Appomattox, Virginia

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Appomattox is a town in Appomattox County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,761 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Appomattox County.[3]

Appomattox is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The town was named for the Appomattox River. The river was named after the Appamatuck Virginia Indian tribe, one of the Algonquian-speaking Powhatan Confederacy, historically based in the coastal area and encountered by the English before the tribes of the Piedmont. The Appamatuck historically lived somewhat to the east of the present town, around the area of present-day Petersburg. At the time of European encounter, the area of Appomattox County above the fall line was part of the territory of the Manahoac tribe, who were Siouan speaking.

The town is located three miles west of the restored historic village of Appomattox Court House (a.k.a. Clover Hill), the site of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, essentially ending the American Civil War. The area is preserved as Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and is administered by the National Park Service.

At the time of the Civil War, the present community of Appomattox was the site of a railroad depot on the line between Petersburg and Lynchburg. The town was first named "Nebraska" in 1855. In 1895 it was renamed "West Appomattox". The first postmaster of "Nebraska, Virginia", was Samuel D. McDearmon.[4]

Near the end of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee made a last attempt to reach the depot, hoping to transport the Army of Northern Virginia south by railroad to meet Joseph E. Johnston's larger Army of Tennessee, then located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The arrival of Federal troops and their blocking Lee's army from the depot led to Lee's surrender on April 9. Johnston later surrendered 98,270 Confederate troops (the largest surrender of the war), marking the end of the conflict on April 26, 1865. Small bands of soldiers continued fighting until June 1865.

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