Appomattox Court House National Historical Park Things to Do
At Appomattox, you can relive the drama of the closing days of the Civil War. Park personnel and slide presentations brief you on the background of the park at the visitor information center, located in the courthouse building. Your visit includes such highlights as the McLean House, where the actual surrender took place, the Clover Hill Tavern, where parole passes were printed, and the surrender triangle, where the stacking of arms occurred.
Period re-enactors add an element of living history to your visit. You can become observers to the drama played out in the days just prior to -- and immediately following -- the war's conclusion. Surrounded by serene and seemingly endless split-rail fencing and village buildings, one can almost feel the presence of the war-weary soldiers and visualize the opposing generals as they struggled with the painful truths and chilling consequences of a nation ripped apart by war. These re-enactors take their jobs very seriously. Many also participate in battle reenactments and their costume, weapons and supplies are much as you would have found during the actual period. We had the “pleasure” of chatting with one of the “rebel” soldiers for an extended period after the end of the day and learned a lot about the life of a southern soldier during the war.
You can get a feel for the place by viewing the pictures in our Travelogue.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park Favorites
Civil War and Surrender
Favorite thing: My favorite thing about visiting Appomaxtox Courthouse has to be walking into the McClean House (a reconstruction) and viewing the spot where the terms of surrender were hammered out and singed by Generals Lee and Grant. The terms were very generous so that the Nation could begin the healing process at once. Confederate soliders were permitted to keep their sidearms and their horses if they had one.
I first visited Appomattox Courthouse in the Spring of 2000 after traveling the route of Lee's retreat that began in Petersburg, VA and crossed the State. There were 25 battles and skirmishes along the way. When my son and I first walked in to the McClean house, we were exhausted, feeling almost as if we had fought all those battles too.
Fondest memory: I am glad I was able to spend the time learning about history with my children. They all have a good interest in history that will sustain them throughout their lives. I could not have been in better company.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
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