Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Hwy. 24, P.O. Box 218
Appomattox, VA 24522
Visitor Information 434-352-8987 x 26
Chief of Interpretation and Education 434-352-8987x27
Chief of Museum Services 434-352-8987x25
Chief of Natural Resources 434-352-8987 x 28
Superintendents' Office 434-352-8987 x 21
WELCOME to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
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 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 east of Lynchburg, Virginia. The village
is famous as the site of the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse 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
History of the Village
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.
From about 1842 Hugh Raine basically owned most of the Clover
Hill area. He obtained it from his brother John Raine who
defaulted on his loans. Later he sold the property to a Colonel
Samuel D. McDearmon. McDearmon surveyed 30 acres of the hamlet. He
designated 2 acres to be used by the new county to build a
courthouse and other government buildings.
The courthouse was to
be built across the Stage Road from the Clover Hill Tavern. The
jail was to be built behind the courthouse. McDearmon divided the
remaining land surrounding the courthouse into 1-acre lots. He
felt that with Clover Hills' new status as a county seat he would
find professional people ready and willing to purchase the lots.
His hopes were later dashed in 1854 as the train depot stopped
three miles west in Appomattox, Virginia. The American Civil War
put the nails in the coffin.
The district once known as Clover
Hill and later renamed to Appomattox Court House continued to
decline as businesses moved to the area of the Appomattox Station.
The village contained 30 acres of the original Patteson's
Clover Hill Tavern property of some 200 acres. Raine provided the
Clover Hill Tavern for meeting space for the organization of the
new county in May of 1845 and naming the township "Clover
According to a Union writer at the time of the American Civil
War the village consisted of about "five houses, a tavern,
and a courthouse � all on one street that was boarded up at one
end to keep the cows out." There were actually more dwellings
in this obscure hamlet, some of which were off the main village
street. There were a large number of cabins and out-buildings.
hamlet had two stores, law offices, a saddler, wheelwright, three
blacksmiths, and other businesses. A tavern later had been built
by John Raine in 1848 that became the celebrated McLean house.
Many rural counties in the Southern States had county seats whose
names were formed by adding court house (two words) to the
name of the county, hence the village name became Appomattox Court
It presently has a couple of dozen restored buildings. Some of
the notable buildings are the Peers House, McLean house , New
County Jail, Jones Law Office, Clover Hill Tavern, Woodson Law
Office, Bocock-Isbell House, Mariah Wright House, Plunkett-Meeks
Store, Sweeney-Conner Cabin, Charles Sweeney Cabin, Sweeney
Prizery and the Old Appomattox Court House.
There are also various
ruins and cemeteries within the village. At the time of the Act of
Congress that authorized the Appomattox Court House National
Historical Park in 1935 the existing buildings were the Clover
Hill Tavern, the Tavern guest house and kitchen, the Woodson Law
office structure, the Plunkett-Meeks Store, the Bocock-Isbell
House, and several residences outside the village limits.
There are several markers throughout the field of the village
that show points of interest within the Park. Some of these are
the sites of General Lee's and General Grant's headquarters; the
site of the apple tree where General Lee waited for General
Grant's reply on the morning of April 9, 1865; the line of General
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's brigade drawn up to receive the
Confederate arms on April 12, 1865; and the position of the last
cannon fired by the Confederate artillery on the morning of April
9, 1865. There is also a monument and two tablets that was erected
by North Carolina state describing the last engagement of the
armies this same morning.
General George Armstrong Custer of Little Bighorn fame received
a flag of truce at the village of "Appomattox Court
House" that brought about the discontinuance of hostilities
of the Confederate and the Union armies leading to the surrender
meeting between General Lee and General Grant at the McLean house.
The program for the development of the Park calls for a partial
restoration of Clover Hill and the hamlet of Appomattox Court
House to its appearance in April of 1865. This will constitute for
the people of the United States a memorial to the termination of
the American Civil War.
World War II stopped temporarily the
development of the Park, however it was resumed in 1947. Some
structures in the village that were built after 1865 were taken
down that did not represent a true picture of the end of the Civil
In 1954 Virginia State Route 24 was relocated south of the
Appomattox Court House Historical Park so the National Park
Service could restore the Richmond-Lynchburg stage road to its
1865 appearance. Also this would allow the National Park Service
to do archeological exploration at the original Appomattox Court
Did You Know?
On April 10, 1865 Generals Lee and Grant met for a 2nd time at
Appomattox Court House, Virginia. In the 2nd meeting General Lee
requested that his men be given evidence that they were paroled
prisoners - to protect them from arrest or annoyance. 28,231
parole passes were issued to Confederates