The Burnt District in Richmond was a pitiable sight for the various photographers who scrambled to record the Confederate capital in the last days of the Civil War. As the government collapsed and people rioted, fires—meant to destroy the arsenal, bridges, and anything of military value—spread to a large part of the citys prime commercial district. Richmonds weary and long-suffering inhabitants searched for missing friends and relations and combed the ashes for what could be saved. Northern forces, including an African American infantry brigade, entered burned-out Richmond on April 3, 1865. On the following day, President Lincoln visited the devastated Confederate capital.