Monday, April 7, 2014

Appomattox Court House

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park that we visited on Sunday, April 6.

David checking out the map of the park.

In front of the map!

Appomattox Courthouse in Appomattox Court House (the name of the town)

A painting of the surrender.

The McLean House where General Lee surrendered to General Grant.

In 1893, this house was meticulously torn down & plans for the house drawn up so it could be rebuild it Washington DC. Plans fell through & the house parts were left to rot or be stolen on the grounds. In the 1940s, the National Park Service found the plans & rebuilt the house. The only original part of the house left were 5500 bricks.

The table where General Lee signed the surrender papers.

The dining room of the McLean House.

The summer kitchen of the McLean House.

The slave quarters of the McLean House.

The Clover Hill Tavern.

Heading into the Tavern.

Where the Parole Passes were printed after the surrender. The passes were given to the confederate soldiers. They assured them safe passage through Union lines & free passage on Union transports & train lines as they traveled home.

This is the road the confederate soldiers marched up on April 12, 1865 as they came into town to surrender their weapons & get their parole passes.

My kids & Hubby after they turned in their Jr Ranger booklets. They got a badge, a parole pass, a certificate & a pack of trading cards.

David coming out of the General Store.

The Appomattox Court House Confederate Cemetery.

Buried here are 18 Confederate soldiers & 1 Union soldier.

A cannon near the cemetery.

A memorial across the road from the cemetery.

I love all the interesting facts you can find out from the road signs around the country.

What an agonizing wait it must have been. Knowing he was getting ready to surrender, the wait of the world must have been on his shoulders.

The site of a confederate hospital.

The site of Lee's last headquarters.

Where General Lee stayed after the surrender.


Richmond National Battlefield

On Friday, April 4th, we visited the Richmond National Battlefield Park. This was quite an undertaking. There are 12 sites within the park consisting of 80 miles of driving. Because of lack of time, we did not visit all the sites.

Our first stop was the visitor center at Tredegar Iron Works. There are 2 separate entities operating here. The Pattern Building is the visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park & it is free. The Gun Foundry houses the American Civil War Center & costs money.

This factory used several overwater wheels to turn equipment.

The Vandenburg Volley Gun has 127 .5 caliber barrels.

There were displays giving a timeline overview of Richmond during the war.

They had a neat exhibit on photography during the Civil War.

They had a kids area where they could dress up.

This site was fed by an underground canal way which was used to run a lot of the machinery.

The kids sitting with Lincoln.

The statue was commemorating Lincoln's visit to Richmond on April 4-5, 1865, just 10 days before his assassination.

A map of how this site looked in 1951.

A beautiful hill of flowers

Close up of the flowers.

The Rolling Mills.

Trying to pick up the big chain at the Rolling. Mills.

Site #2 - Chickahominy Bluff

Chickahominy Bluff was part of the Confederate line during the 1862 Seven Days' Battles.

The overlook offered a strategic spot for General Lee to oversee the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek.

As you drive the Battlefield path, you see hundreds of these signs along the roads that give you a little insight into the Seven Days' Battles.

Site #3 - Gaines' Mill.

The Watt House (not open to the public) was the headquarters of Union Gen. Fitz John Porter.

Stop #4 - Cold Harbor.

Cold Harbor was part of the 1864 Overland Campaign.

The Killing Fields.

The 2 week battle was very deadly. It resulted in at least 16,000 casualties.

Stop #5 - Garthright House.

This restored house served as a Union field hospital during the Battle of Cold Harbor & later became a Confederate Hospital.

stop #6 - Fort Harrison

This Fort was captured by General Grant on Sept. 29, 1964. The gallantry of several regiments of regiments of black Union troops that day was recognized by awarding Medals of Honor to 14 black soldiers.

Look for another post next weekend about Richmond National Battlefield Park as we join the Celebration of Civil War Emancipation day on Saturday, April 12. Up to 20 museums are open with free admission as well as lots of tours, music, cannon firings and Civil War-era photography.