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Most students of American history know of the first two capitals of the Confederate States of America. There was, however, briefly a third as well.

When the initial seven states of the Deep South (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) broke off in December 1860, the constitutional convention was held and provisional government was formed at Montgomery, Alabama due to its geographic location at the center of those seven states.

As soon as Virginia joined (along with Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas) in April-May 1861, though, the capital was moved to Richmond, a much bigger, more cosmopolitan and industrial city at the time. Richmond served as Confederate capital for nearly four years.

As CSA Gen. Robert E. Lee's forces in the Army of Northern Virginia were finally defeated and Richmond overrun in spring 1865, the Confederate government evacuated down the biggest semi-secure railroad available, the Richmond and Danville Railroad, on the night of 2 April 1865. The government stopped at the end of that line, in the town of Danville, Virginia, on the North Carolina border immediately north of Greensboro. There it stayed until the final series of surrenders, beginning with Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865.

So, while Montgomery was the founding location, and Richmond was the control center during the American Civil War, the Confederate capital spent its last week at Danville.

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