Conway B. Moncure, good friend and Docent at the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia has recently sent a book to the First White House of the Confederacy called Mr. Davis’s Richmond, by Stanley Kimmel , published by Branhall House, 1958.
The foreword tells us, ” This is the story of the Confederate Capital during the War Between the States, as reported by its local press from day to day.”
It explains further “The book does not attempt to detail history but completes the coverage of events in the capitals of the North and South from 1861 to 1865.”
In addition to being a fascinating account of the War, there are many photos, of buildings in Richmond, of battles, as well as portraits of people, some famous, some not. There are some cartoons too, many of which appeared in Harper’s Weekly.
Of course as always when reading an account of the War, things went much better for Jefferson Davis and the Confederates in the first two years of the war, and from bad to worse for the remainder. Some of the saddest pictures were those of Richmond after fire had torn through the city, during the fall of the Capital to the Federals.
The story ends as follows: “In Richmond, as the flames cast their last weird shadows into the sky, the people began to speculate about their future. They gazed in silent bewilderment at the skeleton outlines of buildings, and the ashes of their city-the once-proud City of the Seven Hills. The sight, to them, symbolized a past that never would return. The South had fought for a way of life unknown in the North. The great majority of her people wanted to keep that way of life. Now they knew that the ghost of what had been would follow them throughout their lives, perhaps remain for other generations to face and try to fathom. Now they knew there was nothing more for them but an empty tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and…”