Tag Archives: Appomattox Court House

Going Home: “ragged and dust laden” they marched into Richmond

When Robert E. Lee affixed his signature to the Appomattox Court House surrender document on April 9, 1865, he effectively flipped the Civil War switch to “off.” The shooting suddenly stopped, except in specific regions of the Deep South and Trans-Mississippi where Confederate and Union troops would not learn about the surrender for days. Gunfire […]

The end of Appomattox Road: paying the ultimate sacrifice

  So close, yet so far: Some Maine soldiers who witnessed the literal dawn of peace at Appomattox Court House on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865 did not see its sunset. Their blood, along with that shed by many other Union soldiers that day, was the price to end the Civil War. As the 11th […]

Appomattox Road: “A frenzy of blind revenge” — Chamberlain reacts to Lincoln’s murder

  While witnessing the epic surrender of Confederate infantrymen at Appomattox Court House on Wednesday, April 12, 1865, Brig. Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain and his 1st Division veterans likely experienced an adrenalin rush. Realty soon intruded. By Friday the Union soldiers dined on rations “reduced to sediment in the haversacks [that] smelt of lead and […]

Appomattox Road: “We had all loved Abraham Lincoln so much” — assassination

  Victorious Union troops saw elation shift to melancholy on the Ides of April 1865. The mood shift began with growling stomachs. After stacking their arms and receiving their paroles on Wednesday, April 12, Confederate troops had “rapidly departed to their homes,” commented Pvt. Theodore Gerrish of the 20th Maine Infantry. By Thursday “there was […]

Appomattox Road: Chamberlain accepts the surrender — April 12, 1865

  Tension stirred the blue-clad regiments stretched along Lynchburg Stage Road in mid-morning on Wednesday, April 12, 1865. “The Johnnies are coming,” a 20th Maine lad whispered within earshot of Pvt. Theodore Gerrish. “There they are,” a comrade said, chin-pointing to his right. Not far away, Brig. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain sat on his horse amidst […]

Appomattox Road: “We at once charged him with lying” — disbelief on April 9, 1865

  John Haley, the scrappy private from Saco, disbelieved the news that “an inveterate newsmonger” delivered to the 17th Maine Infantry Regiment around 10:30 a.m., Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865. Heading ever westward, Haley and his Co. I comrades had tramped, tramped, tramped their weary way west across southern Virginia the previous day. Up and […]

Commemorating the 150th at Appomattox Court House — April 9, 2015

  The Civil War sesquicentennial officially ends this weekend as the 150th anniversary observances wind down at Appomattox Court House in Southside Virginia. Organizers pulled out all the stops to educate ACH National Historic Park visitors about what happened here in this quaint village exactly 150 years ago. Maine at War visited the park on […]

Appomattox Road: “We waited for morning and Gen. Lee’s army” — April 9, 1865

  Shortly after sunset on Saturday, April 8, 1865, a few dozen 1st Maine Cavalry troopers and their weary horses vanished into the Virginia darkness near Appomattox Station, a major stop on the Southside Railroad linking Petersburg with Lynchburg. The troopers went foraging for food and fodder while their comrades remained near the station. Suddenly […]

Appomattox Road: “We wanted to be there when the rebels found the last ditch” — Pursuit

  As the sun rose daily in early April 1865, the Maine boys pursuing Robert E. Lee’s disintegrating army sensed that the jig was almost up — and the thought of final victory buoyed their morale. “The end seemed close at hand,” recalled 1st Lt. Robert Brady Jr. of the 11th Maine Infantry. Only a […]