Fall of Richmond

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 :: Fall of Richmond ::
Information about the capture of Richmond, VA by United States forces.

Richmond was evacuated on the 2nd of April, 1865. The fleeing  Confederates set fire to several warehouses, and the fire got out of hand. In addition, a mob formed, looting and spreading the fire. The next day, the Federals received the city's surrender, and entered the city. The following articles and accounts detail the fall and occupation of Richmond.

Richmond Dispatch 5/7/1862; paragraph on plans for burning warehouses if Yankees get to Richmond
Richmond Dispatch 5/16/1862; report on meeting at City Hall for city defense. Tredegar Battalion key part of city defences; Mayor Mayo says he would rather die than surrender the city
Richmond Whig 4/4/1865; excellent account of the evacuation and burning of Richmond
New York Herald 4/4/1865; Details on the fall of Richmond and subsequent occupation - notes the reception of the Union soldiers in Richmond has been very pleasant
New York Herald 4/5/1865; Details on the Federal occupation of Richmond - notes that much railroad stock was captured at Richmond
New York Herald 4/6/1865; Details on the Federal occupation of Richmond - notes that the furniture in the White House of the Confederacy was left behind, and that Tredegar survived the fire. Libby Prison and Castle Thunder are now full of Confederate prisoners
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; account of the escape of the prisoners from the State Penitentiary on the night of the evacuation
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865;  Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; account of the escape of two unionists from Castle Thunder on evacuation night
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; Richmond Fire Brigade has begun demolishing the ruins
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; excellent, and lengthy, account of the evacuation and burning of Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; 8 paupers at the Alms House were killed in the city magazine explosion
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; last rebel and first union patrons at the Spottswood hotel
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; records of the Circuit Court, including deeds and wills were destroyed in the fire
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; the Southern Express Company's offices, including pending shipments, was destroyed in the fire
New York Times 4/8/1865; excellent article, sent on April 4, describing Lincolnís visit to Richmond; states Lincoln arrived at 2 PM, throng of freed slaves, etc. Leaves Richmond at 6:30. Also notes that Admiral Farragut visited Richmond on April 4 and left the same day. Also remarks on the evacuation fire, destruction, and rumors swirling around the city.
New York Herald 4/9/1865; Description of Abraham Lincoln at the White House of the Confederacy and on the USS Malvern
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; Manchester, undamaged by fire, is now connected to Richmond by a pontoon bridge
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; extensive list of property damage caused by the evacuation fire
New York Times

4/11/1865; Article describing the White House of the Confederacy, the military governance of the city, the destruction done by the fire (particularly to the mills), the newspapers in Richmond and what has become of the editors, and an extremely detailed account of the jubilee meeting at First African Baptist Church.

