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Saturday, 15 July 2017

74 Acres at The Heart of Appomattox Court House Battlefield!

74 Acres at The Heart of Appomattox Court House Battlefield!

In the morning hours of April 9, 1865, Union troops moved confidently toward the Confederates as they marched through Appomattox Court House. General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his brigade were among the troops making their way to Appomattox. Chamberlain put his New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians into a battle line and crested a ridge, now fully in view of the Confederates. In front of them, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was “encompassed by the cordon of steel” composed of more Federal troops, ready to deal the Rebels one final blow.

Just then, a gray-clad figure on horseback rode out from the Confederate line. As he rode closer to the Union line, the Yankees could see a white flag. Rather than see anymore bloodshed, Robert E. Lee had surrendered. The Civil War at least in Virginia had come to an end.

The peaceful cessation of hostilities at Appomattox served as the model for further Confederate surrenders over the next month. The Southerners would not needlessly give their lives in a bloody last stand, nor would they scatter to the hills and forests to wage guerrilla warfare. Instead, they simply laid down their arms and began the difficult and unfinished work of binding the nation’s wounds.

To say that Appomattox is a special place is an understatement. Over the years, you and I have worked to save 440 acres of land at Appomattox Court House, “that obscure little Virginia village now blazoned for immortal fame.” Now, we have the opportunity to preserve an additional 74 acres at Appomattox. These three parcels of land where Chamberlain's men advanced, where Mahone's Confederates attacked, and where Gordon's Rebels regrouped form a triangle around Appomattox Courthouse and allow us to fill in key gaps in the unpreserved land at Appomattox. These properties are adjacent to land we have previously protected at this battlefield and are adjacent to land owned by the National Park Service.

Help us preserve the memory of those brave men who fought on both sides by saving these 74 acres where the war ended and a new chapter in American history began.

The Civil War Trust