General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his brigade of New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians were up early on the morning of April 9, 1865. Marching toward the sound of firing, the Federals could only guess what might lie in front of them. Chamberlain put his men into line of battle and advanced them up and over a ridge. As they crested the ridge, “there burst upon our vision a mighty scene.” It was the last stalwarts of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia holding their last battle line. As the Yankees advanced farther—“not much killing, or even hurting”—a solitary figure on horseback appeared, bearing aloft a white flag. General Robert E. Lee had surrendered. The Civil War—at least in Virginia—had at last come to a close.
Today, the Civil War Trust has the opportunity to save three separate tracts at Appomattox Court House, “that obscure little Virginia village now blazoned for immortal fame.” These 74 acres—property which includes a portion of the ground over which Chamberlain’s men made their last charge of the war—are adjacent to Civil War Trust-preserved land and to the Appomattox National Historical Park, including a small-but-important property in the very heart of the park.
Help us save this key piece of American history for future generations.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that they don’t make heroes anymore.... Trust me on this one: in about a minute, you’re going to have a brand new Civil War hero.