Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital

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9780142003107: Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital

Nelson Lankford draws upon Civil War-era diaries, letters, memoirs, and newspaper reports to vividly recapture the experiences of the men and women, both black and white, who witnessed the tumultuous fall of Richmond. In April 1865 General Robert E. Lee realized that his army must retreat from the Confederate capital and that Jefferson Davis's government must flee. As the Southern soldiers moved out they set the city on fire, leaving a blazing ruin to greet the entering Union troops. The city's fall ushered in the birth of the modern United States. Lankford's exploration of this pivotal event is at once an authoritative work of history and a stunning piece of dramatic prose.

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When conquering Union soldiers entered Richmond, Virginia, in the first days of April, 1865, they found a city afire, reduced to desperation, but still defiant. Virginia historian Nelson Lankford reconstructs the final hours of the Confederacy's heart in this vivid narrative, which draws on contemporary letters, diaries, and official reports that share both immediacy and a sense of awe at the terrible destruction. Just why the capital burned has long been a subject of speculation; by Lankford's account, much of the damage was due to the defenders' last-minute efforts to destroy war materiel, setting fires that soon spread. Lankford attends to other legends as well, including a reported call on Confederate general George Pickett's home by none other than Abraham Lincoln, while offering verifiable vignettes of such moments as Robert E. Lee's return to the capital and the celebrations of newly liberated slaves and Union prisoners. Lankford's narrative offers a view much different from what he calls "the warm sepia glow cast over our great national trauma by popular books and documentary films." It is a fine effort, and one that students of the Civil War should welcome. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Nelson Lankford edits The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the quarterly journal of the Virginia Historical Society. A resident of Richmond, he is the co-editor of Eye of the Storm and Images from the Storm and author of The Last American Aristocrat.

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Nelson Lankford draws upon Civil War-era diaries, letters, memoirs, and newspaper reports to vividly recapture the experiences of the men and women, both black and white, who witnessed the tumultuous fall of Richmond. In April 1865 General Robert E. Lee realized that his army must retreat from the Confederate capital and that Jefferson Davis s government must flee. As the Southern soldiers moved out they set the city on fire, leaving a blazing ruin to greet the entering Union troops. The city s fall ushered in the birth of the modern United States. Lankford s exploration of this pivotal event is at once an authoritative work of history and a stunning piece of dramatic prose. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142003107

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Nelson Lankford draws upon Civil War-era diaries, letters, memoirs, and newspaper reports to vividly recapture the experiences of the men and women, both black and white, who witnessed the tumultuous fall of Richmond. In April 1865 General Robert E. Lee realized that his army must retreat from the Confederate capital and that Jefferson Davis s government must flee. As the Southern soldiers moved out they set the city on fire, leaving a blazing ruin to greet the entering Union troops. The city s fall ushered in the birth of the modern United States. Lankford s exploration of this pivotal event is at once an authoritative work of history and a stunning piece of dramatic prose. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142003107

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