Charlottesville's Living Civil War Legacy

Charlottesville’s Living Civil War Legacy

By Claire Barrett
8/16/2017 • HistoryNet

On Saturday, August 12, hundreds of protesters poured into Charlottesville, Virginia, bringing to the fore the legacy of the American Civil War and turning the otherwise typical university town into a deadly flashpoint between white nationalists and counter-protesters. Lost in the violence was the core debate over removing public monuments and symbols of the Confederacy, as Charlottesville leaders planned to do by ordering the dismantling of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Here are some fast facts about the city during the Civil War era.

1. Charlottesville, with a population of about 3,000 people, remained on the fringes of the war. Perhaps the only noteworthy conflict was a skirmish on the northern outskirts of town on Feb. 29, 1864, in the so-called Battle of Rio Hill.
2. The Union forces at Rio Hill were led by Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer. But he of the flowing locks bungled it – perhaps foreshadowing disaster 10 years later at Little Big Horn. At Rio Hill, Custer and his 1,500 soldiers attempted to raid a Confederate camp, but Custer mistakenly believed an accidental explosion was enemy artillery fire and fled with his troops, chased out by members of Confederate forces under command of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart.
3. The University of Virginia, like Charlottesville itself, escaped the war’s ravages. The student body, however, answered the call of the Southern cause. Strong supporters of secession from the Union, about 500 of the university’s 600 enrollees in 1861 joined the Confederate army, as did more than 2,000 alumni.
4. UVA’s enrollment plummeted in the war years. In 1862-1863, there were 46 students enrolled. Only eight went on to graduate, but the university never closed.
5. Charlottesville also contributed to the cause through industry, producing swords, uniforms and artificial limbs. Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood was so pleased with his Charlottesville-made right leg that he declared, “The Charlottesville leg is far better than the French one.”
6. Charlottesville was site of medical facilities, including a hospital, that treated wounded and sick Confederate soldiers. Ultimately, Charlottesville General Hospital treated 22,700 patients during the Civil War and employed 300 people.
7. African Americans outnumbered whites in Charlottesville at the time of the Civil War. In Albemarle County, of which Charlottesville is a part, 55 percent of 26,615 residents were African American. Of those 14,512, all but 606 were slaves. Today, about 107,000 people live in the county, 81 percent of them white and 10 percent African American.
8. Charlottesville surrendered to Union forces. Despite Custer’s retreat at Rio Hill, he and Gen. Philip Sheridan formally accepted the town’s surrender on March 3, 1865. Little more than a month later, Lee surrendered the Confederacy to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in a ceremony at Appomattox Court House, about 60 miles south of Charlottesville.

Sources: HistoryNet, Encyclopedia of Virginia

11 Responses to Charlottesville’s Living Civil War Legacy

  1. bschaser says:

    More fake news. They used the 1870 census to show the free slaves. Go to the 1860 census and see all blacks were slaves . Use the 1860 slave schedule for an honest reflection. Shame on you for publishing this falsehood.

    • Sean Hood says:

      Must have come from the clinton news network since all they produce is lies and fake news.

      • Michelle Kirkwood says:

        Shut up, you lying troll. Go take your “fake news” somewhere else.

      • Sean Hood says:

        Sorry Kirkwood everywhere there is a lying ALT-LEFT traitor I will be there to shove your BS in your face.

  2. Vince Furnier says:

    Looks like Historynet ‘accidentally’ reversed the free/enslaved ratio. The Encyclopedia of Virginia clearly states that only 606 were free whilst 13,916 were enslaved (quoted by EoV from the 1860 census). Historynet also got its simple arithmetic incorrect as 606 + 13916 = 14522 (not 14512). Journalists ….tut tut. So not fake news BSchaser, just incorrectly reported or simply lazy journalism, which probably adds up to the same thing.

    • Melissa Winn says:

      Thank you for catching this! It was an accidental reversal and we have updated it now. Thanks again!

  3. Sean Hood says:

    The ALT-LEFT fascists, the BLM terrorists and the antifa anarchists made a premeditated attack on the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech. It was a disgusting display of treason.

    • Michelle Kirkwood says:

      What a stupid thing to say—-it was these neo-nazis and wanna be white supremacists with the cheap,fake tiki torches who started that whole mess—it was THEIR fault. Turns out the city of Charlottesville had originally turned down their permit to march in the first place, so they had to go to court to get an order to march. In other words, they really didn’t want them there. The neo-nazis have a long, hateful history of going from place to place where nobody wants to see them because basically all they’re ever done is harrass, threaten, beat up, and in some cases, actually kill people who disagreed with. They’re the ones who beat up a young black man,Deandre Harris (who is a Charlottesville native) bad enough to put him in the hospital simply because he traded insults with them–here’s the story here:

      One of the white supremacists pointed a gun into the crowd and almost shot someone, while another ran into a crowd, injuring 19 people and killing another young Charlottesville native,Heather Heyer. Some of them (who have since been arrested) bragged about bringing guns and wanting to beat up people in that Vice News piece on Charlottesville. And let’s get this straight—there is no such thing as the “alt-left”—it dosen’t exist. The alt-right who started that rally exists. And BLM are not “terrorists” Name me ONE so-called “terrorist” act BLM has done recently. You can’t name one, can you? That figures–just means you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. And these neo-nazis used their freedom of speech as an excuse to basically take over a city to sp4ead their hateful racist rhetoric, and as an excuse to hurt people. So just shut up spewing all that BS you just spewed.

      • Sean Hood says:

        Let’s get one thing straight. There is no such thing as the alt-right. We have always had the Far right and we have always known who they are. But the ALT-LEFT that you people are trying soooo hard to deny, is very real and is a dangerous threat to this Nation and it’s liberties. Your lies are not convincing anyone Kirkwood, the ALT-LEFT had the choice to just avoid the scene altogether like the normal people have been doing for decades. But the ALT-LEFT is so committed to violence that it and its bigoted, thuggish supporters just had to show up, and a foolish young woman died. You people are disgusting.

    • Rainer_Pitthan says:

      Sean Hood is an Idiot.
      Maybe not as bad a Trump. but close!

      • Sean Hood says:

        And you are clearly an ignorant fool. Guess you voted for the international globalist criminal. So you may not be as traitorous as Clinton but you are close.

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