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Boots on exhibit at park

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (NHP) recently received a loan of a pair of boots that belonged to Union Gen. Joshua Chamberlain that will be on exhibit for five years.

“On April 12, 1865, Gen. Chamberlain had the honor of commanding the Union troops that received the formal surrender of the infantry in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia,” park officials said in a press release. “Nearly 23,000 Southern foot-soldiers paraded before Chamberlain and his men, stacked their rifles and surrendered their equipment and flags along the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road running through the village of Appomattox Court House. During the ceremony, Gen. Chamberlain, on his own initiative, ordered his men to ‘shoulder arms’ — a marching salute. In a responding gesture, Confederate soldiers passing received the order to ‘shoulder arms,’ returning the salute and easing tensions.”

Only two pairs of Chamberlain’s military boots are known to exist, according to the release.