 1935 and 1936. As Richmond was entering the post-[World War II] lifestyle, it was introduced to new uses for natural gas in 1950. In addition, the highest production of cigarettes in the city’s history occurred in 1952, at a 110 billion in one year. Originally approved for 15 exits, the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike revolutionized travel when it opened in 1958. The toll road was soon given the designation of Interstate 95 through Richmond but divided into Interstates 85 and 95 South at nearby Petersburg. Modern Richmond When Hurricane Agnes dropped 16 inches of rain over central Virginia in 1972, the James River flooded Richmond. Flood waters in the river reached 6.5 feet higher than the historical 200-year-old record. Thirteen years later, a multi-million dollar floodwall was erected to prevent the rising waters of the river from overflowing again. To validate their place in the civil rights movement, Richmondites elected L. Douglas Wilder as the first African-American governor in America. A grandson of former slaves, Wilder was sworn in as governor of the State of Virginia, in 1990. After years of decline in the economy of the downtown area, the expanded floodwall opened up portions of the riverfront for development. At the beginning of the 21st century, revitalization efforts yielded a 1.25-mile corridor of trendy apartments, restaurants, shops, and hotels. Located along the Canal Walk, the corridor is located where the old James River, Kanawha Canal, and the Haxal Canal once flowed. In an attempt to lure more tourists to the history-rich area, the Richmond Civil War Visitor Center, operated by the National Park Service, opened three floors of exhibits and artifacts in the old Tredegar Iron Works in 2000. Other attractions Aside from the redeveloped riverfront, “River City” has a number of other places of interest for history buffs and travelers. Once deemed the “Black Wall Street” sometime during the 1800s because of its many banks, Jackson Ward continues as one of the most historic areas of the city and encompasses more than 40 neighborhood blocks. Known as the “Harlem of the South,” Jackson Ward was frequented by such famous blacks as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, and James Brown, at such popular venues the historic Hippodrome Theater. Visitors can dine at popular Croaker’s Spot, Richmond's famous soul-food, seafood institution see the monument of “Bojangles,” who donated a stoplight for the safety of neighborhood children or view artifacts at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center located on Clay Street. Richmond is also home to the Museum of the Confederacy and the adjoining White House of the Confederacy, as well as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which contains the largest collection of Faberge objects outside of Russia. For youth-oriented activities, visitors will enjoy the Children’s Museum of Richmond, with its IMAX theater, and the nearby Virginia Museum of Science. The American Civil War Center, with its debut sometime in 2006, will be the first museum of its kind to interweave, in a national context, the historical accounts of how Union, Confederate, and African-American soldiers fought next to and across from each other during the Civil War. Institutes of Higher Learning The diversity of population and culture is represented quite strongly in the higher learning institutions located in the area. Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Arts ranks one of the best art schools in the country. The University of Richmond was founded by Virginia Baptists, in 1830, as a liberal arts university, and currently enrolls 3,000 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students in law, business, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Historically a black university, Virginia Union University was founded by a former slave trader, in 1865. Sports and live action Although the area does not have any major league professional sports team, Richmond residents are privy to many minor league sports activities, including the Richmond Braves baseball team, the Atlanta Braves’ AAA affiliate, which plays at The Diamond. The Richmond Kickers soccer team plays at the University of Richmond Stadium, and the Richmond Riverdogs, which represent the city in the United Hockey League. Others sporting events include NASCAR racing at the Richmond International Raceway, where two annual Nextel NASCAR races are held, and thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs, which hosts the prestigious Virginia Derby and other horse races, in nearby New Kent county.

* Die Virginia was built using the remains of the scuttled USS Merrimack. She was raised from the bottom of the James River at the shipyards near Portsmouth, rebuilt using the engines and the hull, and outfitted with ironclad siding.


The Fall of Confederate Richmond

On the morning of Sunday April 2, 1865 Confederate lines near Petersburg broke after a nine month seige. The retreat of the army left the Confederate capital of Richmond, 25 miles to the north, defenseless. This video provides a visual overview of some of the most significant events of the dramatic days that followed.

