Richmond in a Confederate victory scenario

Ficboy

Banned
I think one of the things not usually discussed in Confederate States victory scenarios is the very fate of the capital Richmond, Virginia. Most of the time, Richmond basically remains Virginia's capital even when it more or less becomes the Confederate equivalent of Washington D.C. (albeit without the federal district stuff) and after all the latter isn't part of any state either.

So regardless if the Confederate victory is a Trent Affair gone wrong, no Lost Order-191 and victory in Perryville, Kentucky or an earlier Civil War stemming from Texas going into New Mexico and getting fired upon by the United States with no Compromise of 1850 due to Henry Clay's death on January 21 by tuberculosis much earlier and thus the South secedes earlier with Missouri and Kentucky, Richmond isn't going to remain the capital of Virginia for long and I suspect that the state government will relocate to Williamsburg which was the original capital from colonial times to the Revolutionary War. The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond would become the Confederate Capitol the home of Congress (Senate and the House of Representatives) and the old Williamsburg Capitol would become the new home of the Virginia state government with some obvious upgrades of course and they would attempt to reconstruct the old Executive Mansion there.
 
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Why would Virginia want to give up its largest and most significant city? If the Confederate central government forces them, they'll be making states' rights even more of a lie than iOTL.
 

Ficboy

Banned
Why would Virginia want to give up its largest and most significant city? If the Confederate central government forces them, they'll be making states' rights even more of a lie than iOTL.
Well Richmond would become the capital of the Confederate States almost just as much as it is this for Virginia. Williamsburg is only 51 minutes away from Richmond and it was the capital of Virginia in OTL up until 1779 during the Revolutionary War.
 
Well Richmond would become the capital of the Confederate States almost just as much as it is this for Virginia. Williamsburg is only 51 minutes away from Richmond and it was the capital of Virginia in OTL up until 1779 during the Revolutionary War.
Yes, but would Virginia care that it's become just as much the Confederate capital, enough to make this hugely symbolic change? Also, Williamsburg is only 51 minutes away in the modern day, but it's closer to two days away on horseback. Also, it's much more vulnerable to Union naval power.
 
The question would be whether the Virginia state government is capable of sharing the machinery of state governance with that of Fedeal governance. My guess would be no since the Confederate government was gradually taking over more and more of the city. Having the state and federal government share city space like that would be difficult.
 
... the Confederate government was gradually taking over more and more of the city. Having the state and federal government share city space like that would be difficult.
Why would there be a problem? Lots of cities have buildings belonging to different levels of administration, municipal, regional and national.
 

Ficboy

Banned
Why would there be a problem? Lots of cities have buildings belonging to different levels of administration, municipal, regional and national.
There's a big difference. Those cities are very much under the control of municipal governments and any other buildings are owned by others. Richmond, Virginia on the other hand would be the capital of the Confederate States and they would increasingly take over the city from the state government no less.
 
Virginia is going to want the Confederate Capital in Virginia, but it's going to be unhappy with the idea of the Confederate Capital taking over Virginia's governance.

They might just set up a new city in Virginia, or pick a small city in Virginia to make the Confederate HQ.
 
The way I am handling it in my Communist Confederacy stuff is the Confederate government eventually sets up shop in Richmond south of the James River, in what was for a time the independent city of Manchester, before Richmond annexed it a few decades after the war. There were plans already to annex it, but it took decades to rebuild after Jeff Davis set fire to the city.

Thus, both Virginia and the Confederacy get to have thier capital in Richmond, with the James River and the city's extant North/South divide more or less evolving to the diding line between "state" and "federal" Richmond.
 
Why would there be a problem? Lots of cities have buildings belonging to different levels of administration, municipal, regional and national.

As others have pointed out, it's not a really tenable situation. For one thing, the Confederate Congress and the Virginia State Assembly share the Capitol Building in Richmond. Then you have the residence of the Governor of Virginia being grander than that of the President of the Confederacy, buildings being taken over by the Federal government, and a population which virtually exploded during the war as soldiers, officers, merchants and tradesmen moved in to the city and a rather bustling industrial park was developing thanks to the needs of the war.

The city would become pretty cramped rather quickly. The suggestion of moving to Williamsburg, Manchester, or Charlottesville are some presented both here and in other places. I think they're all fairly reasonable since it would allow for a smoother form of governing.
 

Ficboy

Banned
Like others pointed out, it's extremely difficult for even the Commonwealth of Virginia to maintain its capital at Richmond given that the Virginia State Capitol is also used by the Confederate States of America (CSA) no less not to mention the White House of the Confederacy and they would initiate a project to expand the city to server as the centre of the new nation. While Virginia would fight hard to retain Richmond as the state capital in the end the Confederacy will soon take over the city and so the state will have to find a new site for capital and these options are Williamsburg (the original capital from the Colonial Era to the Revolutionary War Era), Charlottesville (the home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia) or Manchester (a former independent city now part of Richmond itself)
 
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To be honest, in the long term, Richmond wouldn't be militarily/strategically safe for the Confederate government. Richmond isn't a very centralized location and the rest of the Confederacy isn't going to like the Virginia first attitude that would be forming in this situation. Although I could see Richmond as the cultural/recognized dejure capital of the Confederacy, most of the executive departments and government bureaucracy needs to be moved to/outside Atlanta for security/efficiency reasons, similar to how Israel recognizes Jerusalem as its capital but the entire government bureaucracy is actually located in Tel Aviv.
 
