VA -- Appomattox Court House NHP -- Visitor Center:
Bruce Guthrie Photos Home Page: [Click here] to go to Bruce Guthrie Photos home page.
Recognize anyone? If you recognize specific folks (or other stuff) and I haven't labeled them, please identify them for the world. Click the little pencil icon underneath the file name (just above the picture). Spammers need not apply.
Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Spiders: The system has identified your IP as being a spider. I love well-behaved spiders! They are, in fact, how most people find my site. Unfortunately, my network has a limited bandwidth and pictures take up bandwidth. Spiders ask for lots and lots of pages and chew up lots and lots of bandwidth which slows things down considerably for regular folk. To counter this, you'll see all the text on the page but the images are being suppressed. Also, a number of options like merges are being blocked for you.
Note: Permission is NOT granted for spiders, robots, etc to use the site for AI-generation purposes. I'm excited for your ability to make revenue from my work but there's nothing in that for my human users or for me.
If you are in fact human, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can check if your designation was made in error. Given your number of hits, that's unlikely but what the hell.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
APPOMV_130920_006.JPG: A section of the 24th Georgia flag cut at Appomattox by Lt. AW Moise.
APPOMV_130920_022.JPG: As Union columns began to intercept the retreating Army of Northern Virginia, fighting began west of Appomattox Court House.
The home of Dr. Samuel H. Coleman stood about one mile west of the village and lay between the contending armies. Federal cavalry encamped in the vicinity of the Coleman home during the night of April 8, prompting the family to leave for a relative's home a few miles away. Hannah, a slave, refused to leave the house and soon found himself surrounded by fighting as well as scavenging Union soldiers.
On the morning of April 9, Union infantry marched by the Coleman house to press the Confederate line established on the edge of the village. Union artillery took position near the Coleman home. As the fighting intensified, Confederate artillery fire began to be directed toward the advancing Federals.
At one point, while Hannah was standing near the door, a solid shot passed through the house. The shot struck Hannah, taking off her arm. Soon afterward she died of her wound. Hannah was the only civilian casualty of the fighting at Appomattox Court House.
APPOMV_130920_036.JPG: US Infantry
Breast plate and belt plate
A common piece of equipment carried by Cavalry and Artillery units as well as teamsters for grooming horses and mules.
APPOMV_130920_042.JPG: The Importance of Burkeville and the Route South:
Burkeville, Virginia, was located at the key rail junction of the Richmond-Danville and South Side Railroads. It consisted of a railroad depot, hotels, warehouses, private homes, and small businesses. During the Appomattox Campaign, Burkeville Station became crucial to Lee's planned move south, along the rail line, to unite with forces under General Johnston in North Carolina.
After the evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg, General Lee moved his forces west to concentrate at Amelia Court House. From Amelia he planned to march, south through Burkeville and Jetersville were thrust into national prominence. Grant and his subordinates realized the importance of gaining control of this vital route, and preventing the junction of this vital route, and preventing the junction of the two strongest Confederate armies. After the battle of Five Forks, rapid forced marched by the Federals to Jetersville blocked the way and forced Lee's army to move west. The rapidity of the Federal response thwarted Lee's plans and changed the character of the campaign.
APPOMV_130920_045.JPG: Burkeville in Union Hands -- "Camp Starvation"
Once in Union hands, Burkeville became a hub for communications and transportation during the campaign. The rail station was designated as a depot for captured ordnance and weapons shipments. Prior to falling into Union hands, the hotels in the community had been used by the Confederates as hospitals, and a number of Confederate wounded remained behind. After the battles of Sailor's Creek, Cumberland Church, and Appomattox Court House, almost every warehouse and many private homes in Burkeville were converted into hospitals. In a twenty-one day period, just one of the hospitals received 192 wounded and over 600 sick men -- both Union and Confederate.
Following the surrender, many paroled Confederates passed through Burkeville on their way home. Many soldiers traded rations, tobacco, and other goods. Federal army provisions were also distributed, at the depot, to needy soldiers and civilians. One Federal soldier, in the well-worn tradition of complaining about army food, or the lack thereof, wrote home describing Burkeville as "Camp Starvation." Another Yankee grumbled about the inferiority of his beef ration, it "was so thoroughly impregnated with garlic, a man would had to be almost starved to eat it."
APPOMV_130920_049.JPG: "After Generals Grant and Lee had talked over the surrender, General Lee said: General Grant, I want to ask you something: if our positions were reversed I would grant it to you. My men are starving and I would ask if you would give them rations? How many men have you got, said Grant. About twenty thousand, said General Lee.
General Grant came over to me and said (and here Parker smiled): I guess you had better make out an order for thirty thousand. He knew. He did not propose to have anyone suffer." Ely Parker, per James Kelly 1876 interview notes.
