Danville Musuem of Fine Arts and History, Danville, Virginia

January 26, 2021 – Philip Andrew Hamilton Visited The Last Capital Of The U.S. Confederacy

On January 26, 2021, author Philip Andrew Hamilton visited the last capital of the Confederacy, during the United States Civil War, in Danville, Virginia. Jefferson Finis Davis, and his cabinet, traveled to the Sutherlin Mansion, after the city of Richmond fell to the Union Army.

Presently the Sutherlin Mansion is the site of the Danville Musuem of Fine Arts and History.

Danville, Virginia, Major William Thomas Sutherlin, Prison Number 6, William Thomas Sutherlin

Prison Number 6 – One Of The Six Confederate Prisons That Operated In Danville, Virginia

In 1855, Major William Thomas Sutherlin constructed multiple tobacco factories in Danville, Virginia. During the Civil War, six former tobacco factories were utilized as confederate prisons in Danville, Virginia. One of Sutherlin’s factories that was converted to a prison was named, “Prison Number 6”.

During the war about 7,000 Union soldiers were housed in “Prison Number 6”.

Soon after Jefferson Davis, and the rest of the Confederate government, abandoned the home of Major William Thomas Sutherlin as the site of the last Confederate Capital building, Union forces came to Danville and liberated thousands of imprisoned Union soldiers.

Danville, Virginia, William Thomas Sutherlin

Danville, Virginia – The Last Capital Of The Confederacy

The home of Major William Thomas Sutherlin in Danville, Virginia was the site of the last capital of the Confederacy from April 3rd to April 10th 1865. The confederate government operated in the Sutherlin family dining room while President Jefferson Davis held a bedroom upstairs as his office.

Photograph of Major William Thomas Sutherlin.

The confederate government had planned, months in advance, to move in Danville, Virginia in the event that Richmond would fall to Union occupation. Danville’s large armory and the train station that connected to the city were taken into account when deciding a place in the state of Virginia to move the Confederate Capital to.

After President Lincoln was assassinated, the Union government suspected Jefferson Davis to behind the assignation plot. General Lee had already surrender his Northern Virginia Army At Appomattox and President Davis decided to escape to Georgia, so that he could eventually escape to France to set up a temporary Confederate government there.

Danville, Virginia, Wynne's Falls, Virginia

The Founding of Danville, Virginia

Thirteen thousand years ago, up until the 17th century the areas of Danville and Pittsylvania, Virginia were occupied by Paleoindians. Fur traders were the first colonists to venture inland from the coastal areas of the English Virginia territory.

In 1670, John Hatcher, Henry Hatcher and Benjamin Bullington were the first fur traders to reach the Danville area. They each carved their names into a tree on May 24, 1673.

Portrait of Colonel William Bryd II.

In 1728, Colonel William Bryd II led nineteen explorers to determine the boundaries between North Carolina and Virginia.

A town was established at Wynne’s Falls. In 1793, the Virginia legislature renamed Wynee’s Falls to Danville.