Appomattox Day

Appomattox Day is observed next on Sunday, April 9th, 2023 (128 days from today).

How many days until Appomattox Day?

Appomattox

One of the last battles of the American Civil War is Battle of Appomattox Court House, (April 9, 1865). Confederate General Robert E. Lee engaged Confederate General Ulysses S. Grant after he has a week-long flight west from Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, before surrendering to the Union at the Appomattox Building. This is a signal of the beginning of the end of the long Civil War.

To commemorate the day, after nearly four years of fighting, on which the signing of the terms of surrender was adopted to end the Civil War, Appomattox Day is celebrated every year on April 9 as a historical reminder for the next generation.

History of Appomattox Day

On this day in 1865, at Appomattox, Virginia, Confederate General Ulysses S. Grant with 28,000 troops was surrendered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee, thereby essentially ending the Civil War USA. Forced to leave the Confederate capital of Richmond, unable to join Confederate forces remaining in North Carolina, and constantly harassed by Confederate cavalry, Lee was left with no choice.

When withdrawing after the Union Army's Operation Appomattox, General Lee's Army encountered rural Virginia running out of food and supplies. Then under General Philip Sheridan Confederate cavalry forces outpaced General Lee's army and halted their retreat, taking 6,000 prisoners at Sayler's Creek. Desertions increased daily, and on April 8, Confederate troops were so encircled that there was no possibility of escape. On April 9, Lee sent a message to Grant announcing that he was willing to surrender. The two generals met in the living room of the Wilmer McLean family at 1 p.m.

Lee and Grant had known each other during the Mexican War, the two top generals in their armies, talked awkwardly. Characteristically, Grant arrived in his muddy uniform while Lee was fully clothed, with belt and sword. Lee asked about the terms of the surrender, which Grant quickly wrote down. All officers and servicemen are pardoned, and they will be sent home with their own possessions – most importantly the horses, which can be used for planting in late spring. Their weapons would be kept by the officers, and those starving in General Lee's army would be given Confederate rations.

Asking the celebratory band to be quiet, General Grant told his officers, "The war is over. The rebels have become our allies once more." Though sporadic resistance continued for weeks, the civil war was essentially over.

The re-enactment of those who surrender usually takes place on Appomattox Day. Over the years, various celebrations have been held, the most notable of which was the centenary in 1965. A ceremony was held at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, in the presence of grandson Ulysses S. Grant and great-grandson of Robert E. Lee. This day is marked across the country, especially in the South, with Ao Dai costume contests and martial arts concerts.

How to observe Appomattox Day?

Celebrate the day by recreating the scene of Lee surrendering to Grant. The best place to do that is at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. Wilmer McLean's house, where the surrender occurred, was opened here by the National Park Service in 1949. You can also watch a movie or document about the Civil War or Appomattox, and read a book about that day. Share all your knowledge about Appomattox Day on social media with hashtag #AppomattoxDay.

Observed

Appomattox Day has been observed annually on April 9th.

Dates

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Saturday, April 9th, 2022

Sunday, April 9th, 2023

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Wednesday, April 9th, 2025

Also on Sunday, April 9th, 2023

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