Back on May 12th, my family and I went for a drive over to Appomattox, Virginia to check out the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. The drive was only about 45 minutes from our house to the park and made for a nice little afternoon trip for the kids.
Sydney learned about the significance of Appomattox Court House in school this year so she was excited about getting to come see it in person. It was actually one of the places that she said she wanted to see in Virginia before we even moved out here. We were able to spend a few hours in the park before it closed down and got to check out all of the buildings except one.
On this trip, we learned that, on April 9, 1865, the Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant in the McLean House. This signaled the end of the civil war. For any of you who are interested in learning more about what happened at this location, check out this link.
The highlights of the trip were the museum in the actual court house (it had a very neat movie that you could watch), the McLean House where the treaty was signed and the lady that was in character answering questions about the end of the civil war from the perspective of a civilian.
Here are some pictures from our trip:
For me, it was interesting to be so immersed in the location. Growing up in Illinois, I always felt very removed from this part of our nation’s history. To be able to walk on the land where these soldiers fought was incredible.
One thing that stood out to me in the video that we watched was the dignity and respect that these soldiers showed to each other. After the south had surrendered here, they were made to bring their weapons into town and turn them in. They were then issued pardons so that they could return to the south without imprisonment or death. They marched out of town to the respectful attention of the union army. Lincoln had specifically stated that these men were not to be mocked or jeered but were to be allowed to retain their dignity and return to their families.
So, if you’re ever out this way, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is definately worth your time.
Alright, so long for now.
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