On the fateful night of April 2nd, 1865, the same on which General Ewell evacuated the defenses of the capital and General Lee withdrew from Petersburg, Jefferson Davis left Richmond and reached Danville, VA the next morning, April 3rd. Thus this thriving community of some 5,000 people became the last capital of the Confederate States of America.
The plan was for Lee and Davis to meet in Danville and make a new defensive line there, but it never materialized. On April 10th news of Lee’s surrender forced Davis and his entourage to flee southward We know of his subsequent meeting up with his wife Varina, and then his capture and imprisonment.
And what of Danville? During the war, the town had been transformed into a quartermaster’s depot, rail center, hospital station for Confederate wounded and a prison camp. 1,314 prisoners died and lie interred in the Danville national Cemetery.
According to an article I read, the Confederate flag has long since been lowered from the library building in Danville, but a small “last flag of the Confederacy” still flutters over a little shrine at the corner of the lawn. At least that was true in 1997. I wonder if it is still there, marking history?