Plate 97. Appomattox Station, Virginia

Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
This station is on the railroad between Petersburg and Lynchburg; distant from the former place ninety-six miles, and from Appomattox Court-House, three miles. The place in itself is very insignificant, but received some notoriety from the fact that the last train conveying provisions to General Lee's army, during his retreat, was captured there by the United States forces. The train had arrived very early in the morning, (April 8, 1865,) and the supplies were being transferred to wagons and ambulances, by a detail of about four thousand men, many of them unarmed, when suddenly our cavalry charged upon them, having reached the spot by a by-road leading from the Red House. The rebel officers made strenuous efforts to force their men to resist the attack, but, after a few shots, they fled in confusion, and scattered through the adjoining woods. This was the last effort made by Lee to obtain food for his half-famished army, and with its failure, he evidently gave up all hope. Without halting a moment, the cavalry pushed on, driving the enemy (who had reached the depot about the same hour) in the direction of Appomattox Court-House, capturing many prisoners, twenty-five pieces of artillery, a hospital train, and a large park of wagons.
Currently not on view
Object Name
albumen photograph
date made
Gardner, Alexander
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 9 in; 17.78 cm x 22.86 cm
Place Made
between Petersburg and Lynchburg, Virginia
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Gardner's Sketchbook
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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