Richmond, Virginia: pride of the founding fathers, doomed capital of the Confederate States of America. Unlike other Southern cities, Richmond boasted a vibrant, urban industrial complex capable of producing crucial ammunition and military supplies. Despite its northern position, Richmond became the Confederacy's beating heart -- its capital, second-largest city, and impenetrable citadel. As long as the city endured, the Confederacy remained a well-supplied and formidable force. But when Ulysses S. Grant broke its defenses in 1865, the Confederates fled, burned Richmond to the ground, and surrendered within the week. Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War offers a detailed portrait of life's daily hardships in the rebel capital during the Civil War. Here, barricaded against a siege, staunch Unionists became a dangerous fifth column, refugees flooded the streets, and women organized a bread riot in the city. Drawing on personal correspondence, private diaries, and newspapers, author Mary A. DeCredico spotlights the human elements of Richmond's economic rise and fall, uncovering its significance as the South's industrial powerhouse throughout the Civil War.
"DeCredico has crafted a fresh and -- more important -- highly personal view of the city that was literally the heart of the Southern Confederacy. Here is a good example of humanizing history." -- James I. Robertson Jr., author of Robert E. Lee: A Reference Guide to His Life and Works
" Confederate Citadel is rich with the words of Richmond's occupants, including residents and wartime visitors. DeCredico evokes the hopes and fears of both Confederate and loyal Richmonders, as well as their privations and occasional indulgences, even as booming battlefield cannon sometimes rattled the windows of their houses and government offices." -- Brent Tarter, author of Virginians and Their Histories
" Confederate Citadel provides a vivid portrait of the day-to-day experience of the Civil War within the capital of the Confederacy. The brisk narrative showcases the voices of many Richmonders -- from Confederate authorities devising policy, to starving women demanding action in the streets. The book effectively traces the tensions between Confederate national ambitions and the capital's local needs over the course of the conflict." -- Catherine A. Jones, author of Intimate Reconstructions: Children in Postemancipation Virginia