Appomattox

Wednesday, March 30

We stopped at a campground in Appomattox, VA, yes, that Appomattox. We learned a lot about the surrender of Lee’s Army to Grant from a visit to the Appomattox Courthouse National Park.

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Graham, a volunteer interpreter (retired from Arizona) mapped out the whole drama, made it come alive, and helped us empathize with all the parties involved. We could imagine the first awful sight of the Union Cavalry, emerging through the cut in the wooded hill above Appomattox Courthouse, Lee’s shock and disappointment when the promised rail car full of provisions for his starving troops turned out to be full of harnesses.

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We learned of the dignity, honor, and respect all parties involved exhibited to their brother officers at the surrender, despite their division.

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We learned of the intelligent sensitivity of terms, that could have gone far to help heal the national wounds, had not Booth shot Lincoln, five days later.

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