APPOMV_130920_054.JPG: Sketch of the Surrender Meeting:
James Kelly produced this rough sketch, listing the officers present at the surrender meeting, based on an interview with Ely S. Parker in 1876. Kelly was doing research for "Bryant's Popular History of the United States."
APPOMV_130920_070.JPG: Custer's Headquarters Flag
3rd Division Cavalry Corp., Army of the Shenandoah
On the evening of April 6, 1865, 4,000 hard riding troopers of 25-year-old Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer's 3rd Cavalry Division beat Confederate forces to Appomattox Station, captured badly needed supplies and several trains. Custer's men then attacked the nearby Confederate Reserve Artillery, under General R. Lindsay Walker. Four separate charges were mounted against Walker's massed artillery position. By 8 o'clock that evening the Reserve Artillery was routed, and the 3rd Division had captured -- in one day -- 120,000 rations, 1,000 prisoners, 25 pieces of artillery, and cut-off Lee's line of retreat.
The next morning, on a ridge just south of Appomattox Court House, while preparing to make a charge against the main Confederate line, Custer received the first of several flags of truce sent out prior to the surrender.
APPOMV_130920_074.JPG: Custer's Headquarters Flag
3rd Division Cavalry Corp., Army of the Shenandoah
APPOMV_130920_080.JPG: Confederacy's Flight:
For nine months, Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia lay entrenched before Richmond and Petersburg, defending the Confederate Capital from the Union besiegers. By the spring of 1865, only the Southside Railroad from Lynchburg and the Richmond-Danville Railroad brought supplies to the hungry Southerners. Then on 1 April, Gen. Philip Sheridan, the Union cavalry commander, seized the strategic crossroads at Five Forks which guarded the rail line. Lee's lifeline was broken; retreat was ordered.
APPOMV_130920_095.JPG: Supplies and excess baggage burned by the army and fires set by looters laid a backdrop of flames to the Confederate retreat from Richmond.
APPOMV_130920_105.JPG: The Battle of Sailor's Creek
April 6, 1865
This "general guide" flag or "camp colors" of the 49th New York Infantry was carried throughout the Appomattox Campaign, and was awarded to Captain Solomon Russell, Jr., of Co. D. Captain Russell was wounded during a desperate and determined Confederate charge at the battle of Sailor's Creek while serving as Provost Marshall and Aide-de-Camp to Major General Frank Wheaton, commander of the 1st Division, 6th Army Corps.
Four months after the surrender Captain Russell was promoted to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel for "conspicuous gallantry at the assault of the enemy's works near Petersurg, Va., April 2, 1885, and at the battle of Little Sailor's Creek, Va., April 6, 1865..."
APPOMV_130920_113.JPG: Dress and Field Epaulettes Belonging to Captain Augustus I. Root, 15th NY Cavalry. Killed April 8th at Appomattox Court House.
APPOMV_130920_119.JPG: Piece of "U" Rail from South Side Railroad
Found in Petersburg where line crossed Rohoic Creek west of town
APPOMV_130920_125.JPG: Federal Cavalry wreak havoc on the Retreat:
"Tired and footsore, my comrades had rolled themselves in their blankets and enjoying, as best they could, the needed rest. Over the little fire we had started my mess mate and myself were watching and waiting for the parched corn, when, as if dropped from the skies a detachment of the most 'devilish of tormentors," Sheridan's Cavalry, pounded down on our Brigade and commenced to empty their Colt's revolvers into our sleeping column... We were stampeded, demoralized; frightened."
-- William P. Thomson, 60th Alabama Infantry Regt.
APPOMV_130920_129.JPG: Nose section to 3-in. rifled Hotchkiss shell.
This shell was fired into the town of Farmville.
APPOMV_130920_143.JPG: Virginia State Flag
APPOMV_130920_155.JPG: Lee lost most of the army's baggage and its few supplies when Union forces captured the Confederate wagon train near Farmville.
APPOMV_130920_159.JPG: The Battle of Sailor's Creek was the Confederacy's most serious loss during the retreat to Appomattox. The Army of Northern Virginia lost eight generals and 7700 men.
APPOMV_130920_163.JPG: "The Battle of Five Forks," Alfred R. Waud, April 1865
APPOMV_130920_172.JPG: The Surrender of General Lee to General Grant, April 9, 1865
This well known but historically inaccurate painting was done shortly after the war by the French artist LMD Guillaume, a resident of Richmond, Virginia from 1857 to 1872.
