Monday, January 20, 2014

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park: History Trail

When Noelle, Sierra and I visited this park back in July we realized that there is a lot more to this park that we wanted to explore. Since I would be headed back to Greeneville and since it was only Parker and myself I decided to stop by again to hike around a bit and break up our drive. When we arrived I headed to the visitor center, but it was closed due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday so we headed back to the trailhead for the History Trail where we began our walk.
Appomattox History Trail
The trail started off with a short walk in the woods with a stop at the headquarters of Robert E. Lee.
Lee HQ site
There is nothing there other than a plaque to mark the spot where the Confederates camped.

From the headquarters site I headed over to the Sweeney Prizery which is a tobacco packing house.
Sweeney Prizery
From the prizery it was a descent down to the Appomattox River which the trail then followed for a short distance.
Appomattox Creek
By the river there were quite a few birds flitting around, including some brilliant red male cardinals.
After paralleling the river for a short distance, the trail ascended quite steeply. This ascent was not an issue for me, but I could tell that Parker was not enjoying it. After we crested the hill the trail flattened out and then descended. We headed down to a road crossing and on the other side of the road was a sign marking the spot where George Armstrong Custer received the flag of truce.
Custer Truce site
At this point, because Parker had been having a difficult time on the hill, I decided to return to the car via the road.

The road walk turned out to be quite interesting. We passed a small picnic area with an interesting cannon.
We then took a short side trail to a small cemetery where we found the grave of Joel Sweeney.
Joel Sweeney grave
Joel Sweeney is not someone I had ever heard of before, but he is apparently the person who popularized the banjo. From the cemetery we passed the site where Lee rested under an apple tree while waiting for the return of the flag of truce.
Lee truce site
After that it was a short walk along the road back to the car. We did pass an interesting house,
Sweeney cabin
but there was no sign indicating who owned it or if it played any role in ending of the Civil War.          

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