Over the next three days, the Confederate government evacuated, mobs looted countless stores, fire consumed as many as a thousand buildings, the Union army occupied the city, thousands were emancipated from bondage, and President Abraham Lincoln toured the former Confederate Capital. This animated map illustrates how these momentous events unfolded in time and space.

A Note on Sources and Tools

We know when and where many of the events of April 2, 3, and 4 occurred. Given their importance, some participants and observers recorded to the minute exactly when certain events happened. But for others we have ambiguous or even contradictory evidence. For instance, we know that looting was widespread on the night of April 3, but we don't know exactly when and where most individual acts of looting happened. (It probably is wishful thinking to hope that drunken looters would have kept detailed and accurate diaries.) To create this animated map we have considred a substantial number of sources and used our best judgment as to where to exactly to place events in time and space.

Indispensable newspaper accounts of the evacuation, fire, occupation, and Lincoln's visit appeared in the Richmond Whig , New York Herald , and New York Times in April 1865. Many of the key articles have been compiled by Mike Gorman on his Civil War Richmond website. The work of journalist Charles Coffin presents what little we know of slave trader Robert Lumpkin's efforts to evacuate his human property: his "Late Scenes in Richmond" in the June 1865 issue of the Atlantic and his Freedom Triumphant .

The video draws heavily from the research of others. Nelson Lankford's Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital is arguably the best history of the fall of Richmond. For our map, A.A. and Mary Hoehling's The Last Days of the Confederacy and The Day Richmond Died were particularly useful as they provide nearly hour-by-hour accounts of events. For Lincoln's visit we relied on the detailed account provided in Mike Gorman's "A Conquerer or a Peacemaker?: Abraham Lincoln in Richmond" that appeared in volume 123.1 of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography . Leon F. Litwack narrates some of the dramatic events related to the end of slavery in Richmond in Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery .A number of other works were helpful as well: Rembert W. Patrick's The Fall of Richmond , Ernest B. Furgurson's Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War , and James C. Clark's The Last Train South: The Flight of the Confederate Government .

The map was created using the mapping library Leaflet, and many of the animated features use CartoDB's visualization tools.

A Bit More About the Map

This video was created for the April 4, 2015 "Richmond's Journey in Nine Questions" "Pop-up" Museum on Capitol Square.

The map was created by the Digital Scholarship Lab. Robert K. Nelson created and developed the code for the map. Justin Madron created and managed much of the spatial data. Nate Ayers created the framework for the website and assisted with the design of the map. Lily Calaycay georeferenced a number of events.


Enslaved African Americans

The war had a significant impact on Richmond’s slave population. During the antebellum period, the city’s enslaved men and women often had enjoyed freedoms common to urban slaves, including the freedom to live independently and “hire their own time,” or choose their own employers, make their own work arrangements, and pay their masters a set annual fee in exchange for these privileges. Whether they worked in industrial or household settings, many of Richmond’s slaves had gained this autonomy before the war began, and often lived and socialized with free blacks as well as other slaves. But when Virginia seceded, Richmond officials feared that the city’s slaves would take advantage of the chaos of war and their measured autonomy to plan a rebellion. They passed new ordinances prohibiting slaves from living independently of their masters, shut down many of the city’s informal hiring markets, and instituted a stringent pass system to restrict slaves’ movements around the city.

As the war progressed, however, the feared slave rebellion never materialized, and the city’s leaders began to relax some of their limitations on the slave population. In part this was due to necessity, as slave labor was absolutely crucial to the success of the Confederate war effort. Male slaves with industrial skills found their labor in particularly high demand, and could often command relatively high wages. In addition, the Confederate War Department hired thousands of black men to work in the government warehouses, tanning yards, and hospitals that soon filled the city black women also routinely found employment in government hospitals as laundresses and cooks. By the end of 1862, the government hired more of Richmond’s slaves than any other employer unlike those employed by private companies, the slaves working in government jobs had little power to negotiate payments or living conditions. The War Department and the city council also routinely forced male slaves to dig trenches and build fortifications outside the city.

