Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Kathryn Meier

Second Advisor

Timothy Thurber

Third Advisor

John Coski


From May 1861 until April 1865 the city of Richmond, Virginia served as the capital of the Confederate States of America, during the American Civil War. Throughout the course of the war it operated alongside the established governments of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the County of Henrico, and Richmond City. The body that experienced the greatest fluctuation and change was the municipal government, which consisted of a city council, mayor, and hustings court. The city government faced existential challenges that included an increase in its population, an influx of Confederate soldiers, and the constant threat of the Union army. While developing and implementing policies that responded to these situations, it refused to neglect or yield the duties that it had always performed. This included maintaining the gas and water works, funding police and fire departments, providing land for burial in cemeteries, and ensuring basic resources were available to its denizens.


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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission