Generals Grant and Lee signed surrender documents in the parlor of Wilmer McLean’s brick house (reconstructed by the Park Service in the 1940s).
On the afternoon of April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, decked out in full dress attire, signed surrender documents in the parlor of the modest brick house of Wilmer McLean in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. They were accepted by a muddy and threadbare Ulysses S. Grant, and the Civil War was effectively over, after four bloody years.
Fast-forward to today, and the village of Appomattox Court House, including the brick home where the historic meeting between Lee and Grant took place, has become a National Historical Park, meticulously preserved by the National Park Service to bring visitors closer to this pivotal moment in our nation’s history. Starting on April 8, that history will come alive during a sesquicentennial celebration and commemoration.
NPS and the village have been preparing for this event for two years, and they’re expecting 1,100 re-enactors, as well as thousands of visitors, during the five-day event. (The Appomattox County Historical Society, which is holding a separate reenactment outside the park, is expecting about 3,600 re-enactors.) Music, reenactments and historian talks are all on the agenda, and none of the on-site events require advance reservations or tickets.
We've rounded up a few highlights below, but you can find the full list (and a map of the festivities) here. Also, don’t forget to use the hashtag #APX150th on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all of your Appomattox-related posts.... Read More →
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Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.