If the war brought some work opportunities to Richmond’s slaves, it also brought increased competition for available jobs, especially among household servants. As refugee families poured into Richmond from the Virginia countryside, the city’s slave population increased dramatically. In addition, prices for housing and basic commodities skyrocketed during the last two years of the war, forcing many Richmond families to make cuts in the number of household servants they hired, or to hire only slaves without children.

In June 1865, Richmond’s black residents held a meeting at the First African Baptist Church and drafted a document demanding that the U.S. government grant former slaves all the rights of citizens, including the right to vote. The church’s membership had swelled dramatically during the war, and thousands of people attended services there each week. The wartime growth of First African Baptist Church, and its political engagement in the early Reconstruction years, demonstrated that, while Richmond’s officials had restricted the mobility and autonomy of the city’s slaves throughout the war, they had ultimately failed to deter the city’s black residents from pursuing their own political, economic, and cultural independence.


Fall of the South: Breakthrough and the Burning of Richmond

The endgame of the Civil War began on April 1, 1865, when Union forces defeated the ragged and outnumbered Confederates at the Battle of Five Forks, then shattered their defensive lines decisively at the Third Battle of Petersburg on April 2. As Robert E. Lee led the battered Army of North Virginia west in a final, desperate retreat into central Virginia, Union forces entered the Confederate capital at Richmond unopposed – only to find it engulfed in flames, a fitting epitaph for the Southern rebellion (top, the ruins of Richmond).

Five Forks

On March 24, Union general-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant ordered a general assault on the rebel lines to begin March 29, a plan unchanged by the desperate breakout attempt on March 25. As Union forces maneuvered to the southwest of Petersburg, threatening to cut off Lee’s line of retreat, on March 31 the Confederate general-in-chief tried to disrupt the unfolding offensive with two attacks of his own, at the Battles of White Oak Road and Dinwiddie Courthouse. Rebel commander George Pickett scored a limited victory over Philip Sheridan’s cavalry at Dinwiddie Courthouse, but withdrew as Sheridan was reinforced. This preliminary encounter set the stage for the Battle of Five Forks.

On the morning of April 1, Sheridan led his combined force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, 22,000 strong, northwest in search of Pickett’s smaller force of 10,600 men, now dug in facing south at Five Forks, where White Oak Road intersected three other roads (above, Five Forks today). Arriving in front of the Confederate positions around 1pm, Sheridan’s cavalry dismounted and pinned the Confederates down with rifle fire in order to gain time for the Union infantry to catch up.

Around 4:15 Sheridan ordered a general assault, with Gouverneur Warren leading an infantry attack on the Confederate left (eastern) flank, followed by two simultaneous attacks by dismounted cavalry troopers, one led by George Armstrong Custer (of “Custer’s Last Stand” fame) against the Confederate right (western) flank, and a second led by Thomas Devin against the Confederate front. Sheridan hoped the first attack would force Pickett to weaken his center and right to hold off the threat to his left flank, clearing the way for the dismounted cavalry to roll up the Confederate positions from the west.

However confusion reigned on both sides during the Battle of Five Forks. The Union troops believed the Confederate left wing was located much further east than it was, resulting in a delay as they hurried west to engage the enemy. Meanwhile the Confederate commander, Pickett, was enjoying a picnic a little over a mile to the north and didn’t know he was under attack at Five Forks at first because the landscape blocked the noises of battle he belatedly hurried south to take charge when the battle was already well underway.

By this point the Union attack attack was faltering under heavy rifle and cannon fire from the Confederate left wing – but Sheridan himself leapt into the fray and helped rally some of the disorganized troops for a crucial charge, as recounted by his staff officer Horace Porter:

Sheridan rushed into the midst of the broken lines, and cried out: 'Where is my battle-flag?' As the sergeant who carried it rode up, Sheridan seized the crimson-and-white standard, waved it above his head, cheered on the men, and made heroic efforts to close up the ranks. Bullets were now humming like a swarm of bees about our heads, and shells were crashing through the ranks… All this time Sheridan was dashing from one point of the line to another, waving his flag, shaking his fist, encouraging, entreating, threatening, praying, swearing, the true personification of chivalry, the very incarnation of battle.

