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Appomattox Court House

Lee's Surrender

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Harried mercilessly by Federal troops and continually cut off from turning south to reach Gen. Joseph Johnston's army in North Carolina, General Robert E. Lee headed west along the Appomattox River, eventually arriving in Appomattox County on April 8th. His objective was the South Side Railroad at Appomattox Station where food supplies awaited. Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. George A. Custer reached them first, capturing then burning three supply trains. Lee hoped for more supplies further west at Lynchburg, so he refused written requests by Grant to surrender his army. On the morning of April 9th, Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon's corps attacked Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan not far from the county court house. Realizing the cavalry was supported by two Union army corps, and unable to link up with Lieut. Gen. James Longstreet's corps, Gordon stopped. Lee’s army was trapped. Messages were soon exchanged and Lee and Grant agreed to meet at the Wilmer McLean home at Appomattox Courthouse that afternoon.  There, the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia was signed. Three days later, a formal ceremony marked the disbanding of Lee's army and the parole of his men, ending the war in Virginia. The events here triggered similar surrenders across the south, ending the fighting of the Civil War.

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
89,285

Union

63,285

Confederate

26,000
Total Estimated Casualties
652

Union

152
14
killed
74
wounded
64
missing & captured

Confederate

500