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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Evacuation Fire

 
 
Evacuation Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 13, 2010
1. Evacuation Fire Marker
Inscription. The Evacuation Fire destroyed roughly 1,000 buildings. It spread from here to the James River, and from the foot of Gambles Hill east to beyond 14th Street.

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
Evacuation Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 13, 2010
2. Evacuation Fire Marker
, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Cary Street and South 8th Street. Touch 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). Touch for a list and map 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.)
Ruins on the Canal Basin, Richmond, Va. image. Click for full size.
circa April 1865
3. Ruins on the Canal Basin, Richmond, Va.
Left side of the composite photo on the marker. Library of Congress [LC-USZC4-7935]

4. James River and Kanawha Canal Historic District. National Park Service (Submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsWar, US Civil
 
Ruins of Gallego Flour Mills, Richmond, Va. image. Click for full size.
circa April 1865
4. Ruins of Gallego Flour Mills, Richmond, Va.
Right side of the composite photo on the marker. Library of Congress [LC-USZC6-49]
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 816 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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