There was plenty of dramatic heroism to go around that day, as the Confederates withdrew and reestablished their defensive line on the left flank two more times, requiring renewed attacks to dislodge them. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (a college professor-turned-officer from Maine, already famous for his bravery and quick thinking at Gettysburg) described what it was like for Union infantry charging Confederate guns in the face of withering cannon fire near Ford’s Road:

Ploughed through by booming shot torn by ragged bursts of shell riddled by blasts of whistling canister— straight ahead to the guns hidden in their own smoke straight on to the red, scorching flame of the muzzles,— the giant grains of cannon-powder beating, burning, sizzling into the cheek then in upon them!— pistol to rifle-shot saber to bayonet musket-butt to handspike and rammer the brief frenzy of passion the wild 'hurrah' then the sudden, unearthly silence the ghastly scene the shadow of death…

By nightfall Sheridan’s attacking force had routed the Confederates, inflicting over 1,000 casualties and taking at least 2,000 prisoners (below, Confederate soldiers captured at Five Forks), at a cost of only 830 casualties to themselves – an especially favorable result considering Pickett’s force was just half the size and could scarcely afford these losses. On the other hand at least half the Confederate force managed to escape and Sheridan, annoyed and quick to judgment, took out his frustrations on Warren by relieving him of command, triggering a controversy that raged long after the war was over.

But for the moment jubilation reigned, as even ordinary Union soldiers understood victory was now within reach. According to Porter, “The roads in many places were corduroyed with captured muskets ammunition-trains and ambulances were still struggling forward teamsters, prisoners, stragglers, and wounded were choking the roadway… cheers were resounding on all sides, and everybody was riotous over the victory.”

On the other side this anticipation was matched by dread of imminent defeat. One of Lee’s favorite generals, John Brown Gordon, remembered the great captain saying, “It has happened as I told them in Richmond it would happen. The line has been stretched until it is broken.”

Breakthrough

With the Confederate right flank turned, exposing the already overstretched defenders to attack from the rear, Grant knew Lee might now try to withdraw his whole army from Petersburg, abandoning Richmond to the Yankees, then quickly destroy Sheridan’s force and head south, hoping to join forces with Johnston’s army facing Sherman in North Carolina. Of course this would be a gamble for Lee, as it meant leaving strong defensive positions and hoping the enemy didn’t catch on until it was too late.

To prevent him from doing this, after Five Forks Grant immediately ordered a general assault to begin in the early morning of April 2, intending to pin Lee’s forces in their trenches while Sheridan began to roll them up from the west. The Union Army of the James under Edward Ord would hit all along the line, with the Union VI Corps under Horatio Wright and II Corps under Andrew Humphreys attacking the Confederate center southwest of Petersburg, while the IX Corps under John Parke pressed the Confederates east of the city. At the same time Sheridan would continue pushing north to cut off the Confederate line of retreat to the west.

At 4:30 am on April 2 the IX Corps launched its attack to pin down defenders east of Petersburg, and ten minutes later the left wing of Wright’s VI Corps began moving towards Confederate positions southwest of the city, advancing 600 yards over mostly open ground in gloomy darkness. This attack would pit around 14,000 attackers against just 2,800 defenders spread out along a mile of defensive line. As they forced their way through defensive obstacles Confederate artillery and rifle fire inflicted heavy casualties, but were unable to stop the blue wave that now washed over the rebel parapet. This breakthrough cleared the way for Wright’s VI Corps to turn southwest and attack the neighboring force of 1,600 Confederate defenders from the rear. By 7 am this force was also on the run, while further west Humphreys’ II Corps was attacking the next section of Confederate defenses.