APPOMV_130920_183.JPG: Left to right:
(1) Gen. Robert E Lee
(2) Lt. Col Charles Marshall
(3) Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan
(4) Lt. Col. Orville Babcock
(5) Lt. Col. Horace Porter
(6) Maj. Gen. Edward O.C. Ord
(7) Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
(8) Brig. Gen. Seth Williams
(9) Lt. Col. Theodore S. Bowers
(10) Lt. Col. Ely S. Parker
(11) Brevet Maj. Gen. George A. Custer (not present during surrender meeting)
* US Officers present but not pictured:
Brigadier General John Rawlins,
Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls,
Brigadier General Michael Morgan,
Brigadier General George H. Sharpe,
Lt. Col. Adam Badeau,
Captain Robert T. Lincoln
APPOMV_130920_205.JPG: This Towel was the first Flag of Truce sent in by the Confederate fores on the day General Lee surrendered.
APPOMV_130920_216.JPG: Appomattox Court-House, Virginia April 9, 1865.
General R. E. Lee
In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit:
Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands.
The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.
U.S. Grant, US
APPOMV_130920_226.JPG: On this table
was signed the Final Agreement for the surrender of the "Army of Northern Virgina", at Appomattox CH., Va., 8:30 PM April 10th, 1865 by Lt. Gen. J. Longstreet, Maj. Gen. J.B. Gordon and Brig. Gen. W.N. Pendleton, CSA, and Maj. Gen. John Gibbon, Bvt. Maj. Genl Charles Griffin and Brev. Maj. Gen. W. Merritt, US Army.
APPOMV_130920_235.JPG: On This Table:
Officers from both sides were designated to place into effect the terms of surrender reached on April 9, 1865 by Generals Grant and Lee. On April 10, 1865 at 8:30 PM Confederate Generals Longstreet, Gordon, and Pendleton along with Union Generals Gibbon, Griffin and Merritt signed the Final Agreement for the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on this table.
APPOMV_130920_261.JPG: Confederate Third National Flag:
The Third National pattern flag was approved for issue by the Confederate government on March 4th, 1865. Very few of the flags ever made it to troops in the field, though a number were produced for official government buildings. Over the years, the history of this flag has been lost, though it has been in the National Park Service Southeast Regional collection for well in excess of a half century.
Artist George L. Frankenstein painted these scenes of Appomattox the year following the surrender. The open treeless character of the landscape is depicted as the soldiers saw it in 1865.
A tobacco economy, intensive agricultural activity and the use of wood for building and fuel had created the rural scene in 1865.
APPOMV_130920_288.JPG: Where Lee and Grant Met
APPOMV_130920_345.JPG: Ledger from Meek's Store, Appomattox C.H., Va, 1853-54, with sketches by children on blank pages.
APPOMV_130920_348.JPG: SW Paulett 18th VA Infantry Co. F was captured July 3, 1863 at Gettysburg; exchanged from prison December 1863; Wounded in the left thigh and captured April 6, 1865 at the battle of Sailors Creek in the final campaign. Paulett was a pall bearer in the funeral of CSA President Jefferson and cut this section of rope from the caisson as a memento.
APPOMV_130920_377.JPG: Appomattox Parole Pass
APPOMV_130920_381.JPG: On April 9th, when General Grant penned the generous terms of surrender at Appomattox, he did so knowing that Lincoln's stated goal was to reunite the Nation. Less than a week later, with the assassination of the president, there was a new animosity and desire for retribution against the South which fueled a very hard and divisive period -- "Reconstruction."
"We Mourn the Nation's Loss -- Abraham Lincoln -- April 15, 1865"
In four years of war, soldiers of the North and South fought under a variety of flags. Most common among Northern units was the 35 star flag. By war's end, the "3rd National" (a variation on the "Stainless Banner") had been in limited use among Southern regiments since its approval in March of 1865 by the Confederate Congress.
APPOMV_130920_399.JPG: Figurine Candleholders from McLean House:
These NeoBaroque candleholders were present in the house during the surrender meeting between Lee and Grant on April 9, 1865.
APPOMV_130920_407.JPG: Surrender Pencil.
This pencil was used by General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865, in the McLean House parlor, to make corrections to the original draft of the Surrender Terms.
APPOMV_130920_413.JPG: The Surrender Meeting
April 9, 1865
Upon realizing that General Grant had inadvertently omitted a word, General "Lee felt in his pocket as if searching for a pencil, but he did not seem to be able to find one. Seeing this, I handed him my lead-pencil. During the rest of the interview he kept twirling this pencil in his fingers and occasionally tapping the top of the table with it. When he handed it back, it was carefully treasured by me as a memento of the occassion."
-- Lt. Col. Horace Porter -- "Campaigning with Grant", Aide-de-Camp to Lt. Genl. Grant
APPOMV_130920_418.JPG: Official seal of the Confederate States of America, struck from the original die.
AAA "Gem": AAA considers this location to be a "must see" point of interest. To see pictures of other areas that AAA considers to be Gems, click here.
