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Pillars are fallen at thy feet, Fanes quiver in the air, A prostrate city is thy seat, And thou alone art there.

Very few cities are as steeped in the history of the War for Southern Independence as Richmond, Virginia. Capitol of the State of Virginia it became the capitol of the Confederacy and was the site of not only the government but the repository of its records – which were preserved for posterity – and it was the site of the most vicious siege in military history between the middle ages and the second world war. This is a very good book and makes a wonderful preface to a visit to the city which you should see before the exhibits are “modified” to suit the new dispensation!

Ashes of glory : Richmond at war    New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1996 Ernest B. Furgurson Richmond (Va.) History Civil War, 1861-1865 Hardcover xi, 419 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [367]-404) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG  

On the day the first shots of the Civil War were fired, a mob in Richmond clambered on top of the Capitol to raise the Confederate flag. Four years later, another flag was raised in its place while the city burned below. A thirteen-year-old girl compared the stars and stripes to “so many bloody gashes.” This richly detailed, absorbing book brings to life the years in which Richmond was the symbol of Southern independence and the theater for a drama as splendid, sordid, and tragic as the war itself. Drawing on an array of archival sources, Ashes of Glory portrays Richmond’s passion through the voices of soldiers and statesmen, preachers and prostitutes. Masterfully orchestrated and finely rendered, the result is a passionate and compelling work of social history.


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