Date of Award

2-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

History

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Robert Young

Abstract

The following is a study of the impact that one specific city had upon not only Virginia, but also upon the entire Confederacy throughout the four years of the American Civil War. The study takes a careful look at how Lynchburg, a small city located in south-central Virginia played a very significant part and provided tremendous support to the military and Confederate government. The paper includes a review of the early years and how the introduction of the tobacco crop brought the small town in 1786 to a booming city that rivaled both Richmond and Petersburg in wealth and exports by the 1850s. When the war began, Lynchburg sent men to serve in infantry, cavalry, artillery and home guard regiments. Lynchburg also served as a major transportation hub for the Confederacy with three railroad terminals, canal boats and river travel. There were thirty-two hospitals established throughout the city that served thousands of wounded soldiers from both sides. Following the surrender at nearby Appomattox and the beginning of Reconstruction, Lynchburg citizens began the slow process of rebuilding as did thousands of communities across the defeated South. From its humble beginnings in the late 1780s through the war years of the 1860s to the Reconstruction efforts of the 1870s, I would argue that the community of Lynchburg has made a significant impact upon not only the Commonwealth of Virginia, but throughout the South.

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