Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The first tires were set by Confederate forces just after daybreak Monday April 3, 1865. Shockoe Warehouse at Shockoe Slip, and Public Warehouse on the site of Kanawha Plaza, were fired to destroy the tobacco. Railroad bridges and some private warehouses were also set on fire, but armed workers prevented the Tredegar Iron Works from being ignited.
The fires spread, partly by blown sparks and partly by mob action. Shockoe Slip, the Gallego Mills, and the commercial district around the Basin went up. The Arsenal caught fire around 8 am, and shells exploded every minute for hours. Thick smoke hung everywhere. Thousands took shelter in Capitol Square. An unknown number were killed.
As fire and mob raged, Union troops entered the city. A brigade of 4,500 soldiers worked to contain the spread of the fires and to restore order. By mid-afternoon the worst was over, but the fire burned throughout the day, and the ruins smoldered until June.
Six days later, on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
Location. 37° 32.268′ N, 77° 26.301′ W. Marker is in Richmond Click for map. This marker is located along the Dominion Building plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 East Cary Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Evacuation of Richmond (here, next to this marker); Downtown Richmond Millsites (within shouting distance of this marker); Basin Race (within shouting distance of this marker); Kanawha Plaza (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Canal Walk (about 400 feet away); The First National Bank Building (about 500 feet away); Richmond Evacuation Fire (about 600 feet away); Great Turning Basin (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
More about this marker. On the upper right is a period photo of the "Ruins Across the Great Basin, 1865." with the caption, "The Gallego Mills are to the right. (Composite photo by A. Gardner, Courtesy of Library of Congress)"
Also see . . .
1. The Fall of Richmond. Civil War Preservation Trust. (Submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. The Fall of Richmond. Historynet-America’s Civil War. (Submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. The Fall of Richmond. Civil War Richmond. (Submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
4. James River and Kanawha Canal Historic District. National Park Service (Submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Notable Events • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 799 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.