New York Herald 4/12/1865; notes the visit of President Lincoln to Richmond, the parade of the XXIV Corps through town, and efforts by local capitalists [including J. R. Anderson] to bring VA back into the Union. Losses due to fire are 2/3 the city's assessed value
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; Tredegar Iron Works remain intact because workers helped extinguish fires
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; description of public losses in the fire; ie: bridges, etc
New York Herald 4/13/1865; excellent letter from Richmond describing the Federal occupation of Richmond, mentions Tredegar, former slaves, Rocketts, former rebel hospitals (Chimborazo, Jackson, Stuart) - All patients now at Jackson, Stuart Hospital is now a US Post Hospital. Dahlgren's body found and is being returned to Washington. Castle Thunder and Libby Prison are now holding Confederates. Also notes veneration of Robert E. Lee in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; Gen. Weitzel is replaced by Gen. Ord as commander of the Richmond occupying forces
Richmond Whig 4/15/1865; incredible list of the property destroyed in the evacuation fire
Richmond Whig 4/26/1865; several gunboats that have been scuttled in the James river have been raised and salvaged
Richmond Whig 4/27/1865; Description of the explosion of the City Magazine on evacuation night and damage to the almshouse
New York Times 4/30/1865; Episcopal Churches are still closed. Author met Mathew Brady in Richmond 4/22/1865 and remarks on his photographs of Robert E. Lee.
Richmond Whig 5/27/1865; says the first Union flag to fly in Richmond was flown over Libby by an escaped prisoner
Rutland [VT] Herald 4/10/1865; correspondent from the 9th Vermont describes entry into fallen Richmond; notes that they were the first into Richmond
Harper's New Monthly Magazine 33 (1866), pp. 92-96. Leyburn, John. "The Fall of Richmond." 
Richmond Occupied... no date; EXCELLENT account of the fall of Richmond by the General Godfrey Weitzel who received the surrender of the city. Many important details about Lincoln's visit, and the instructions given by him to Weitzel.
Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. 9 (1881), pp. 206-211. Bruce, H. W. "Some Reminiscences of the Second of April, 1865." 
Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. 11 (1883), pp. 542-559. White, W. S. "Stray Leaves from a Soldier's Journal." 
Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. 13 (1885), pp. 255-257. Lee, G. W. C. "Evacuation of Richmond: Report of General G. W. C. Lee, from the 2d to the 6th of April, 1865." 
Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. 13 (1885), p. 247. Ewell, Richard S. "Evacuation of Richmond: Report of General R. S. Ewell." Letter from Ewell to Robert E. Lee, December 20, 1865.
Richmond Dispatch 12/16/1888; "Our Richmond Mobs;" details on the Bread Riot, the evacuation mob, and others
Battles & Leaders Vol. 4 (1893): pp. 725-726. Sulivane, Clement. "The Fall of Richmond: No. I -The Evacuation," 
Richmond Dispatch 2/10/1893; Stevens, Fred. S. "The First Federal to Enter Richmond." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 13, p. 305. Miller, Mrs. Fannie Walker. "The Fall of Richmond." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 16, p. 397. Wood, H. E. "More of the Last Defense of Richmond." Reprint from Richmond Times-Dispatch
Confederate Veteran Vol. 17, p. 474. Sanford, D. B. "Last Confederate Command to Leave Richmond." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 17, p. 474. Sturgis, H. H. "About the Burning of Richmond.
Confederate Veteran Vol. 17, p. 24. Watehall, E. T. "Fall of Richmond, April 2, 1865.
Confederate Veteran Vol. 18, p. 432. Gerald, S. A. "Last Soldiers to Leave Richmond." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 22, p. 303. Timberlake, W L. "The Last Days in Front of Richmond." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 29, pp. 412-414. Timberlake, W L. "In the Siege of Richmond and After." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 37, pp. 458-459. Southall, John R. "Recollections of the Evacuation of Richmond." 
Confederate Veteran Vol. 39, pp. 205-206. Doyle, J. H. "When Richmond Was Evacuated." 
Richmond Dispatch 11/24/1895; Atkinson, John Wilder, and others. "The Evacuation of Richmond, April 3, 1863, and the Disastrous Conflagration Incident Thereon." 
Richmond Dispatch 4/25/1897; "Burning of Richmond: Incidents of the City's Evacuation Described." By R. T. W. Duke
Richmond Dispatch 7/4/1897; Averill, J. H. "Richmond, Virginia: The Evacuation of the City and the Days Preceding It." 
National Tribune 7/12/1900; good account of the fall of Richmond in 1865, by a boy who lived on Church Hill; notes that advancing Union troops were fired upon from convalescent patients from Chimborazo
National Tribune 9/27/1900; "The Fall of Richmond" Part one of Hiram Peck's [10th CT Inf] excellent memoir describing advancing on Richmond from Fort Burnham on April 3, 1865, and the occupation of Richmond. Gives an interesting description of seeing a copy of the Richmond Sentinel meant to be published that day. Notes on number of rail cars captured.
National Tribune 10/4/1900; "The Fall of Richmond" Part two of Hiram Peck's memoir. Describes Lincoln's visit to Richmond, details of the evacuation fire, the reopening of the Richmond Theater, and response to Lee's surrender in Richmond. Mentions Castle Thunder detectives being locked in Libby, and gives a description of Hollywood Cemetery.
McClure's (Dec. 1900), pp. 99-107. Mallory, Stephen. "Last Days of the Confederate Government." 
Richmond Dispatch 2/3/1902; Tucker, Dallas. "The Fall of Richmond." 
National Tribune 10/30/1902; letter describes the fire in Richmond threatening Libby Prison and Castle Thunder, and the author broke open the door to let prisoners out.
Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. 30 (1902), pp. 308-309. Langdon, Loomis L. "First Federals to Enter Richmond," 
New Orleans Picayune, October 4-11, 1903 Howard, McHenry. "Closing Scenes of the War About Richmond."
NY MOLLUS, Vol. III, 1907, pp. 472-502 Ripley, Edward H., "Final Scenes at the Capture and Occupation of Richmond, April 3, 1865.
Richmond Times-Dispatch 12/5/1909; excellent reminiscence of the fall of Richmond
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 73 (Apr. 1965), pp. 178-198. Paul, Alfred. "A French View of the Fall of Richmond: Alfred Paul's Report to Drouyn de Lhuys, April 11, 1865." Warren F. Spencer, ed. 
Virginia Cavalcade (summer 1969), pp. 38-47. Kimball, William J. "Richmond 1865: The Final Three Months." 
American Magazine and Historical Chronicle autumn-winter 1992, pp. 2-21. Handy, Moses Purnell. "The Fall of Richmond in 1865: A Compelling Eyewitness Narrative of the Confederate Collapse."

Page last updated on 07/07/2008