Wikipedia Description: Appomattox Court House
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Appomattox Court House is a historic village located three miles (5 km) east of Appomattox, Virginia, USA (25 miles east of Lynchburg, Virginia, in the southern part of the state), famous as the site of the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse and containing the house of Wilmer McLean, where the surrender of the Confederate Army under Robert E. Lee to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant took place on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the American Civil War. The site is now commemorated as Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, a National Historical Park.
Many rural counties in the Southern States had county seats whose names were formed by adding court house to the name of the county. The court house town contains the courthouse building as well as a number of other buildings. In this case, one of those other buildings is the McLean house, a former tavern.
Even before the Civil War, the railroad bypassed Appomattox Court House (the South Side Railroad, today a part of the Norfolk Southern, was built to the south of town in 1850), and commercial life tended to congregate at the nearby Appomattox station. As a result, the population of Appomattox Court House never grew much over 150, while Appomattox town grew to the thousands. When the courthouse burned in 1892, it was not rebuilt and a new courthouse was built in Appomattox, sealing the fate of Appomattox Court House as a town. The county seat was formally moved in 1894.
Because the first Battle of Bull Run, fought on July 21, 1861, took place on the McLean farm farther north in Virginia, it can be said that the Civil War started in McLean's backyard in 1861 and ended in his parlor in 1865 (neither event, however, marked the true beginning or ending of hostilities).
McLean was a retired major in the Virginia militia. He was too old to enlist at the outbreak of the Civil War and decided to move to Appomattox Court House in order to get away from the Civil War (after the war, he liked to portray himself as having moved because he was a peace-loving man, but the reality is that during the war, he made a small fortune running sugar through the Union blockade; he simply wanted to carry on this lucrative business without the interference that nearby hostilities would cause). Nonetheless, on April 9, 1865, the war came back to McLean when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at his house. His house was also used on April 10 for the Surrender Commissioners' meeting, and over the next few days as the headquarters of Major General John Gibbon of the U.S. Army.
The terms of surrender were: "The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands," ... neither "side arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage" to be surrendered; and, as many privates in the Confederate Army owned horses and mules, all horses and mules claimed by men in the Confederate Army to be left in their possession.
Although he had made a considerable fortune smuggling sugar, McLean's money was in Confederate currency, which became worthless with the collapse of the Confederacy and he was nearly ruined by the end of the war. The McLeans left Appomattox Court House and returned to Mrs. McLean's Prince William County, Virginia estate in the fall of 1867. When Wilmer McLean defaulted on repayment of loans, the banking house of "Harrison, Goddin, and Apperson" of Richmond, Virginia brought a judgment against him, and the "Surrender House" was sold at public auction on November 29, 1869. The house was purchased by John L. Pascoe and apparently rented to the Ragland family formerly of Richmond. In 1872 Nathaniel H. Ragland purchased the property for $1250.00.
On January 1, 1891, the property was sold by the Widow Ragland for the sum of $10,000 to Captain Myron Dunlap of Niagara Falls, New York. Myron Dunlap and fellow speculators went through two or three plans intending to capitalize on the notoriety of the property, one idea was to dismantle the home and move it to Chicago, Illinois as an exhibit at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Measured drawings including elevations and materials specifications lists were produced, the house was dismantled and packed for shipping, but the Panic of 1893 occurred; cash flow and legal problems caused the plan to halt. The home sat dismantled in piles, prey to vandals, collectors, and the environment for fifty years.
On April 10, 1940, Appomattox Court House National Historical Monument was created by the U.S. Congress to include approximately 970 acres (3.9 kmē). In February 1941, archeological work was begun at the site, then overgrown with brush and honeysuckle. Historical data was collected, and architectural working plans were drawn up to begin the meticulous reconstruction process. The whole project was brought to a swift stop on December 7, 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces, causing the United States' entry into World War II.
After the war, the project soon became a high priority again. On November 25, 1947, bids for the reconstruction of the McLean House were opened. The reconstruction proceeded, using the 5,500 remaining original bricks, which were scattered through the walls of the new house, and on April 9, 1949, 84 years after the historic meeting reuniting the country, the McLean House was opened by the National Park Service for the first time to the public. Robert E. Lee IV and Major General U.S. Grant III cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony on April 16, 1950, after a speech by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Douglas Southall Freeman in front of a crowd of approximately 20,000.
Bigger photos? To save server space, the full-sized versions of these images have either not been loaded to the server or have been removed from the server. (Only some pages are loaded with full-sized images and those usually get removed after three months.)
I still have them though. If you want me to email them to you, please send an email to email@example.com
and I can email them to you, or, depending on the number of images, just repost the page again will the full-sized images.
Connection Not Secure messages? Those warnings you get from your browser about this site not having secure connections worry some people. This means this site does not have SSL installed (the link is http:, not https:). That's bad if you're entering credit card numbers, passwords, or other personal information. But this site doesn't collect any personal information so SSL is not necessary. Life's good!