Civil War Richmond
Virginia’s dramatic secession after Fort Sumter irrevocably altered the Civil War. As the state and new Confederate capital, Richmond became a chaotic boom town. The population mushroomed as politicians, soldiers and industrial workers surged into the city. Food ran low, tempers ran high, prisoners of war starved and many wounded died. After a turbulent four years, the end came as retreating Confederates burned much of Richmond’s industrial base. African Americans cheered Abraham Lincoln’s unexpected arrival in April 1865. Suddenly free, they celebrated Emancipation Day for decades.
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