Friday photo: a minimalist memorial

Richmond riverfront

The 1865 Exhibit,” a surprisingly moving exhibit (full text) comprises of a terse timeline (pictured here: “Richmond surrenders”), plus primary-source quotes from the three-day liberation of Richmond. Obviously, the surroundings help: swirling waters, road and rail traffic on bridges old and new, the city skyline and the woods.

A soldier with the 11th Connecticut, quoted in James Loewen’s Lies Across America in its chapter about the curious then-omission of Richmond’s liberation from the city’s landscape:

Our reception was grander and more exultant than even a Roman emperor, leading back his victorious legions with the spoils of conquest, could ever know… The slaves seemed to think that their day of jubilee had fully come. How they danced, shouted, waved their rag banners, shook our hands, bowed, scraped, laughed all over, and thanked God, too, for our coming.

Sometime soon, the walkway (built over a dam that fed an adjacent canal) will again cross the river.

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