Oct 212008

Regular listeners of our podcast or our live streaming feed might know Rick Britton. He’s a historian and cartographer and a frequent guest on WINA’s Charlottesville Right Now with Coy Barefoot. Rick also organizes a Civil War lecture and day-trip series in conjunction with the Charlottesville Senior Center.


On October 15th, 2008, one of the speakers —Ronald G. Wilson— appeared at the Senior Center to talk about the fascinating one-week-long Appomattox Campaign (April 2nd–9th, 1865). Following the Battle of Five Forks on April 1st—at which Union Gen. Philip Sheridan smashed a Confederate force under Gen. George Pickett—and the next day’s successful puncturing of the attenuated Southern trench lines around Petersburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee evacuated Petersburg and Richmond. Gathering his 57,000 men at Amelia Court House, 30 miles southwest of Richmond—where, unfortunately, there were no rations awaiting them—Lee pushed his army westward toward Farmville, Appomattox Court House, and destiny. Along the route actions were fought at Amelia Springs, Sailor’s Creek, and High Bridge.

Recently retired, Ron Wilson served as the park historian at Appomattox Court House for 25 years. A frequent Civil War lecturer, he is the author (along with William G. Nine) of The Appomattox Paroles: April 9–15, 1865.

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