The Exchange Bank Amid Rubble
Original Author: Unknown
Created: April 1865
Medium: Wet collodion glass-plate negative; one half of stereograph
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

The Exchange Bank Amid Rubble

The Exchange Bank on Main Street, Richmond, stands in ruins in the aftermath of the city's fall at the end of the Civil War. While evacuating on April 3, 1865, Confederate soldiers set fire to tobacco warehouses and the conflagration spread throughout the commercial heart of Richmond, leaving a large swath of the business district in ruins. The so-called Burned District was chronicled in dramatic images made by Northern photographers eager to capture the devastation, and to give a graphic representation of the punishment being endured by the defeated foe. Ironically, Confederates actually started the fires and Union soldiers contained the blaze.