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|Richmond’s place in history was secured once it became the Capital of the Confederacy in May 1861. A little less than four years later (April 3, 1865) its business district laid in ruin as General Robert E. Lee pulled his army from defending the city, and Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government evacuated. What could not have been known on that day in April was that the fate of the Confederacy and the nation would be decided less than a week later at Appomattox Court House.|
Day 1: Richmond, VA
Begin the day with a visit to the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center at Historic Tredegar for an orientation to Civil War Richmond 1861-1865. The center has three floors of exhibits and artifacts on display. (Allow 1 hr.) www.nps.gov/rich Open daily.
Next head to the American Civil War Center to explore the Civil War’s causes, course, and legacies through Union, Confederate and African American perspectives. (Allow 1 hr.) www.tredegar.org Open daily.
|View Monument Avenue and its statues to Southern heroes on your drive to eclectic Carytown, where you can lunch and shop on your own. (Allow 2 hrs.) www.carytownrva.com|
Continue to the Museum and White House of the Confederacy. The Museum’s three floors of exhibitions showcase hundreds of personal belongings from legendary generals; soldiers and civilians; and uniforms, flags, military equipment & weapons from battles both famous and obscure.
A National Historic Landmark, the White House of the Confederacy is just steps away. The former executive mansion of Jefferson Davis has been meticulously restored to its wartime appearance when it served as the social, political and military center of the Confederacy. Open daily. (Allow 1 ½ hr. for both)
|Experience a Confederate dinner hosted by Richmond Discoveries www.richmonddiscoveries.com, before heading to your Richmond hotel for the evening. www.visitrichmondva.com|
Day 2- Richmond to Appomattox
After breakfast in Richmond, travel through rural Virginia to Sailors Creek Battlefield Historical Park. It was here that General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia lost 7,700 men, including eight generals. This defeat was key to the decision to surrender at Appomattox Court House 72 hours later. The park’s Visitor Center has an impressive exhibition that chronicles Lee’s retreat and displays artifacts from the battlefield. (Allow 2 ¾ hrs. for travel and visit) www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/sai.shtml Open daily.
|Enjoy lunch in nearby Farmville at Charley’s Waterfront Café & Wine Bar, housed in a pre-Civil War tobacco warehouse overlooking the Appomattox River. (Allow 20 mins. for travel) www.charleyswaterfront.com Open daily.|
|Head to Appomattox and the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox (40 mins. travel.) Interweaving stories of the Confederate government; the military; civilians and enslaved & free African Americans; the museum’s exhibits detail events leading up to, during, and following the war. Experience the “Appomattox Moment” when two legendary armies met for the last time. Of special interest are General Lee’s sword, the frock coat he wore to meet with General Grant, and the pen Lee used to sign the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. (Allow 1 ½ hr.) Open daily.|
|Continue two miles to the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and the McLean House, site of the surrender of General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant. The restored Village of Appomattox Court House truly transports you back to April 1865, when the nation began its path to reunification. (Allow 1 ½ hr.) www.nps.gov/apco|
|End the day with dinner at The Babcock House. This turn of the century inn offers gracious hospitality and elegant dining in an informal atmosphere. www.babcockhouse.com Open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner.|