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 Appomattox NHP features exhibit of original surrender documents

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park featured a special exhibit for the 150th anniversary commemoration that is still on display for visitors at the park’s visitor center located in the reconstructed courthouse. 

The display includes General Robert E. Lee’s copy of Grant’s April 9, 1865, surrender terms; a flag which draped President Lincoln’s coffin on April 23; Major General Phillip H. Sheridan’s headquarters flag; Major General George Armstrong Custer’s Headquarters flag; fragments of Lee’s headquarters flag, which was cut up and carried home from Appomattox by staff; the 9th Virginia Cavalry flag which was smuggled from Appomattox by the regimental color bearer; and an inkwell carried from Wilmer McLean’s parlor, scene of the surrender negotiations as a souvenir of the historic meeting by General Sheridan’s brother Captain Michael Sheridan. 

Much of the funding for the special exhibit was made possible by support from the Appomattox 1865 Foundation.

Many of the objects listed above will be displayed until the spring of 2016, but the surrender terms will be returned to Stratford Hall in early October. 

Charles Marshall, the son of General Lee’s Aide de Camp Lt. Colonel Charles Marshall donated the terms to Stratford Hall in 1955. 

The National Park Service is grateful to Stratford Hall, Lee’s birthplace, who loaned the terms for the 150th commemoration events.  The formal copy of the terms was written in the form of a letter by General Grant’s secretary, Lt. Colonel Ely Parker — chief of the Seneca Nation. 

The terms will be on display through the weekend of Oct. 10-11. The park is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The park also offers a film, museum exhibits, living history presentations, ranger led programs, and the McLean House where the surrender took place.