Richmond 150th Civil War Anniversary Events - see this site for more details.
Commemorating Richmond's journey from the end of slavery and Civil War to todayApril 2, 1865
While in church at St. Paul's, Confederate President Jefferson Davis received a telegram from General Robert E. Lee stating that he could not hold his position any longer and recommending that the Confederate government evacuate the city. Fires begun amidst the evacuation confusion consumed portions of the city late that night.
Thursday, April 2, 2015 commemorative programs will include
- Late morning program at St. Paul's Church exploring the story of the Confederate evacuation, featuring remarks by Nelson Lankford of the Virginia Historical Society, author of Richmond Burning.
- Tours of the historic areas of Richmond exploring the Confederate government's evacuation of the city and what that meant for residents, both free and enslaved.
- In the evening, an artistic illumination of areas of the city that were destroyed by the evacuation fires, along with guided lantern tours of the burned areas.
At the invitation of the mayor, Union army units, including a large contingent of Unites States Colored Troops, entered Richmond, assumed control of the Capitol and city, and helped to extinguish the devastating evacuation fires. With the arrival of Union troops, thousands of slaves in the city were emancipated and experienced their first day of freedom.
Friday, April 3, 2015 commemorative programs will include
- Morning bus tours following the path of entry of Union army units into the city early on April 3, 1865.
- Tours throughout the city exploring the arrival of Union forces and what that meant for residents, both free and enslaved.
- A special evening program commemorating and celebrating the 150th anniversary of emancipation in Richmond.
President Lincoln visited Richmond, including the former Confederate White House and the Capitol. As he moved through the city, he was surrounded by a growing, jubilant crowd of former slaves eager to greet the man they regarded as the great emancipator.
On Saturday, April 4, 2015, a full day of programs will commemorate the immense changes that occurred in Richmond 150 years ago, and the reverberations of those events in our Region today.
At the Virginia State Capitol:
- The day will open with the arrival of a procession of living history Union military units recreating the Union army's arrival in Richmond, including United States Colored Troops. A brief commemorative program will follow the arrival of the procession.
- Throughout the day, Richmond's history and cultural institutions will collaborate to present programs, living history, and temporary exhibits exploring the story and meaning of the historic events. The Virginia HistoryMobile will be open nearby.
- Staff and rangers from local history and cultural organizations will lead tours of the Capitol and surrounding area of the city to explore sites associated with the Confederate evacuation, the transfer of civic control to Union forces, the enslavement and emancipation of the city's African American population, and President Lincoln's visit to the city.