Peter Galuszka: 150 Years After the War, Richmond Embraces ‘Lincoln.’

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Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon’s Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

...Although the ["Lincoln’s"] setting is in the District, notably the White House, parts of Richmond and Petersburg fill in for much for the Nation’s Capital. When filming began a little more than a year ago with the enthusiastic support and the financial help of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, 1,200 local people were hired as extras....

There’s something oddly ironic about all this. Such Lincoln fervor is wildly out of synch with the real history of places like Richmond, the former Capital of the Confederacy that was burned to ashes by Union troops in 1865 on Lincoln’s command. Petersburg, which has the largest collection of antebellum houses still standing, was the scene of much bloodshed.

Lincoln’s true goals were to crush the Confederacy and seize Richmond. Freeing slaves was a secondary aim, despite what the movie might suggest. In the process, both sides acted with tremendous inhumanity....

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