Danville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States, located on the fall line of the Dan River. It was a major center of Confederate activity during the Civil War, due to its strategic location on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, and today is the principal city of the Danville, Virginia Micropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,055. It is bounded by Pittsylvania County, Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina to the south. Until 2020, it hosted the Danville Braves baseball club of the Appalachian League.
Numerous Native American tribes had lived in this part of the Piedmont region since prehistoric times. During the colonial period, the area was inhabited by Siouan language-speaking tribes.
In 1728, English colonist William Byrd headed an expedition sent to determine the true boundary between Virginia and North Carolina. Late that summer, the party camped upstream from what is now Danville. Byrd was so taken with the beauty of the land, that he prophesied a future settlement in the vicinity, where people would live "with much comfort and gaiety of Heart." He named the river along which they camped as the "Dan", for Byrd felt he had wandered "From Dan to Beersheba."
After the American Revolutionary War, the first settlement developed in 1792 downstream from Byrd's campsite, at a spot along the river shallow enough to allow fording.