The easiest way to destroy the secessionist movement seemed to be to capture Richmond, the seat of the Confederate government, only a hundred miles from Washington. “On to Richmond” became not only a popular recruitment slogan in the North but in fact the military objective of Union commanders. For four years, a succession of generals moved against Richmond, only to be thwarted by tenacious southern defenders. Capture of the enemy’s capital was eventually replaced by a more attainable objective sought by both sides: destruction of the enemy’s army. The long conflict turned large portions of the Virginia landscape into a setting of death and desolation.
The Waging War section of the exhibition asks a series of questions relating to the war in Virginia. These questions appear in the menu to the left.