Why Richmond?

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

hoosier

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Dillsburg, PA
I believe that when Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy, the Virginia State Capitol became home to the Confederate Congress.

But Richmond was still the capital of Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly had to meet somewhere.

Is the Virginia State Capitol large enough that it could have accommodated separate chambers for the Confederate Congress and the Virginia General Assembly?

If not, did the Virginia General Assembly have to move its headquarters to another building during the life of the CSA?

Or did the two share the same chambers, perhaps with one meeting in the morning and the other in the afternoon?
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Seats of gov't(where a war or rebellion is being directed and controlled) are natural targets of their opponents. Nothing new in that.

The only real question from a historical context would be whether Richmond should have been taken by direct or indirect means.

In the War itself, repeated threats to Richmond, did, in fact, IMO, concentrate(divert) too much attention of the confederacy, to the detriment of the war in the West.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

John S. Carter

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
The iron works factory (yep, spelling isn't great tonight), as an incentive for Virginia, and IMO, being nearby D.C. had a lot to do with it.
Conspiracy[ When was the decision to move the capital from Montgomery to Richmond/? Who made the decision? Why not Atlanta ? It was the center of transportation. It was no treat of being taken as Richmond being so close to the front,It was larger than most cities in the South there by able to meet any needs of the government.Thou not a capital ,it was the center of commerce and a Confederate capital could have been built with in a short time,the Washington,D.C. of a new nation.There must have been a desire for the government to be close to the front in order to monitor the progress of the war.{Davis would like that}From Atlanta both East and West could have been monitored much easier than from Richmond.I am from Ga, so I am partial
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Conspiracy[ When was the decision to move the capital from Montgomery to Richmond/? Who made the decision? Why not Atlanta ? It was the center of transportation. It was no treat of being taken as Richmond being so close to the front,It was larger than most cities in the South there by able to meet any needs of the government.Thou not a capital ,it was the center of commerce and a Confederate capital could have been built with in a short time,the Washington,D.C. of a new nation.There must have been a desire for the government to be close to the front in order to monitor the progress of the war.{Davis would like that}From Atlanta both East and West could have been monitored much easier than from Richmond.I am from Ga, so I am partial
If I am not mistaken @Saphroneth in another thread pointed out for the Confederacy to loose Richmond they would loose the war. For better or worse Richmond was critical for what limited industrialization the Confederacy possessed.
Having a capital in one part of the Confederacy vs another part would make no difference what part of the Confederacy gets the most priority.
The Confederate Army was stretched thin and in the late summer of 1863 President Davis did order troops from the AnV led by General Longstreet to reinforce General Bragg's AoT. Obviously it didn't work out but that's not Davis's fault.
Also of course Atlanta fell before Richmond.
At some point the Confederate Army has to at least protect Confederate Territory if the Confederacy is to become a viable nation. Therefore in the large scheme of things where a capital is placed doesn't matter.
Leftyhunter
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Why Richmond? Virginia was a lot like New Orleans and the lower delta. John Bell won the 1860 Presidential election there, and Stephen A. Douglas received several thousand votes. If the Confederates had not moved the capital to Richmond, the US would have quickly controlled a much larger part of Virginia, and the war would have been much shorter. As it was, prominent Virginians remained loyal to the US.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Richmond was better set up to be capital, in terms of wealth, infrastructure and industry, than was Washington, D.C. In 1860 Washington, D.C. was still a dirty, unhealthy city, with muddy streets and swamps that doubled as sewers.
 

John S. Carter

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Richmond was better set up to be capital, in terms of wealth, infrastructure and industry, than was Washington, D.C. In 1860 Washington, D.C. was still a dirty, unhealthy city, with muddy streets and swamps that doubled as sewers.
Being the home state of four former Presidents may have had a effect on the choose for Richmond to be the choose? Could there been any reason or motive for Richmond.thinking of the deal that was done between Hamilton ,Jefferson,and Madison?CONSPIRACY ; Virginia succeeds if capital is moved to Richmond? Wilder things have occured in history! Patrick Henry,the Father of States Rights,{lest I refer to him as that] was a Virginian .Patrick Henry ,the founder of the State Rights movement{at least that is how I refer to him as } was a Virginian.Less we forget ,Jefferson and Madison wrote two papers supporting a weak central government,till they were in a position to alter this philosophy{A President position changes these thoughts} COULD these effected the selection? Remember romantic ideal of the capital being in the home of these men and the state to first issue a declaration of independence .{one that Jefferson duplicated {copyright violation} all could have played a role in the selection.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
Conspiracy[ When was the decision to move the capital from Montgomery to Richmond/? Who made the decision? Why not Atlanta ? It was the center of transportation. It was no treat of being taken as Richmond being so close to the front,It was larger than most cities in the South there by able to meet any needs of the government.Thou not a capital ,it was the center of commerce and a Confederate capital could have been built with in a short time,the Washington,D.C. of a new nation.There must have been a desire for the government to be close to the front in order to monitor the progress of the war.{Davis would like that}From Atlanta both East and West could have been monitored much easier than from Richmond.I am from Ga, so I am partial
I've read that in order to secure Virginia, Richmond was made the capital. Also, the Shenandoah valley was too valuable.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I've read that in order to secure Virginia, Richmond was made the capital. Also, the Shenandoah valley was too valuable.
Also @Saproneth pointed out in a previous thread most Southern cites of15k people or more were in the coast and vunereable to an amphibious attack. At some point the Confederacy in order to be viable has to be able to protect its capital be where it may.
If the Confederacy can't protect it's most important industrial city what can it protect?
Leftyhunter
 

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
I think putting the capital in Virginia was, in part, an attempt to give validity to the new CSA. John S. Carter noted the Presidents and founding fathers who lived in the state. It has always interested me that the effort to form a "new county" tried to co-opt the great men of the United States, including Washington and Jefferson who thought slavery should be ended (gradually) and who worried that its continued existence would threaten the continued existence of the nation.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I think that, at bottom, the choice of Richmond, was predicated upon asumption that the War would be short.
Richmond is a good choice. And as long as the Confederacy controlled the Weldon RR and some of the blockade runners could get into the Harbor at Wilmington, NC, it was viable. When Warren pushed further down the Weldon RR, and then the armada bombarded Fort Fisher a second time, Richmond became indefensible.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Richmond is a good choice. And as long as the Confederacy controlled the Weldon RR and some of the blockade runners could get into the Harbor at Wilmington, NC, it was viable. When Warren pushed further down the Weldon RR, and then the armada bombarded Fort Fisher a second time, Richmond became indefensible.
[/QUOTE



In a long war, with mass armies over half a continent, moving your Capital into Harms Say, is not wis.

I am only saying that, in objective terms, events, I think shows that the confederacy would have been better served with its Capital, more centrally located, for a longer war than was obviously expected.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top