National Historical Park
1930: U.S. War Department Battlefield Site
Rating (1-5): Unrated
About the SiteIt was here, on April 9, 1965, that General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy surrendered his forces to General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union, bringing an end to the bloodiest conflict in the history of the United States. The war had begun in 1861, and in four terrible years more than 618,000 soldiers died. It wasn't until General Grant had chased Lee's exhausted and ill-supplied troops to Appomattox Court House, however, that the war was effectively over.
Appomattox Court House is actually the name of the village, not a particular building. On the evening of April 8, 1865, the remnants of the once-proud Confederate Army of Northern Virginia arrived on the outskirts of the village, with Grant's Union army right on its heels. Lee was hoping to obtain much-needed supplies for his troops at a railway siding, but he didn't realize that Union troops had just beat him there. Skirmishes began at 2:00 a.m. on the 9th, and by late morning Lee realized he had grossly underestimated the number of Union troops he faced.
What You're Going to SeeTwenty-seven buildings survive from the 19th century, including the McLean House where the truce was signed. Visitors can tour the McLean House hourly with rangers, or explore it on their own. The visitors center is located nearby, in the restored Courthouse. Living History reenactments are offered daily during the summer months, and occasionally during the off-season. There is also a 70-seat theatre that offers two different 15-minute slideshows during the day. Visitors can take a self-guided tour, walk a six-mile history trail, and enjoy daily Ranger talks in the summer on the rolling undisturbed Virginia lands.
Personal ObservationsSounds like a nice place to visit.
Getting ThereFrom Richmond, take US 60 west for approximately 60 miles west to the junction with state highway 24. Take highway 24 southwest for about 16 miles; the Site will be on your left. Continue on an additional two miles to the town of Appomattox.
Nearby AttractionsAbout 55 miles to the west southwest is the Booker T. Washington National Monument. 50 miles to the north is Shenandoah National Park. About 90 miles to the northeast is the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park.