Appomattox: Where Our Nation Reunited

What a perfect conclusion to our Civil War history lessons- visiting the location where Lee surrendered to Grant. Exceptional!

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. Two important questions about its future were answered. Could the nation survive a civil war intact, and would that nation exist without slavery? The answer to both was yes and a new nation was born.
How did this house become such a piece of history? It's kind of being at the right place at the right time. Lee's Aide-de-Camp rode toward Appomattox Court House (the site of a huge loss for Lee) in order to find a place for Lee and Grant to confer. As Marshall passed through the village he saw Wilmer McLean in the vicinity of the courthouse. He asked McLean if he knew of a suitable location, and McLean took him to an empty structure that was without furniture. Marshall immediately rejected this offer. Then McLean offered his own home. After seeing the comfortable country abode, Marshall readily accepted and informed General Lee that a meeting site had been found. The rest is history!

This was the first of three surrenders yet its importance was huge. This is where the two biggest generals met and really did end the Civil War. Other battles occurred but this moment in history, in a little village in Virginia, really did unite our Nation.
Steve is standing in front of Clover Hill Tavern. Of course our day would find us at a tavern. This one was pretty special. In 1865, the rapidly approaching end of the Civil War changed the prosperity of the Clover Hill Tavern with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant.
After the surrender, Grant took the humanitarian approach, and instead of imprisoning the Confederates, he paroled them and allowed them to return to their homes. Approximately thirty thousand paroles for the Confederate soldiers were printed in the Clover Hill Tavern.

I found this man (far left), to be incredibly interesting. Ely Samuel Parker (1828 –1895) was an attorney, engineer, tribal diplomat and a Native American. He was commissioned a lieutenant colonel during the American Civil War, when he served as adjutant to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. He wrote the final draft of the Confederate surrender terms at Appomattox. At the time of surrender, General Lee "stared at me for a moment," said Parker to more than one of his friends and relatives, "He extended his hand and said, 'I am glad to see one real American here.' I shook his hand and said, 'We are all Americans.'
This little cemetery contains the graves of 19 soldiers (18 Confederates and 1 Union) who were killed in the last days of fighting here. It seemed the fitting end to our day of the conclusion of the Civil War. For the last few weeks, everywhere we went reminded us of this tragic time in American history. We looked at today as an end to this history lesson.

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Cyndy Brown said...

Thank God for Ely Samuel Parker...yes we all are Americans...wish people really felt that now AND thank God for Clover Hill Tavern!

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