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Posted by: Joe on: September 1, 2013
After a few hours of sleep in Kingsport, TN, we were up early to drive to Appomattox Court House National Historic Site. This seems an appropriate place to conclude our study of the Civil War. After a nice picnic under a shady Oak tree, we toured the village surrounding Appomattox Court House. And we learned a few things. Most would think that the surrender took place at Appomattox Court House. Am I the only one who assumed that? In fact, the surrender ceremony took place in the home of a local merchant named Wilmer McLean. McLean was the only person Lee’s secretary could find on Sunday morning when he walked into Appomattox village looking for a suitable site for Lee and Grant to discuss terms of surrender. Ironically, McLean had moved to Appomattox in 1861 to get away from the war. His farm in Prince William County Virginia was the site of the initial engagement of the first battle of Bull Run in July 1861 which was one of the first major battles of the war. Amazingly, McLean found himself squarely positioned at both the beginning and the end of the war.