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 Post subject: Richmond as CSA capitol - what if?
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 2:08 am 
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Just reading through the very interesting "The American Civil War, Day by Day" thread from Gen. Ned Simms and now reached the point where:
"The Provisional Congress of the Confederacy voted to move the capital of the nation from Montgomery, Ala to Richmond, Va, a move calculated to ensure the support of Virginia."
Now I just wonder how the course of the war would have been if the capital stayed in Montgomery.
Any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: Richmond as CSA capitol - what if?
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:53 pm 
Hard to really say.

But I think the CSA would not have placed as much emphasis on holding Virginia as they did with their capital there. It would likely have gone the way of Kentucky/Tennessee and been secured by Federal forces in late 1861 or early 1862. The Confederacy would likely have been willing to abandon the state and instead try to concentrate further south around Raleigh with their left flank anchored by the Appalachians and their right by the ocean.

There would also be no state of West Virginia today.


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 Post subject: Re: Richmond as CSA capitol - what if?
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:55 am 
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It does open some interesting strategic questions. In Montgomery it would have been much easier to defend since the rail and river net to support any sustained campaign to take it was so poor. On the other hand it might have weakened the defense of Virginia just enough for the AoP to take the state early in the war. I don't think the South could have sustained their war effort with the lost of their two most populous and industrialized states, Tennessee and Virginia. They had almost half the population of the Confederacy in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Richmond as CSA capitol - what if?
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Here is a reason the Confederacy could not afford to shortchange the defense of Virginia.

Also, if Virginia fell, there would be no reason for the Yanks to divert so many troops to the defense of Washington.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tredegar_Iron_Works

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