groups of Rifles stacked in tentlike configuration on dirt path

Civil War Commemoration

Appomattox Court House NHP News Release

Release Date: March 6, 2024

Contact: Brian Miller, 434-352-8987 x 227

Commemoration of the 159th Anniversary of Surrender and Freedom Day- April 8-14, 2024

Appomattox, Va— Appomattox Court House National Historical Park will commemorate the 159th anniversary of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant and Freedom Day (April 9) with special anniversary programs and activities from April 8-14, 2024.

The weeklong commemoration will include guided walks and talks, living history programs and demonstrations, family activities, firing demonstrations, and more. The event kicks off on Monday, April 8 at 10:00 a.m. with a special presentation on astronomical events during the Civil War by Liberty University Professor Dr. Daniel Schmidt.

A special evening program and concert on Friday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. at Galilee Baptist Church will highlight African American legacies of Appomattox.

The weekend of April 13 and 14 will feature full days of family friendly programming including firing demonstrations, living history presentations by Federal and Confederate camps, and children’s activity tables.

Saturday morning begins with an unveiling of a new highway marker honoring the legacy of the United States Colored Troops at Appomattox at 9:30 a.m. Saturday evening concludes with a commemorative first-person living history event beginning at 6:00 p.m. Witness the events of the final 48 hours presented by Generals Grant and Lee themselves, examine the realization of emancipation and Freedom Day with Abraham Reynolds, a formally enslaved man and husband of the only civilian killed at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, and learn about the first steps of formal education for African Americans with Appomattox Court House’s Freedmen’s School teacher Charles McMahon. The evening will conclude at dusk with a luminary event to honor the nearly 4,600 enslaved African Americans of Appomattox County.

See the full program schedule on the park’s event page <https://www.nps.gov/apco/planyourvisit/annual-commemoration-of-surrender-and-freedom-day.htm> (https://www.nps.gov/apco/planyourvisit/special-events.htm <https://www.nps.gov/apco/planyourvisit/special-events.htm>). All programs subject to change.

—NPS—

About Appomattox Court House National Historical Park: On April 9, 1865, the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia in the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia signaled the end of the nation’s largest war. The stories of Appomattox Court House go far beyond the final significant battles of this nation’s Civil War. Learn more at www.nps.gov/apco <http://www.nps.gov/apco>.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s more than 420 national park units and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov <http://www.nps.gov/>, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice <http://www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice>, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice <http://www.twitter.com/natlparkservice>, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice <http://www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice>.

Brian Miller

Lead Park Ranger
Appomattox Court House NHP

434-665-6331 (cell)

Hourly Schedule

April 8

10:00 AM
Astronomical Events During the Civil War
Location: Visitor Center Theater. A special presentation on astronomical events during the Civil War by Liberty University Professor Dr. Daniel Schmidt.
11:50 AM
Final Fury and the Last to Die: The Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House
Location: Visitor Center Theater. Historian Patrick Schroeder highlights the final engagements of Federal troops and the Army of Northern Virginia.
1:50 PM
From Hamlet to History: Appomattox Court House Walking Tour
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a ranger for a 35-minute walking tour discussing the events that brought the war to Appomattox Court House, the surrender proceedings, and how these events shaped the course of American history. 0.25 mile walk on mostly level surfaces.
2:50 PM
Eclipse Table
Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Grab your glasses to prepare for the solar eclipse!
3:50 PM
The Battle of Appomattox Station
Starting Location: Appomattox Station Battlefield (Jamerson Lane, Appomattox). Join Park Historian Patrick Schroeder at the site of the Battle of Appomattox Station on April 8, 1865.