As the sun rose the Confederate line had been broken wide open, and another Union army corps, the XXIV, was pouring into the gap to support the advance and defend against counterattacks. With rebel defenses completely collapsing, around 9 am Ord and Wright decided to turn northeast and join the attack on the remaining Confederate forces at Petersburg.

Seeing the situation was now untenable, Lee advised Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Secretary of War John Breckenridge that he would have to withdraw his army from Petersburg before the enemy cut off its only remaining line of retreat to the west. Of course this meant abandoning Richmond, so the Confederate government would have to flee as well. As fighting continued into the afternoon of April 2, hundreds of wagons were hurriedly filled with government property and official documents and dispatched to Lee for protection (seriously impeding his mobility).

At 8 pm on April 2, the Army of Northern Virginia began to withdraw in an orderly fashion along roads northwest of Petersburg a few hours later the Confederate cabinet and treasury left Richmond on a train bound for Danville, Virginia. Richmond itself was left defenseless. On the other side, as soon as he found out the Confederates had abandoned Petersburg Grant ordered a hot pursuit, chasing the enemy west along the Appomattox River. John Brown Gordon later recalled the nightmarish days that followed:

Fighting all day, marching all night, with exhaustion and hunger claiming their victims at every mile of the march, with charges of infantry in rear and of cavalry on the flanks, it seemed the war god had turned loose all his furies to revel in havoc. On and on, hour after hour, from hilltop to hilltop, the lines were alternately forming, fighting, and retreating, making one almost continuous shifting battle.

After 292 days, the Siege of Petersburg was over, and the last campaign of the war had begun.

Richmond In Flames

Unfortunately for the residents of Richmond, the end of the siege didn’t mean an end to their suffering – just the opposite. Many were about to lose their homes in a huge conflagration that began on the evening of April 2 and continue into April 3, gutting the center of the city.

While there’s still controversy about which side was responsible for burning Columbia, in Richmond’s case the Confederates were definitely to blame. Confederate commanders ordered their soldiers to set fire to bridges, warehouses, and weapons caches before retreating in order to deny them to the enemy. Although they probably didn’t mean to torch the whole town, these fires quickly blazed out of control and burned the entire downtown district to the ground (below, a Currier and Ives painting).

As with the burning of Columbia, the sights that greeted occupying Union troops in the early morning hours of April 3, 1865 was both terrible and spectacular. One observer, George A. Bruce, painted a vivid picture of Richmond in flames:

The wind, increasing with the conflagration, was blowing like a hurricane, hurling cinders and pieces of burning wood with long trails of flame over the houses to distant quarters of the city. The heated air, dim with smoke and filled with the innumerable particles that float from the surface of so great a fire, rendered it almost impossible to breathe.

Few in the north probably shed many tears for the capital of the rebellion, but the human cost was very real, as ordinary people, already facing starvation, now lost their homes as well. On entering the town Bruce encountered a pathetic and also rather surreal sight:

The square was a scene of indescribable confusion. The inhabitants fleeing from their burning houses – men, women and children, white and black – had collected there for a place of safety, bringing with them whatever was saved from the flames. Bureaus, sofas, carpets, beds and bedding, in a word, every conceivable article of household furniture, from baby-toys to the most costly mirrors, were scattered promiscuously on the green…

The only rational thing left for the Confederate government to do was surrender and bring an end to the suffering – and yet as so often in history reason was no match for the momentum of war. In North Carolina, where Johnston’s beleaguered army could do nothing to stop Sherman’s much larger force, Confederate Senator W.A. Graham bitterly criticized the irrational indecision and irresponsibility that now paralyzed the Southern elite, preventing it from accepting the inevitable:

… the wisest and best men with whom I had been associated, or had conversed, were anxious for a settlement but were so trammeled by former committals, and a false pride, or other like causes, that they were unable to move themselves… but were anxious that others should… it was now the case of a beleaguered garrison before a superior force, considering the question whether it was best to capitulate on terms, or hold out to be put to the sword on a false point of honor.


Kyk die video: HA2: Nationalisme en Imperialisme Europa na Napoleon (Desember 2021).