03
Apr
09

On This Day, April 3: Richmond Falls

April 3, 1865

Richmond captured

The Rebel capital of Richmond falls to the Union, the most significant sign that the Confederacy is nearing its final days.

For ten months, General Ulysses S. Grant had tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate the city. After Lee made a desperate attack against Fort Stedman along the Union line on March 25, Grant prepared for a major offensive. He struck at Five Forks on April 1, crushing the end of Lee’s line southwest of Petersburg. On April 2, the Yankees struck all along the Petersburg line, and the Confederates collapsed.

On the evening of April 2, the Confederate government fled the city with the army right behind. Now, on the morning of April 3, blue-coated troops entered the capital. Richmond was the holy grail of the Union war effort, the object of four years of campaigning. Tens of thousands of Yankee lives were lost trying to get it, and nearly as many Confederate lives lost trying to defend it.

Now, the Yankees came to take possession of their prize. One resident, Mary Fontaine, wrote, “I saw them unfurl a tiny flag, and I sank on my knees, and the bitter, bitter tears came in a torrent.” As the Federals rode in, another wrote that the city’s black residents were “completely crazed, they danced and shouted, men hugged each other, and women kissed.” Among the first forces into the capital were black troopers from the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, and the next day President Abraham Lincoln visited the city. For the residents of Richmond, these were symbols of a world turned upside down. It was, one reporter noted, “…too awful to remember, if it were possible to be erased, but that cannot be.”

“Richmond captured.” 2009. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2009, 07:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2157.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “On This Day, April 3: Richmond Falls”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


April 2009
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 280 other followers


%d bloggers like this: