Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Appomattox Court House

The Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is a National Historical Park of original and reconstructed nineteenth century buildings. It was signed into law August 3, 1935. The village was made a national monument in 1940 and a national historical park in 1954. It is located three miles (5 km) east of Appomattox, Virginia, the location of the Appomattox Station and the "new" Appomattox Court House.

It is in the center of the state about 25 miles (40 km) east of Lynchburg, Virginia. The village is famous as the site of the Battle of Appomattox Court House and containing the house of Wilmer McLean, where the surrender of the Confederate Army under Robert E. Lee to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant took place on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the American Civil War.

The antebellum village started out as "Clover Hill" named after its oldest existing structure, the Clover Hill Tavern (c. 1819). The village was a stagecoach stop along the Richmond-Lynchburg stage road. It was the site of organizational meetings and in 1845 the village of Clover Hill was chosen as the new county seat of Appomattox. The activity in Clover Hill centered around Clover Hill Tavern. The tavern provided lodging to travelers. Fresh horses for the stage line were also provided at the stop, which had been done since the tavern was built.

When Appomattox County was established by an Act on February 8, 1845, Clover Hill village became the county seat. It was parts of Buckingham, Prince Edward, Charlotte, and Campbell Counties. The jurisdiction took its name from the headwaters that emanate there, the Appomattox River. Early Virginians believe the name Appomattox came from an Indian tribe called Apumetec.

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