Hardy’s Capitals of the Confederacy

The Capitals of the Confederacy, a History
By Michael C. Hardy
Reviewed by J. Keith Jones

Funny how no one until now had thought to write a consolidated history of the various capitals of the Confederate States of America. Maybe one reason is that it sounds like a dry subject, but in Michael Hardy’s hands it is anything but dry. Hardy’s usual flair for making what may seem to be a mundane subject into good storytelling is on full display in this book.

Many people, unfortunately, are so woefully deficient in their history knowledge that they are unaware that there ever was any other capital for the CSA during the four years it fought for survival. The truth is that Richmond was not the first nor the last. Prior to Virginia’s departure from the Union, the capital was established in Montgomery, Alabama. Feeling that this was too far from the seat of war, this was moved to Richmond, which was perhaps too close. Nonetheless, the Confederate army managed to keep the mightiest army the world had ever seen from breaching its gates for four long years.

During the final month of the war, several cities laid claim to that title. A few more with a more tenuous claim have tried to use that title through the years. Michael Hardy discusses all this in the appropriate level of detail. He keeps the story moving and lively without getting bogged down in the painfully routine minutiae. The Capitals of the Confederacy is an informative and entertaining read. Two thumbs up.

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