The Battle of Appomattox
By Alaura & Amber
On April 8, 1865, four important supply trains awaited General Lee's army at Appomattox Station in Virginia. The call went out and soon both sides wanting the supplies were aware of each other's whereabouts close by. The Union Calvary snuck through the brush and the shells started raining down in the area of the station. Due to the surprise attack, the Confederates side was stuck in turmoil. With people dying left and right, around 1,000 Confederate soldiers were captured as the fighting moved toward the Appomattox Courthouse, with the supplies in the Union's hands.
As the fighting died out at the station, it picked right back up again at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 9. More armies arrived to support this battle as it heated up once again. Grant's idea was to encircle Lee's army and force him to surrender, so he had cavalries set up at every point. The battle at the station gave Federal forces the ground to choke Lee's army out. It was another bloody and desperate battle with 700 casualties, but in the end Lee decided to give up instead of having his forces and people slaughtered by the stronger Union.
The Appomattox Campaign was the last campaign of the Civil War. It started April 2, 1865 and went until April 9, 1865 when General Lee of the South surrendered. The campaign was started by Grant's victory at Five Forks, and continued with small battles every day, until the battle of Sailor's Creek (April 6). The campaign pretty much consisted of Grant cornering Lee, who had no rations, and forcing him West until the battles at Appomattox Station and Courthouse took place, resulting in a Union win.
After a long and bloody battle, it technically came to an end when Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865, after his correspondence with Grant. General Grant decided to reach out to Lee, and ask him to give up through a series of letters. His army was now without rations, and was dwindling by the minute, so the glorious Lee asked Grant for the terms and finally accepted.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
April 9, 1865
Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT:
I have received your letter of this date containing the terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.
R. E. LEE,
There were 63,285 Union soldiers and 26,000 Confederate soldiers, with a total of 89,285 soldiers that participated in the Battle of Appomattox in Virginia. There were 700 total estimated casualties. The Union only lost 14, but 74 were wounded and 64 were missing or captured. We do not know the exact number of killed and injured for the Confederates, but we do know that it adds up to about 500. Many people on both sides went missing and were never identified during the time of this battle and the war in general.
Appomattox Battlefield Lives
There are 237 acres of the Appomattox Courthouse Battle and 45 acres of the Appomattox Station Battle saved and open to tourists in Virginia. On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Appomattox the battlefield was put into use once again by re-enactment. The land went for over 1 million dollars. An organization called Civil War Trust has ownership rights, and is making sure that the land is being cared for and kept well, and made it a forever preserved battlefield site.
The Importance of The Battle of Appomattox
The Battle of Appomattox was the technical end of the Civil War. The moment when Lee surrendered, the Nation was able to begin it's long journey of repairing itself. Yes, there were other skirmishes, but this battle was the one that opened Lee's eyes to the fact that he wasn't going to win. It was this battle that was the start of the beginning. After the Station Battle, the Union obtained very important supplies, which made a huge impact on this whole thing. Everything that happened in the Battle of Appomattox helped move us along and contributed to the end of the Civil War. Even Lee saw it. "I have no other choice. I have to go meet with General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths." -Lee