27 Oct 2018

You Did It! 276 Acres Saved at Appomattox Court House

You Did It! 276 Acres Saved at Appomattox Court House

As you and I dedicate ourselves to this important mission, celebrating our victories fortifies us for the work that remains. That’s why I’m so glad to have the honor of reporting that you, in the course of two recent campaigns, have saved 276 acres of battlefield at Appomattox Court House. You’ve done something remarkable here, preserving the land where the Civil War effectively ended and a new chapter in our nation’s history began.

General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his brigade of New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians were up early on the morning of April 9, 1865. Marching toward the sound of firing, the Federals could only guess what might lie in front of them. Chamberlain put his men into line of battle and advanced them up and over a ridge when, “there burst upon our vision a mighty scene.” It was the last stalwarts of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia holding their last battle line. As the Yankees advanced farther “not much killing, or even hurting” a solitary figure on horseback appeared, bearing aloft a white flag of surrender.

Later that day, Generals Lee and Grant would agree on the terms of surrender and parole for the Army of Northern Virginia. The peaceful cessation of hostilities at Appomattox served as the model for further Confederate surrenders over the next month. Confederate soldiers 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.

Thanks to your generous support, today we can declare victory on 276 critical acres at Appomattox Court House, “that obscure little Virginia village now blazoned for immortal fame,” comprised of 202 acres from our 2015 campaign and 74 from our 2017 campaign. The tracts we’ve preserved which include a portion of the ground over which Chamberlain’s men made their last charge of the war are adjacent to land we’ve saved in previous campaigns and to the Appomattox National Historical Park.

These acres are a powerful reminder of the sacrifices and compromises of the brave men who fought on both sides of America’s bloodiest conflict. Now, this hallowed ground will be forever protected because of your support. Thank you for preserving this important piece of American history.

Want to learn more about the place where our nation’s defining conflict finally came to an end? Read 10 facts about Appomattox Court House, watch a video about Lee’s surrender filmed in the very room where terms were reached, or read a play-by-play of the battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House.

American Battlefield Trust

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