appomattox Courthouse-ls_9881

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is comprised of many of the village’s original historic structures, along with several reconstructed buildings on approximately 1,700 acres in rural Virginia. The Wilmer McLean home, where the surrender was signed, is open to the public.  A driving tour and several trails cover the battlefield.

It was eight days after the collapse of the Confederate defenses around Richmond and Petersburg. By April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee’s exhausted and hungry men had managed to make their way west over seventy miles along the South Side Railroad. Many had not made it, killed or captured by Federal pursuers or just quietly slipping away to safety. Now those who were left found their path blocked in every direction and desperately needed supplies captured by Federal cavalry at Appomattox Station. After a few last attempts to force a way through the blocking Federal forces, Lee accepted the inevitable.

Today the area encompassing the last fighting and the surrender is part of Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. Many of the events of the surrender were in the area of Appomattox Court House Village. The village is closed to vehicular traffic, and visitors can walk about and appreciate its Civil War appearance. Other important areas are outside the village along Virginia Route 24