On the day the first shots of the Civil War were fired, a mob in Richmond clambered on top of the Capitol to raise the Confederate flag. Four years later, another flag was raised in its place while the city burned below. A 13-year-old girl compared the stars and stripes to "so many bloody gashes". This richly detailed, absorbing book brings to life the years in which Richmond was the symbol of Southern independence and the theater for a drama as splendid, sordid, and tragic as the war itself. Drawing on an array of archival sources, Ashes of Glory portrays Richmond's passion through the voices of soldiers and statesmen, preachers and prostitutes, slaves and slavers. Masterfully orchestrated and finely rendered, the result is a passionate and compelling work of social history.