Civil War Sesquicentennial

The Civil War was one of the most important events in the history of our country. During its four-year period 618,000 casualties were suffered and the future of the nation and its people were determined. The Sesquicentennial will run from 2009 through 2015 commemorating the 150th anniversary of the major battles and events of the Civil War. The 2009 kickoff date celebrates the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), which was put down by units of the U. S. Army under the command of then Colonel Robert E. Lee. The end date of 2015 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox in 1865.

State and local commissions have been set up to commemorate and provide information on all aspects of the Civil War period including the abolition of slavery. In keeping with the theme of this website, this section will focus on the history and genealogy of people from the Danville, Virginia area who were involved in various events during the Civil War period. For most adults alive today this involved their great or great-great grandparents. For black citizens it often involved the freedom of those ancestors from slavery.

While not involved in any battles during the War, Danville, Virginia was a major logistical site for the Confederate government for storage and construction of armament, food, war material and prisoners and became the Last Capitol of the Confederacy during the waning days of the War. A total of 899 men from Danville and Pittsylvania County died during the War, 337 killed in action and 562 succumbing to non-battle causes such as disease. Of 4,324 men who served in the Confederate Army from Danville and Pittsylvania County almost 21 percent died during the War.

There are several Civil War events that will be celebrating their 150th anniversary in the coming months. You can find additional information on these events in the links below: