Appomattox Court House, Va


This print depicts a scene of Union soldiers trading goods with their former Confederate adversaries in the village of Appomattox Court House, where Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant. Captured Confederate cannons and ammunition are visible behind the soldiers. The print also contains four corner vignettes, which show a view of the Appomattox Court House in the upper left; a view of the McLean house, where Grant and Lee met to discuss the terms of surrender, in the upper right; a scene in which soldiers cut apart the apple tree under which Grant and Lee were reported to have held an initial interview in the lower right (this meeting never actually took place); and an illustration of the crossing of the Linchburg and Danville Railroads near Burksville Station in the lower left.

Elbridge Wesley Webber (1839-1914) was born in Gardiner, Maine, and served during the Civil War in the 16th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, and the design of this print comes from a sketch he made of the village. After the war, he settled in Boston, paintings seascapes and scenes of sailing ships.

This print was published by the lithographer James H. Bufford. The son of a sign painter and gilder, Bufford trained with Pendleton's Lithography in Boston, 1829-1831. He worked in New York with George Endicott and Nathaniel Currier (1835-1839) before returning to Boston where he had a good reputation for printing and publishing popular framing prints, commercial work, labels, and trade cards. The company went through several iterations and name changes until about 1865. He became the chief artist for Benjamin Thayer until buying out the firm to found J. H. Bufford & Co. (1844-1851). He continued to work in the lithography and publishing business for the remainder of his life. In 1865, his sons Frank and Henry John became partners in Bufford & Sons or J.H. Bufford’s Sons Litho. Co. After his death they continued the family business as Bufford Brothers and as Bufford Sons Engraving & Lithographing Company until 1911.

Date Made: 1865

Maker: J. H. Bufford and SonsArtist: Webber, W.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, BostonDepicted: United States: Virginia, Appomattox

Subject: HorsesCivil WarArchitecture, Domestic BuildingsUniforms, MilitaryRelated Event: Civil WarSurrender by General Lee


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, American Civil War Prints, Art, Domestic Furnishings


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.60.2612Catalog Number: 60.2612Accession Number: 228146

Object Name: LithographObject Type: Lithograph

Measurements: image: 16 in x 26 1/2 in; 40.64 cm x 67.31 cmoverall: 19 1/2 in x 29 in; 49.53 cm x 73.66 cm


Record Id: nmah_324923

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