April 9

10:20 AM
The Battle of Appomattox Court House Walking Tour
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Walk with Historian Patrick Schroeder in the footsteps of history to examine the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. 1.5 hour walk, 1 mile round trip, including uphill and downhill sections.
11:50 AM
From Hamlet to History: Appomattox Court House Walking Tour
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a ranger for a 35-minute walking tour discussing the events that brought the war to Appomattox Court House, the surrender proceedings, and how these events shaped the course of American history. 0.25 mile walk on mostly level surfaces.
12:50 PM
Footsteps to Freedom: The John Robinson Experience
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Explore the life of John Robinson, one of nearly 4,600 enslaved African Americans residing in Appomattox County who were emancipated as a result of Lee's surrender on April 9, 1865.
1:50 PM
The Surrender Meeting
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of the McLean House. Join a ranger to discover how the meeting between these generals began the nation’s transition from war to peace.
2:50 PM
Emancipation and the Quest for Freedom
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. April 9, 1865 was long commemorated as Freedom Day in Virginia. Join a Ranger to learn more about how the events here at Appomattox Court House ultimately led to the ending of slavery in Virginia and beyond, forever changing the lives of so many.
3:50 PM
Surrenders after Appomattox
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Contrary to common belief, the Civil War did not come to in an immediate end with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Join a ranger to examine the piecemeal fashion of Confederate military surrenders.

April 10

9:50 AM
From Hamlet to History: Appomattox Court House Walking Tour
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a ranger for a 35-minute walking tour discussing the events that brought the war to Appomattox Court House, the surrender proceedings, and how these events shaped the course of American history. 0.25 mile walk on mostly level surfaces.
11:50 AM
The Printing of Parole Passes
Starting Location: Clover Hill Tavern Porch. Explore the paroling of the Army of Northern Virginia with an interactive demonstration of the printing press.
1:50 PM
Don’t Touch that! Museum Tour with the Park Historian
Starting Location: Visitor Center Lobby. Divide deeper into the history of the artifacts on display in the Visitor Center. Highlights include the recently restored Watson Collection. This tour involves climbing stairs.
2:50 PM
A Warrior in Two Camps: Ely Parker
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Uncover the story of Ely Parker, a Seneca Indian and Grant’s Military Security.

April 11

9:50 AM
From Hamlet to History: Appomattox Court House Walking Tour
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a ranger for a 35-minute walking tour discussing the events that brought the war to Appomattox Court House, the surrender proceedings, and how these events shaped the course of American history. 0.25 mile walk on mostly level surfaces
11:50 AM
Footsteps to Freedom: The John Robinson Experience
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Explore the life of John Robinson, one of nearly 4,600 enslaved African Americans residing in Appomattox County who were emancipated as a result of Lee's surrender on April 9, 1865.
1:50 PM
Unearthed: Using Archaeology to Tell Appomattox Stories
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Dig into stories unearthed at Appomattox Court House. Explore how archaeology helps us better understand the lives of those who called the village home.
2:50 PM
Don’t Touch that! Museum Tour with the Park Historian
Starting Location: Visitor Center Lobby. Divide deeper into the history of the artifacts on display in the Visitor Center. Highlights include the recently restored Watson Collection. This tour involves climbing stairs.

April 12

9:50 AM
Honor Answers Honor
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. On April 12, 1865, Confederate infantrymen marched into the village to turn over their rifles, flags, and military equipment along the Stage Road. Join Park Historian Patrick Schroeder to analyze the stacking of arms ceremony and its famous salute.
11:50 AM
The Printing of Parole Passes
Starting Location: Clover Hill Tavern Porch. Explore the paroling of the Army of Northern Virginia with an interactive demonstration of the printing press.
1:50 PM
From Hamlet to History: Appomattox Court House
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a ranger to discuss the events that brought the war to Appomattox Court House, the surrender proceedings, and how these events shaped the course of American history.
2:50 PM
Freedom Day: The Story of Booker T. Washington
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Grant’s victory at Appomattox Court House ultimately led to the ending of slavery in Virginia, including freedom for nine-year-old Booker T. Washington. Join park superintendent Jim Bailey for a discussion of his life, legacy, and commemoration.
6:00 PM
African American Legacies of Appomattox: Galilee Baptist Church
Location: Galilee Baptist Church (4248 Old Courthouse Rd, Appomattox). In 1867, freed people of Appomattox County formed the first African American church, Galilee Baptist Church. Join park staff and community members as we honor this legacy. The evening includes a performance by New Beginnings Gospel Singers of Appomattox.

