If the name Appomattox Court House rings a bell, that is because in U.S. History class you learned it was where the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865. There was a courthouse in the town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, but that is not where Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant signed surrender papers; actually it was the home of Wilmer McLean. In 1893, the McLean house was completely disassembled to be turned into an offsite museum, but was later brought back and rebuilt by the National Park Service (NPS). The county jail is one of several other restored buildings in the park originally designated a National Monument in 1935 and changed to a National Historical Park in 1954.
Museum, film, reconstructed McLean House, guided tours
The restored courthouse now serves as the NPS visitor center and museum, from where visitors can start their walk through Meeks General Store, Clover Hill Tavern, the county jail, and other period buildings. Much of the furniture from the McLean House was taken as souvenirs by Union officers, as well as a doll owned by 7-year-old Lula McLean that was not returned until 1992.
A four-mile hiking trail connects the Village of Appomattox Court House with the April 9, 1865 battlefield and the two General’s headquarters.
You have to take a photo inside the restored room in the McLean house where Lee surrendered his army of 9,000 men, essentially ending the Civil War.
All roads paved
None in the park, but the campground at Holliday Lake State Park is only 12 miles away.
Petersburg National Battlefield (Virginia)
Richmond National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
Booker T. Washington National Monument (Virginia)
Explore More – Seven regiments of African American soldiers in the Union Army participated in the Battle of Appomattox Court House; how many men is that?
2 thoughts on “Appomattox Court House National Historical Park”
Love Civil War history. Does everyone know that Wilmer McLean lived in Mannassas where the war started? He & family left fearing for their lives! Moved to Appomattox Courthouse where Lee & Grant brought the war to an end in his sitting room 4 years later. What are the odds of that happening? Some of the officers present bought small pieces of furniture as mementos. A marble topped table (at which Lee sat) was purchased by Gen. Sheridan who gifted it to Libby Custer, Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s wife. He was fond of both. Don’t know how or when it changed hands. I read that it is now in the Smithsoneum in D.C. Hope to see the table there and the house in VA. THERE IS MUCH HISTORY TO LEARN! I try to learn several new things every day. Norma Jean Morrissey R.N. Student of History
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Thanks for the insight!