The Richmond History Podcast

Monday, August 13, 2012

General Moving Day Richmond, VA

The First of May 1865 or Genl Moving Day in Richmond, VA,  1865, courtesy of LOC

Click the image to see more detail.  

As my last post was a political cartoon from the beginning of the Civil War, here is one from the end and the fall of Richmond.  

It’s a color lithograph printed by Kimmel &Forster from 1865 showing Robert E. Lee in the grey uniform holding swords and guns, Jefferson Davis, trying to carry out boxes representing the seceded states, and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson on the right, missing his arm.  

It is odd for a couple of reasons.  It is titled "The First of May 1865 or Genl Moving Day in Richmond, VA".

On the first of April Lee decided to give up Petersburg and in doing so Richmond.1  He then  surrendered to Grant on April 9.2

Davis Left RVA in early April and on the first of May he was ten days away from his capture in near Irwinville, Georgia.3

As well, that must be Jackson’s ghost, because he was shot mistakenly by his men on May 2, 1863 at Chancellorsville, taken to a near by building to have his arm amputated, and just after saying 'Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees' he died.4  Apparently his spirit didn't get to rest for too long because this shows his ghost hanging around RVA.

It’s also funny.  The red flag previously announced a slave auction says "Sheriff Sale".  At least one of the two black men seems to be dancing and clapping.  The sign on the door is inscribed "To Let, Apply to Lincoln & Company" (by May 1 Lincoln had been dead for 16 days).  My favorite is the "C.S.A. Treasury" box getting urinated on by a cocker spaniel and has an attached note that says "Waste Paper 25 Ann Str." (Anyone know what Ann Str refers too?).  The 2 white guys hanging out just watching is nice as well.

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