Appomattox in Appomattox County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The four-year effort to vanquish the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia came to its climax in the fields before you.
“Legs will win the battle men …. They can’t escape, if you will keep up to it.”
Maj. Gen. E.O.C.Ord, Commander, Union Army of the James, to his men on April 8, 1865
Since the fall of Petersburg the week before, Grant and his armies had pursued Lee relentlessly. One Union column slashed at Lee’s rear guard. Another moved along Lee’s left flank, trying to cut the Confederates off. On the evening of April 8, Union cavalry reached Appomattox Station and captured trainloads of rations – food for a Confederate army that had not been fully fed in days.
On the morning of April 9, 1865, Union troops at last put themselves across Lee’s path. Union cavalry battled Lee’s men on the distant ridge. Lee attempted to break through, but soon Union infantry joined the fight too. Any hope that the Confederates could move westward on the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road (present Route 24) vanished. Lee now had but one rational choice: surrendered.
More than 60,000 Union troops – most
“It was a steeple chase, hurdle race and go-as-you please contest combined… So short were the stops made, that there was no time to unsling knapsacks and each man as the halt was called threw himself down at full length for rest… A steady and rapid march for fourteen hours... ”
George W. Linn, 10th Pennsylvania, describing the Union march on April 8, 1865
Erected by Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 37° 22.387′ N, 78° 49.022′ W. Marker is in Appomattox, Virginia, in Appomattox County. Marker is on Old Courthouse Road (Virginia Route 24), on the left when traveling west. Marker is in the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, near the western entrance to the park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Appomattox VA 24522, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Appomattox Station (a few steps from this marker); “Message of Peace” Education in 1800's Rural Virginia (approx. 0.6 miles away); Raine Cemetery and Monument (approx. 0.7 miles away); North Carolina (approx. 0.7 miles away); Confederate Artillery Position (approx. ¾ mile away); Walker's Last Stand (approx. ¾ mile away); A Strategic Delay (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Appomattox.
More about this marker. The bottom of the marker contains a picture of Federal troops on the march. It has a caption of “This sketch (below) shows Union troops on the road to Appomattox Court House. During the final push on April 8, some Union units marched more than 35 miles. By the time they reached Appomattox Court House, many Federal soldiers were only slightly less fatigued and hungry than their Confederate counterparts.” Above this is a map showing the Confederate Retreat and Union pursuit from Petersburg to Appomattox Court House, indicating encounters along the way.
Also see . . .
1. Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. National Park Service website. (Submitted on January 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Appomattox Court House. CWSAC Battle Summaries website. (Submitted on January 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 938 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.