August 23, 2011
Richmond Re-examines its Confederate Past
Southern capital of the confederacy marks Civil War anniversary
Susan Logue | Richmond, Virginia
Photo: VOA - A. Greenbaum
Leaders of the Confederacy are memorialized in monuments dominating one of Richmond, Virginia's main boulevards.
As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, many Americans are re-examining the conflict, especially in Richmond, Virginia, former capital of the Confederacy.
During the Civil War, which lasted four years, the nation was divided. Eleven states in the southern portion of the country seceded to form a new nation, the Confederate States of America. Determined to preserve the union, President Abraham Lincoln went to war against the rebel states and, ultimately, abolished slavery.
Before the war, Richmond was the capital of Virginia and one of the biggest cities in the south. It was the obvious choice for the capital of the new government, according to S. Waite Rawls III, president of the Museum of the Confederacy.
“Virginia was the most important state in the Confederacy, biggest population, most culture, and also the most industrial of the states in the south.”