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 2nd9th, 1865). Following the Battle of Five Forks on April 1stat which Union Gen. Philip Sheridan smashed a Confederate force under Gen. George Pickettand 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 Richmondwhere, unfortunately, there were no rations awaiting themLee 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 915, 1865.