To be honest, in the long term, Richmond wouldn't be militarily/strategically safe for the Confederate government. Richmond isn't a very centralized location and the rest of the Confederacy isn't going to like the Virginia first attitude that would be forming in this situation. Although I could see Richmond as the cultural/recognized dejure capital of the Confederacy, most of the executive departments and government bureaucracy needs to be moved to/outside Atlanta for security/efficiency reasons, similar to how Israel recognizes Jerusalem as its capital but the entire government bureaucracy is actually located in Tel Aviv.

Honestly, it would be better to just move the capital de facto and de jure to Chattanooga and carve it out as a federal district
 

Ficboy

Banned
To be honest, in the long term, Richmond wouldn't be militarily/strategically safe for the Confederate government. Richmond isn't a very centralized location and the rest of the Confederacy isn't going to like the Virginia first attitude that would be forming in this situation. Although I could see Richmond as the cultural/recognized dejure capital of the Confederacy, most of the executive departments and government bureaucracy needs to be moved to/outside Atlanta for security/efficiency reasons, similar to how Israel recognizes Jerusalem as its capital but the entire government bureaucracy is actually located in Tel Aviv.
Probably not. Richmond, Virginia was chosen as the capital of the Confederate States due to it's industrial capacity (Tredegar Iron Works) and it's population (27,570 in 1850 and 37,910 in 1860 making it the third largest city in the Confederacy). Atlanta, Georgia by contrast has a much smaller population (2,752 in 1850 and 9,554 in 1860) and it's industry isn't as well developed as Richmond, Virginia.
 

Ficboy

Banned
Honestly, it would be better to just move the capital de facto and de jure to Chattanooga and carve it out as a federal district
People often forget that Richmond, Virginia was the capital of the Confederate States due to it's industrial capacity and population. The other cities in the South (including Kentucky and Missouri) didn't come anywhere near close Richmond, Virginia with the exception of New Orleans, Louisiana (116,735 in 1850 and 170,000 in 1860) and even then it only makes if the Upper South didn't join the Confederacy had been there no Battle of Fort Sumter and it's river position makes the city rather vulnerable to enemy capture (something that the Confederates learned in April 1862).
 
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Probably not. Richmond, Virginia was chosen as the capital of the Confederate States due to it's industrial capacity (Tredegar Iron Works) and it's population (27,570 in 1850 and 37,910 in 1860 making it the third largest city in the Confederacy). Atlanta, Georgia by contrast has a much smaller population (2,752 in 1850 and 9,554 in 1860) and it's industry isn't as well developed as Richmond, Virginia.

- During the peak of the Civil War, Atlanta's population swelled to 22,000 people.
- It was a extremely important logistical hub and railroad center.
- It was located in the safety of the deep south.
- And during the war it became the South's second most industrial center due to its own industry as well as inheriting the College Hill Arsenal from Nashville along with some iron works when Nathan Forrest dismantled it and brought it south with him during the evacuation of the city.

Like I said, Richmond is important, but it'd be stupid for the South to keep the capital in Virginia due to a variety of reasons. Atlanta's the next best choice. The only other cities that rival in importance are coastal cities like New Orleans and Charleston, or border cities like Nashville and Memphis. Atlanta is big, its safe, its a logistical hub, and its more than capable to hosting the Confederate Government Bureaucracy.
 
A lot depends on what kind of CSA emerges from the war between the states.
Do the states have most of the power or the central government in the CSA?
 
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Ficboy

Banned
- During the peak of the Civil War, Atlanta's population swelled to 22,000 people.
- It was a extremely important logistical hub and railroad center.
- It was located in the safety of the deep south.
- And during the war it became the South's second most industrial center due to its own industry as well as inheriting the College Hill Arsenal from Nashville along with some iron works when Nathan Forrest dismantled it and brought it south with him during the evacuation of the city.

Like I said, Richmond is important, but it'd be stupid for the South to keep the capital in Virginia due to a variety of reasons. Atlanta's the next best choice. The only other cities that rival in importance are coastal cities like New Orleans and Charleston, or border cities like Nashville and Memphis. Atlanta is big, its safe, its a logistical hub, and its more than capable to hosting the Confederate Government Bureaucracy.
Well true but Richmond, Virginia itself lends to a strategic importance: It's close to the North and thus allowed Confederate generals to launch campaigns to repel any Union forces there. If we're talking about an earlier Civil War then Atlanta, Georgia wouldn't be nearly as industrialized and populous as it was in 1861-1864 though even in that case there would be still growth. Nashville, Tennessee and Memphis, Tennessee are quite vulnerable due to being located near rivers same with New Orleans, Louisiana. Also, Richmond, Virginia was very old aside from Charleston, South Carolina which even then only makes sense as a capital if the Upper South didn't join the Confederacy without Fort Sumter.
 
I know that one of the CSA's war goals was to try and claim/take Washington DC and make that the CSA's capital city, Richmond was supposed to be a 'temporary capital'. Similar to how Philadelphia was a temporary capital of the USA before DC was built up enough for people to actually go there.

But even in a CSA victory... I think it would super unrealistic to both take DC and move the capital there, considering how the city is even closer to the Union border than Richmond is.
 

Ficboy

Banned
I know that one of the CSA's war goals was to try and claim/take Washington DC and make that the CSA's capital city, Richmond was supposed to be a 'temporary capital'. Similar to how Philadelphia was a temporary capital of the USA before DC was built up enough for people to actually go there.

But even in a CSA victory... I think it would super unrealistic to both take DC and move the capital there, considering how the city is even closer to the Union border than Richmond is.
Of course, Washington D.C. would remain under American control while Richmond, Virginia becomes the Confederate capital. As for Washington D.C., a situation similar to Israel (at least for some countries) would emerge: It would be the de jure capital (like Jerusalem) but for security reasons another city would be the de facto capital in this case Philadelphia (much like Tel Aviv).
 
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