The Old Appomattox Court House is a structure within the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. It was registered in the National Park Service's database of Official Structures on June 26, 1989. It is located on Virginia State Route 24, three miles (5 km) northeast of the town of Appomattox in Appomattox County, Virginia, where the "new" Appomattox Court House is presently located.
The original "old" Appomattox Court House was the first county seat of Appomattox County, Virginia. It was built in 1846, one year after Appomattox County was established, at what was known then as Clover Hill, Virginia. It was the second government public structure built after Appomattox County became official. It was in the center of the village on a large green lot surrounded by the Richmond-Lynchburg stage road. The first building constructed after the county became official was the original wooden county jail built in 1845. The original courthouse was built across the street from the Clover Hill Tavern in 1846. This original courthouse building burned down in 1892. A second courthouse was constructed in 1892, which is near the location of the Appomattox Station in the town of Appomattox, Virginia.
The reconstructed "old" Appomattox Court House is presently the visitor center for the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. On the first floor is the information desk. On the second floor is a museum and the auditorium. Interpretive slide shows present the events of General Lee's Confederate Northern Virginia troop surrender to Grant. Civil War weapons are on display and there are many photographs relating to the event. The "old" Appomattox Court House was reconstructed in 1963 and 1964 as the park's visitor center and information desk for the National Parks Service.
The original county "court house" played no role in the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant as it was Palm Sunday and the court was closed for the day. The actual surrender took place at the McLean House. The National Park Service states that the Old Appomattox Court House is of paramount importance by virtue of its association with the site however. It is vital under certain criteria of the National Park Service and by virtue of its creation of the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park by federal law. It represents the participation of the federal government in the preservation and commemoration of historically significant events.
Description of old "court house"
The reconstructed Old Appomattox Court House is a two-story structure of running bond brick with a raised second floor main entry. There is a second story east and west entry porch. The building has newel posts and balusters. The four-panel entry doors on the main level are flanked by 12/12 double hanging sash windows. The size of the structure is fifty feet wide by forty feet deep. It has three bays with a hipped flat-seam roof with wood trusses.
The rebuilt edifice has a brick paved first floor beneath the second floor hipped-roof porch with brick cast stone steps and cast iron railings. The lower level has a similar layout with a smaller four-panel door flanked by 8/8 double hanging sash windows. The end elevations have two internal chimneys flanked by 8/8 double hanging sash windows on the first floor with three 8/8 double hanging sash windows on the second level. There is a third sash window located in the center. All the windows of the "court house" have shutters.
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- Marvel, A place called Appomattox, has an extensive bibliography (pp. 369-383) which lists manuscript collections, private papers and letters that were consulted, as well as, newspapers, government documents, and other published monographs that were used in his research of Appomattox.
- "Old Appomattox Court House". http://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/report.asp?STATE=VA&PARK=APCO&STRUCTURE=&SORT=&RECORDNO=1. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- "1961 Nation Park Service brochure". http://www.civilwaralbum.com/misc9/appomattox_guide11.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- "Clover Hill Tavern". http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=5989. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- Gutek, p. 299
- "Appomattox Court House - Visitor Centor / Museum". http://www.nps.gov/archive/apco/court.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- "Appomattox Court House". http://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/report.asp?STATE=VA&PARK=APCO&STRUCTURE=&SORT=&RECORDNO=1. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- Jon B. Montgomery, Reed Engle, and Clifford Tobias (May 8, 1989), PDF (32 KB), National Park Service and PDF (32 KB) and one photo, undated, at Virginia DHR
- Bradford, Ned, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Plume, 1989
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- Chaffin, Tom , 2006. Sea of Gray: The Around-the-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah, Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux,.
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- Gutek, Patricia, Plantations and Outdoor Museums in America's Historic South, University of South Carolina Press, 1996, ISBN 1-5700307-1-5
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- Korn, Jerry et al., The Civil War, Pursuit to Appomattox, The Last Battles, Time-Life Books, 1987, ISBN 0-8094478-8-6
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- Marvel, William, Lee's Last Retreat, UNC Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8078570-3-3
- McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom, Oxford University Press, 1988,
- National Park Service, Appomattox Court House: Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 2002, ISBN 0-9126277-0-0
- Tidwell, William A., April '65: Confederate Covert Action in the American Civil War, Kent State University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8733851-5-2
- Weigley, Russel F., A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865, Indiana University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-2533373-8-0
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