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Local students participate in Appomattox NHP exchange program

Twelve Appomattox County High School students are headed to Gettysburg National Military Park to explore the battlefield and follow in the footsteps of a Appomattox soldier during the American Civil War. Through a partnership of the Appomattox 1865 Foundation (the park’s Friends Group), Appomattox Court House NHP, and Appomattox County High School, students applied for selection in this program, demonstrating a keen sense in American History.

Students of Gettysburg Area High School and the Gettysburg Foundation will host area students for activities along with NPS rangers from Gettysburg NMP. On the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the students will be attending a dedication ceremony in the Soldiers National Cemetery, exploring the park’s visitor center and touring the Eisenhower National Historic Site on the first day of their trip.

The following day will include a battlefield tour with a ranger, lunch with the Gettysburg student participants and a walk of Pickett’s Charge with a ranger, walking the steps taken by Private William J. Hubbard of the 18th Virginia regiment.

The final day of their visit students will assist in the preparation for the upcoming luminary ceremony at the cemetery before they head home. Their activities can be followed on the Appomattox 1865 Foundation Facebook site.

The Gettysburg students will visit Appomattox in April for the 151st anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia in the McLean House. ACHS students will host the students from Pennsylvania and rangers and members of the 1865 Foundation will provide commemoration tours and activities for their participation. The Spout Spring Ruritan Club and Woodmen of the World provided a donation to fund this educational field trip for local students.

This is the second exchange program coordinated by the park’s Friends Group, the Appomattox 1865 Foundation. Appomattox County High School history students served in an exchange program with a Washington DC school in a volunteer service and education program this past year. This partnership with the National Mall and Memorial Parks provided students an opportunity to participate in a variety of field trips and programs that prepared them to serve as volunteers and mentors for the D.C. students who visited during the park’s 150th commemoration.

The Washington D.C. students hosted local students who participated in the Ford’s Theater 150th event, exploring the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.