American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Appomattox Court House
Early on April 9, 1865 the remnants of John Brown Gordon’s corps and Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry formed a line of battle at Appomattox Court House. Gen. Robert E. Lee was determined to make one final attempt to reach his supplies at Lynchburg and escape Ulysses S. Grant’s ever-tightening noose. At dawn the Confederates advanced, initially gaining ground against Sheridan’s cavalry. The arrival of Charles Griffin’s Federal infantry, however, stopped the advance in its tracks. Lee’s army was now surrounded on three sides. After a brief engagement a Confederate horseman was seen galloping toward Union lines holding aloft a white flag. Lee had surrendered; the war in Virginia was over.