Towards Appomattox and Surrender
Richmond Virginia Burns - Monday, April 3, 1865

Ruins of Richmond Virginia 1865

With the Army of Northern Virginia in retreat, it could no longer protect the Confederate Capital. Without its butternut and gray guardian, Richmond would fall to the men in blue. As the southern soldiers abandoned their Capital, some set ablaze resources, arms, and ordinance they wished to keep from the hands of their foes.  Others looted the now sparsely protected Capital.

Ruins of Richmond Virginia 1865

The destruction was widespread. While hurried southerners would bear part of the blame, many would accuse Union soldiers of burning their beloved doomed city. The resulting uncontrolled conflagrations devastated the once beautiful Confederate Capital. The images captured by photographers in April 1865 speak for themselves.

Ruins of Richmond Railroad Depot