On might 20 , the Confederate Congress voted to go the government to Richmond...With that, Virginia's capital had become the very representation of Confederacy, additionally the ultimate reward in a bloody war.
-Ernest B. Furgurson, Ashes of Glory
Robert E. Lee
Whenever Confederate government moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia, the peaceful, prosperous Virginia condition capital had been changed into a loud, crowded metropolis that, as Furgurson notes, ended up being money, military headquarters, transportation hub, professional heart, jail, and hospital center of Confederacy. It had been additionally a target for Union military. Actually, the effort for both the Union as well as the Confederate armies during most of the Civil War in the eastern centered on capturing or threatening the enemy's money city. Considering that the Union capital-Washington D.C.-and the Confederate capital-Richmond-were situated a mere 100 kilometers apart, most of the battling raged between both of these places. Washington ended up being never ever seriously threatened by Southern causes, but Richmond practiced above its share of alarms and battles.
By early spring 1865 the people of Richmond had become used to the threat of capture because of the Federal army whoever soldiers the Richmond periodicals explained with great imagination given that vilest of mankind. Richmond had endured some frighteningly close possibilities, and its own inhabitants had grown familiar with the sound of artillery fire from simply ten kilometers outside the city. Their particular belief in Robert E. Lee was so full that they understood beyond the shadow of question which he would never enable Richmond to be taken.
Although time had come for General Lee to take into account just these types of essential. He'd had the oppertunity to hold back the Union causes for pretty much 10 months at Petersburg until his depleted causes had been worn-out and his products dwindled to absolutely nothing. Eventually, he found believe that he could well provide the Confederate cause by leaving its capital. Furgurson records that Lee requested Lt. Gen. John B. Gordon for his opinion regarding the Confederate Army's after that measures. Gordon informed your Confederacy should seek comfort terms. If terms are not acceptable, Gordon argued, the military should leave Richmond and Petersburg and escape south to participate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's military in the Carolinas in which their combined causes could pay attention to beating the Union military under General William T. Sherman.