Today was a golden day on the road.
A great night’s sleep, sunny skies, and blue highways. Add to that a dollop of history. I feel aglow with good fortune!
With a drive of 201 miles today, the objective was the Appomattox Court House National Historic Site. Pulled over into a rest stop somewhere in NC for coffee and work.
After 3 days, I finally got off the interstate at Greensboro and on to US-29. My favorite kind of road – 4 lanes, good surface, light traffic, nice scenery.
Later in the afternoon, I got my first NP stamp of the trip! It always feels like such an accomplishment.
I have always wanted to see Appomattox Court House. Is there a more compelling moment in U.S. history than Lee surrendering to Grant? It’s a monumental, yet very personal, moment. A event that makes the people of the past live and breathe.
If you need a refresher like I did, see the next-to-the-last episode of the Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary.
[Note: Historian David McCullough, who narrated the documentary with that wonderful voice of his, lectured at Auburn University last week. John and I love his books, so I made sure to go. I was so pleased to see such a good turnout. I hope the students, in particular, heard his message: history matters].
The Appomattox site contains many original buildings from the small settlement that was Appomattox in 1865. The one I was most eager to see was the McLean house in whose parlor the surrender took place
The defeated Lee rode his horse up this lane.
And dismounted in this yard.
|The parlor is to the left of the front door|
The meeting between Grant and Lee took just 90 minutes.
For this history nerd, it was a thrill to stand in that very spot.
I told every NP employee and volunteer I encountered that I am so happy they are back on the job. Every single one responded with a hearty ‘Me too!!!’ It was clear they were not referring to a paycheck. What a pleasure to see such dedicated people.
|OK. Matthew Brady I'm not.|
Staying the night at the Appomattox Wal-Mart. (Where else?). There is a frost warning in effect tonight with a low of 25 expected. But I'll be cozy– the GDB’s propane furnace is up to the task!