If you have any knowledge at all of American history, then the word “Appomattox” can only mean one thing: the end of the Civil War in April 1865.
Unfortunately, that’s a slight exaggeration. Yes, on the morning of April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee did meet with Federal Commander Ulysses S. Grant, and Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia, ending the war in the dominant theater of combat. But that didn’t entirely end the war.
A recreation of Grant’s final interview with Lee
The morning after Lee’s surrender, Grant and Lee met again. This time on horseback, for roughly 30 minutes. During that conversation, Grant tried to persuade Lee to use his influence on the other generals still in the field – most notably General Joseph E. Johnston, in command of what remained of the Confederate armies in the Western Theater – to likewise surrender their forces and end the War once and for all.
As much as he wanted the war to be over, Lee did not have the authority to speak for the other armies. And though Appomattox is remembered through the centuries as the end of the war, Johnston did not surrender until April 26, and sporadic fighting continued in locations around the country well into the spring of 1865. And, then, of course, there’s the KKK…
I spent several days in Appomattox, VA earlier this month, and have just compiled several galleries of photos taken during the recreation of those historic events 150 years ago.
Visit the galleries here: apx150photos.com
Here are just a few of artistic impressions of the occasion: