Appomattox in Appomattox County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Appomattox Court House Nat’l Hist Park
For most of the war, Lee and his army had tormented their Northern enemies – at Gaines’ Mill, Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville. But here, on April 9, 1865, the once-mighty Army of Northern Virginia found itself trapped. Lee faced the most difficult decision of his life.
“… there is nothing left me to do but to go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths.”
Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA April 9, 1865
The tortuous final journey began with the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond on April 2, 1865. Lee’s straggling columns started west, trying to outrun Grant’s men, trying to turn south into North Carolina to join another Confederate force under Joseph E. Johnston. But Federals from three armies dogged them all the way. Then, on the morning of April 9, Union infantry deployed across Lee’s path west of Appomattox Court House.
Two miles northeast of here, more Federals slashed at the Confederate rear. With Union troops blocking his route west on the Stage Road (present Route 24), with Union troops behind him, and with Union troops closing on his left flank from the east,
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° 23.496′ N, 78° 47.005′ 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, at the eastern 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 one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lee’s Last Headquarters (here, next to this marker); Historic Vegetation (within shouting distance of this marker); ANV Headquarters (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lee's Apple Tree (approx. 0.6 miles away); After the Surrender (approx. 0.7 miles away); Popularizer of the Banjo (approx. 0.7 miles away); Appomattox River (approx. ¾ mile away); Grant and Lee Meeting (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Appomattox.
More about this marker. The center of the marker features a map showing Union and Confederate troop positions on April 2, 1865. The location of the marker is indicated on this map, and it has a caption of “At Appomattox, the Federals caught Lee’s army in a vise. Some of Lee’s officers urged that the army scatter along open roads to the northwest and fight as guerrillas. Lee rejected the idea: ‘We would bring on a state of affairs it would take the country years to recover from,’ he said.” The bottom of the marker contains a picture of retreating Confederates with one taking an axe to a cannon carriage. It has a caption of “Sensing imminent disaster, the Confederates destroyed equipment (below) on April 8, 1865. The army that reached Appomattox Court House numbered about 30,000 men, but not all were armed. During the march west, thousands of men had simply drifted away, unable to keep up.”
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 1,053 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 2. submitted on April 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on January 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.