Historic park marks the reunification of the nation

The McLean House has been restored to the way it looked on April 9, 1865. Most of the house was destroyed and picked apart by souvenir hunters. BY RON MACARTHUR
May 16, 2011

The McLean House in Appomattox Court House, Va., is one of the most important landmarks in United States history. It's there on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, that Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee met and agreed to terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. The house is located in the restored village of Appomattox Court House National Historic Park near the present-day town of Appomattox.

Although the fighting did not end on other fronts for several more months, the surrender at Appomattox paved the way for the final curtain on four years of bitter fighting that claimed more than 630,000 casualties.

The area was also the location of two of the final battles of the war – the battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House on April 8 and 9 that forced Lee's surrender. Lee ran out of time and supplies in his week-long retreat after the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, the Confederate capital.




  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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