1. After the agreement was signed, soldiers from both sides gathered at the McLean home to renew friendships and reunite with families.
2. The terms of peace were kind. The message was that the nation could now rebuild as one – not one of revenge.
3. Thomas Tibbs owned a farm near Appomatox Court House. He fought his last battle on his own property.
4. Lee and Grant met one more time after leaving Appomattox. When Grant was president, he invited Lee to visit the White House and Lee came.
5. The oldest building at Appomattox is the Clover Hill Tavern (1819). You can go inside – which we did.
6. Ely Parker, a Seneca Indian, wrote out Grant’s formal agreement. Lee said to him “I am glad to see one real American here.” Ely replied, “We are all Americans.”
7. Custer (yes, THAT Custer) received the flag of truce at Appomattox.
8. Custer died fairly young (as we all know) and his wife Libby then possessed the table from the McLean house where the agreement was written. She wrote in her will, …the table on which the surrender of General Lee to General Grant was written…and now located in the… War Department Building in Washington, D. C., I give and bequeath to the United States Government…” The table is now in the Smithsonian. ( I remember reading Libby Custer’s biography when we lived in Michigan. Interesting lady.)
9. Appomattox Court House was originally named Clover Hill after the tavern. This was a stop on the road between Lynchburg and Richmond.
10. Not all the regiments got the message that the war was over and many still fought for several weeks. In actuality, the Confederates won the last battle of the war.
11. Lula McLean (7 year old daughter of Wilmer) had been playing with her doll in the parlor before the excitement. When the agreement was signed, one of the soldiers picked up the doll and started tossing it around to the other soldiers. The men called it the silent witness. One of the men (Captain Moore) took the doll home with him as a souvenir and the family actually kept it for more than a century, recognizing it’s importance. (Most everything in the parlor was taken as souvenirs.) Lula never saw her doll again, but the doll was donated back to the park in 1992.
12. One of the members of Grant’s staff present for the signing was Lincoln’s son, Robert.
(Much of this information is from the Appomattox Court House National Historic Site web pages as well as a few other places.)
Village of Appomattox Court House today – the courthouse/visitor’s center to the right, Plunkett/Meeks store to the left. Clover Hill Tavern in the back right and the gift shop straight ahead. (I imagine the gift shop did a big business on the day of the signing :).)