Question of the Week: 5/23-5/29/22

The Confederacy had its pick of Southern cities to name its capital.

In 1861, would you have chosen Richmond? If not, which other city would you have chosen?

11 Responses to Question of the Week: 5/23-5/29/22

  1. Considering that making Richmond the capitol was pretty much a prerequisite for Virginia joining the Confederacy, I don’t think there was much of a choice so I say yes.

  2. I think I would have chosen Atlanta. It is reasonably centrally located within the Confederacy. Good lines of communication. Union access would have to have come invasion from the Atlantic or Gulf coasts or a very lengthy overland route. Although Georgia didn’t equally contribute men or war materials to the Confederacy, having the capital located within their borders, the extra “protection” may have been advantageous. A great what if – what if Virginia and all of its native sons like Lee, Jackson, Stuart, etc. had not joined the Confederacy.

    1. Atlanta is the one I’d like to see explored in a “What If”. Of course, it’s pretty clear it wasn’t going to happen since Virginia had a political agenda, but still…

  3. Richmond all the way … second biggest city after New Orleans … transportation hub and big industrial center in the South … and it’s in Virginia — arguably one of the most important states in the Union and definitely in the nascent Confederacy … perhaps the only other contender was Charleston which was about the same in size as Richmond, but it’s South Carolina — too small to be a Republic, too large to be a lunatic asylum.

  4. Richmond, for all the reasons above. Atlanta was too small at the time. Charleston was too identified with the fire eaters

  5. If Atlanta could have handled hosting a Confederate Congress and government, I would pick Atlanta as being somewhat equidistant from Richmond and New Orleans, and therefore being a better geographic spot to run a CSA wide war from. The Confederate Congress in Atlanta may have also have had a moderating affect on Georgia’s governor Joseph Brown and other states rights’ Georgia politicians. Then again Virginia’s state government may have been more difficult to deal with without the capital being Richmond.

  6. Charleston, for it was the heart of Secession. Atlanta is a good choice and maybe Raleigh should have been considered as well.

  7. Richmond was the logical choice is what it came down to. Others on here have listed some of the most obvious reasons for that. To those I would add a desire to link the Confederate cause to that of the Revolutionary War, which had some important events happen in Virginia, and contributed so many prominent people to that effort. Another aspect to this was Davis’s ability to consult with RE Lee (and Joe Johnson before him) in a timely manner when he felt the need to do so. Regardless of where the Confederate capitol would be located, it stands to reason that VA would be a target of Union plans, and Washington, DC in turn would be a goal of the Confederates, thus ensuring that a lot of fighting would take place there. So having their capitol in VA, and specifically Richmond, made eminent sense for the Confederacy.

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