The 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War is fast approaching. Where better to be for this significant point in American history than where the letter of surrender was written and the war came to a close?
On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Appomattox, Virginia.
“Harried mercilessly by Federal troops and continually cut off from turning south, Lee headed west, eventually arriving in Appomattox County on April 8. Heading for the South Side Railroad at Appomattox Station, where food supplies awaited, the Confederates were cut off once again and nearly surrounded by Union troops near the small village of Appomattox Court House. Despite a final desperate attempt to escape, Lee’s army was trapped. General Lee surrendered his remaining troops to General Grant at the McLean House on the afternoon of April 9.”
1. NEARLY 90 EVENTS are occurring in a five-day span to commemorate the end of the Civil War as it occurred at Appomattox. Several of the events are scheduled to occur at the same hour and minute as 150 years ago, giving you a real-time feel for what you’ll be witnessing. Key moments occurring at the National Historical Park that you won’t want to miss:
- April 8, 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – Battle of Appomattox – Narrated. Demonstration of the Confederate artillery versus the Federal cavalry.
- April 9, 7:30 a.m. – Battle of Appomattox Court House – Narrated. This was the final battle in the Eastern Theater of the war, producing approximately 2,000 casualties.
- April 9, 11 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
- April 9, 3 p.m. – Lee Leaves the McLean House – Reenactors portraying General Lee and his staff will emerge and depart from the McLean House in an act that reflects, in real-time, a moment that occurred exactly 150 years ago.
- April 10 – 2 p.m. – Confederate Cavalry Surrender – In a real-time event, the Confederate cavalry will surrender their equipment.
- April 10 & 11 3 p.m. – Stacking of Arms Ceremony – The real surrendering of arms took about six hours and 30 minutes in 1865. Get an idea of what such an event looked like when Confederate reenactors come one at a time into the village to lay down their weapons and flags before the Union reenactors. You’ll be especially moved by the salute from the Union troops to the Confederate troops and the return salute that was offered.
- PARKING & VENUE MAP
2. THERE ARE TWO MULTI-DAY EVENTS running consecutively for the Sesquicentennial commemoration at Appomattox.
- Appomattox Court House National Historic Park events (key programs mentioned above), and “The Long Road Home” event which encompasses five re-enactments and several living history events, all held on the campus of the Appomattox Center for Business and Commerce. Tickets are required; children 10 and under are free. BUY NOW. A few key programs:
- April 10: Living History Demonstrations across six stations
- April 10, 4 p.m.: Battle of Appomattox Station with cavalry and artillery action
- April 10, 8 p.m.: Outdoor showing of April 1865: The Month that Saved America
- April 11, 10 a.m.: Fashion Show
- April 11, 11 a.m.: Battle of Appomattox Court House
- April 11, 8 p.m.: Period Dance with the 2nd South Carolina String Band
3. EXTENDED HOURS will be offered at the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox, allowing you to visit without missing programming at adjacent sites. Extended hours will be offered April 8-12 only (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Special programming is also available at MOC this week with your paid admission:
- Daily: Living History Educators
- Daily: 2nd VA Cavalry, Co. C and Stuart’s Horse Artillery Encampment
- April 9, 2 p.m.: Lee Surrenders to Grant – a reenactment
- April 10, 11 a.m.: “Meeting at the Point” – a monologue by General Grant in reference to the meeting with President Abraham Lincoln at City Point (modern day Hopewell, Virginia)
- April 10, 1 p.m.: The History of Thomas Babcock, Appomattox native and Speaker of the Confederate House of Representatives
- April 11, 11 a.m.: “April 1st Before Breakout” – a monologue by General Lee
- Download the Battle App® for Appomattox in the App Store or Google Play. GPS-based, the app will tell you the part of the story that occurred exactly where you’re standing. Timed maps will also show you key moments, advances and retreats. Hear from historians, listen to soldier and civilian accounts, and see photos, facts, and event chronology. Want more? Try the Field Glasses®, an augmented reality viewer that allows you to hold your device horizontally and see key landmarks across the current landscape.
5. THERE’S A HASHTAG FOR THAT. Share your experiences, get a selfie with a soldier, and above all, hashtag your Appomattox adventure with #APX150th to possibly find yourself within our Storify stream!
— ADDITIONAL INFORMATION —
- Civil War 150th Special Events
- Civil War National Battlefields
- Virginia Civil War 150
- Virginia Civil War Trails