April 13

9:30 AM
Unveiling of the United States Colored Troops Marker
Location: Grant’s Headquarters Parking Area. Join representatives from the National Park Service and Virginia Department of Historic Resources for the unveiling of the new highway marker honoring the legacy of the United States Colored Troops at Appomattox.
10:50 AM
Drill and Firing Demo
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Experience the sounds of battle during this musket firing demonstration. See all the steps the soldiers had to go through to load and fire muskets in the heat of battle!
11:50 AM
Meet Grant and Lee
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Meet the Generals themselves for a first-person living history presentation.
12:50 PM
Breaking Boundaries: Women of the Civil War Era
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Women were instrumental in the Civil War as mothers, wives, sisters, factory workers, teachers, authors, slaves, cooks, nurses, spies, and sometimes even posing as soldiers. Discover how these women contributed to the Federal and Confederate causes with a strong degree of passion and sacrifice, just as the soldiers they supported.
1:50 PM
Homefront: Southside Virginia Before and After the War
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a Ranger to learn about how local residents, free and enslaved, experienced the four-year struggle and its aftermath.
2:50 PM
Meet Grant and Lee
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Meet the Generals themselves for a first-person living history presentation.
3:50 PM
Drill and Firing Demo
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Experience the sounds of battle during this musket firing demonstration. See all the steps the soldiers had to go through to load and fire muskets in the heat of battle!
4:50 PM
Family Activity: Recreating the Stacking of Arms
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Bring the family to take part in this interactive recreation of the April 12, 1865 stacking of arms ceremony. All ages are welcome to participate.
6:00 PM
Evening Program: Surrender and Emancipation Commemoration
Starting Location: McLean House lawn. Bring a chair or blanket for an evening of commemoration with first-person living history portrayals. Witness the events of the final 48 hours presented by Grant and Lee themselves. Examine the realization of emancipation and Freedom Day with Abraham Reynolds, a formally enslaved man and husband of the only civilian killed at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Hannah Reynolds. Learn about the first steps of formal education for African Americans with Appomattox Court House’s Freedmen’s School teacher Charles McMahon. The evening will conclude at dusk with a luminary event to honor the nearly 4,600 enslaved African Americans of Appomattox County. This includes a short walk to the former Freedmen’s School site.
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Family Activity: Artifacts, Arts and Crafts
Location: Tavern Guest House
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Federal and Confederate Encampments
185th New York and 28th Virginia Locations: East of the McLean House (Federal), Isbell House Lawn (Confederate)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Family Activity Table
Location: Old Jail Lawn (weather permitting)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Printing Press Demonstrations
Location: Clover Hill Tavern

April 14

9:50 AM
The Beginning of the End: Outcomes of the Surrender at Appomattox Court House
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Join a ranger to examine how did both armies ended up in Appomattox Court House. What were the major domino effects to come out of Lee's Surrender? Why do we still care about this event today?
10:50 AM
The Printing of Parole Passes
Starting Location: Clover Hill Tavern Porch Explore the paroling of the Army of Northern Virginia with an interactive demonstration of the printing press.
11:50 AM
Meet Grant and Lee
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Meet the Generals themselves for a first-person living history presentation.
12:50 PM
Living History- Freedmen’s School Teacher, Charles McMahon
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Step back in time to April 1866, a year after Lee’s surrender, and meet Charles McMahon, a Massachusetts native who came to Virginia to establish a Freedmen’s school in Appomattox Court House. In this first-person living history program, McMahon reflects on his efforts to provide education for black residents in the community since his arrival shortly after the war’s end.
1:50 PM
Unearthed: Using Archaeology to Tell Appomattox Stories
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Dig into stories unearthed at Appomattox Court House. Explore how archaeology helps us better understand the lives of those who called the village home.
2:50 PM
Meet Grant and Lee
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. Meet the Generals themselves for a first-person living history presentation.
3:50 PM
Emancipation and the Quest for Freedom
Starting Location: Outside of the front Visitor Center entrance. April 9, 1865 was long commemorated as Freedom Day in Virginia. Join a Ranger to learn more about how the events here at Appomattox Court House ultimately led to the ending of slavery in Virginia and beyond, forever changing the lives of so many.
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Artifacts, Arts and Crafts
Location: Tavern Guest House
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Federal and Confederate Encampments
185th New York and 28th Virginia Locations: East of the McLean House (Federal), Isbell House Lawn (Confederate)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Family Activity Table
Location: Old Jail Lawn (weather permitting)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Printing Press Demonstrations
Location: Clover Hill Tavern

Date

Apr 08 - 14 2024
Expired!

Time

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
111 National Park Dr, Appomattox, VA 24522
Category
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