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Appomattox Court House, Battle of | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Appomattox Court House, Battle of

Civil War Battle Summary

Appomattox Court House, Battle of | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeAn engraving from a painting of Robert E. Lee signing the document that would end the war between the states in the presence of Ulysses S. Grant and their aides at Appomattox.

The Surrender of General Lee, 1865.

An engraving from a painting of Robert E. Lee signing the document that would end the war between the states in the presence of Ulysses S. Grant and their aides at Appomattox. View the original source document: WHI 9581

EnlargeAerial view of the site of the Confederate surrender in 1865.

Appomattox, 1925 ca.

Aerial view of the site of the Confederate surrender in 1865. View the original source document: WHI 70747

Date(s): April 9, 1865

Location: Appomattox, Virginia (Google Map)

Other name(s): none

Campaign: Appomattox Campaign (March-April 1865)

Outcome: Union victory

Summary

On April 9, 1865, at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, General Robert E. Lee was forced to surrender to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant. It was the final engagement in Virginia and ended four years of fighting around Washington, D.C.

Prior to the battle, Union forces had besieged Petersburg, the gateway to the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. Both cities fell to Union troops on April 2-3, 1865.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee retreated westward in the vain hope of reaching supplies at Lynchburg, Virginia. Union troops followed close on his heels and caught up with his forces at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Outnumbered and surrounded, Lee was forced to surrender.

Wisconsin's Role

The 5th, 6th, 7th and 36th Wisconsin Infantry regiments were among the units pursuing General Lee across Virginia. The 36th Wisconsin Infantry was present when he surrendered.

Links to Learn More

[Source: Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields (Washington, 1993); Estabrook, C. Records and Sketches of Military Organizations (Madison, 1914); Love, W. Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion (Madison, 1866).