Our tour of Virginia and the Overland Campaign ends where the Civil War itself ended- Appomattox Court House. The day was fittingly beautiful and calm as we began our tour under the guidance of Dr. Guelzo. The Visitor Center occupies the actual court house, but the rest of the park has an 1865 feel to it. After utilizing the media that the Park Service had and searching through the Park's collection of faces for men from our regiments, we went outside and discussed how the surrender came to be. Up until the morning of the actual surrender, Lee still hoped that he would be able to escape west; when the fighting lulled on the morning of April 9th and Lee was notified that Federal infantry blocked his only escape route, he knew that the gig was up and surrender talks began.
A trip to Appomattox would not be complete without a visit to the McLean House, where the surrender actually took place (interestingly enough, the man who owned the house, Wilmer McLean, also had a house in Manassas, where the war in the east began). Even though the house was a replica, the sorrow of the Confederates felt real in the room where the surrender was signed; John is a rebel to the core! After leaving the McLean House, we were able to walk around for a while (and I even got to SHOP!), but all good things must come to an end. The ride ahead of us was long (and filled with looming amounts of homework), but we made it home safely. After Thanksgiving, our final trek is to our nation's capital (I can't believe that we only have one more official field trip left to take!); the semester has really flown by, but knowing the Gettysburg Semester, we will be in for a treat one last time.
2007 Battlefield Blog Home | Orientation | Harpers Ferry | Valley Campaign | Manassas | Antietam
Gettysburg Day One | Gettysburg Day Two | Gettysburg Day Three | Cold Harbor, Petersburg & Five Forks
Wilderness & Spotsylvania | Appomattox | Washington