On April 8, 1865 Union Major General George Custer received word that four trains carrying equipment, blankets, medical supplies and food desparately needed by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia arrived at Appomattox Station from Lynchburg. The 25-year old Custer led a surprise attack of the 2nd New York Cavalry on the station which was unsuccessfully defended by Confederate artillery. After capturing the supply trains, Custer's men charged against the Confederate infantry, capturing cannons, wagons, and prisoners. The Federals then pressed on to the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road - which remains visible at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park today - and occupied the high ground west of Appomattox Court House thereby blocking Lee's retreat and forcing surrender the following day.
Visiting Appomattox Station Battlefield
Your best bet to tour the Battle of Appomattox Station is to stop by the Appomattox Visitor Information Center located in the renovated 1890's train depot. Here you can view a film and pick up a self-guided walking tour of downtown Appomattox, a well-preserved historic village with shopping, dining and bed and breakfast accommodations that surrounds the station and the scene of the battle.
You will definitely want to stop by the new Museum of the Confederacy Appomattox located a few miles west of Appomattox Court House. The Museum contains a wealth of significant Civil War artifacts, uniforms and weapons - including the coat, gauntlets and sword worn by Robert E. Lee on the day of surrender.
Pictured at the top, the Appomattox train station now serves as the Appomattox Visitor Center. During the Battle of Appomattox Station, which occurred near this area, the Union Cavalry captured three Confederate supply trains.
Downtown Appomattox is a well-preserved historic village with art galleries, antique shops, bed and breakfast accommodations, dining, and a bookstore cafe. The Courthouse area of Appomattox is home to the Appomattox County Historical Museum and a commemoration of the Appomattox County Units that served in the Confederate Army.