Civil War and Emancipation Day

Richmond's Journey

In April 1865, after four years at the heart of the Civil War, Richmond—the capital of the Confederacy—finally fell. The Confederate government evacuated and Union army units—including United States Colored Troops—entered the city and arrived at the Capitol. That moment foreshadowed the reunification of the United States, the end of 250 years of American slavery, and the beginning of an uncertain journey into freedom for African-Americans here and across the country.

From April 1 through April 4, 2015, Richmond will commemorate this momentous event in American history through a powerful and inclusive series of programs:

  • illuminations representing the city’s devastating evacuation fires
  • powerful programs commemorating the emancipation of the city’s enslaved African-Americans
  • presentations and programs following in the footsteps of those who were here at this historic time, from evacuating Confederate officials, to African-American Union troops arriving in the city, to civilians caught in the vortex of dramatic change, to President Lincoln as he explored Richmond while it was still smoldering.

2014 Civil War & Emancipation Day