Confederate re-enactment may start new park tradition

By Sarah Watson

Published: April 10, 2009

Confederate soldiers will surrender in Appomattox, not once, but twice, nextweekend at a re-enactment at the national park.

The living history encampment is the first of what National Park officials hope will become an annual event to mark anniversaries of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender in Appomattox.

This year, re-enactors portraying a North Carolina unit will spend the weekend camped out on National Park grounds, where visitors can learn about daily camp life and military maneuvers, said Ernie Price, Chief of Visitor Services and Education.

In addition to the usual re-enacting events, there will be a demonstration on Saturday and Sunday, where troops will stack their arms on Stage Road, exactly where Lee’s troops put their weapons in April 1865.

Re-enactments haven’t been commonly done on National Park grounds, but Price said the park hopes to jump-start a tradition with this event and another every October. The surrender encampment will occur the weekend following the weekend closest to April 9 because the park already hosts anniversary events, Price said.

Also unique to this encampment, Price said, will be troops reenacting their parole, with the printing process occurring in Clover Hill tavern.

“That was something that was unique to Appomattox and the end of the war,” Price said. “These guys will get paroled in the same fashion, on a smaller scale of course, but it’s pretty special.”

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