Anniversary of the Surrender and Freedom Day

Published 10:30 am Friday, March 18, 2022

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Appomattox Court House National Historical Park will commemorate the 157th anniversary of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant and Freedom Day (April 9) with special anniversary programs and activities from April 7-12. The commemoration will include guided walks and talks, pop up experiences, living history programs and demonstrations, plein air painting and a commemorative one-act play followed by a gospel performance celebrating emancipation in Appomattox. A full list of programs is available on the park’s Special Events page.

Program highlights include a one-act play presented by Thomas Jesse and Curt Fields as Lee and Grant, titled Appomattox: The Last 48 Hours at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, followed immediately by a performance from New Beginning Gospel Singers. Appomattox: The Last 48 Hours will explore the events and correspondence between Lee and Grant in the days leading up to the surrender. Grant’s victory at Appomattox brought the promise of emancipation to a reality in Appomattox and the surrounding area. The New Beginning Gospel Singers will celebrate Freedom Day in their performance at 5 p.m. Both performances will take place on the porch of the McLean House.

Throughout the weekend, artwork contributed by local Appomattox elementary school students will be on display in the park as part of the “Civil War to Civil Rights: Legacies of Appomattox” art contest.

As a COVID-19 safety precaution, all programs will take place outside except during inclement weather, when reduced capacity restrictions may come into effect indoors. The National Park Service currently requires masks to be worn indoors in areas of high transmission. Check the park’s website here for updates on current conditions in the park based on Appomattox County’s rate of transmission.