Robert E. Lee's chair from Appomattox


On April 9, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee met in the home of Wilmer McLean at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to negotiate the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to the United States Army. Sitting in the chair on the left, Lee discussed the fate of his troops. Grant then, leaning over an oval table, drafted and signed the final terms of surrender. While there were still Confederate troops in the field under other commanders, Lee's surrender effectively marked the end of the Civil War.

Union officers, recognizing the significance of the event, individually took pieces of furniture as souvenirs. General E. W. Whitaker grabbed Lee's chair, General Henry Capehart claimed Grant's chair, and General Philip Sheridan took the table and presented it to the wife of Major General George Amstrong Custer. In three separate donations, by 1915, these items were reunited at the Smithsonian Institution.

Date Made: before 1865Associated Date: 1865-04-09

User: Lee, Robert Edward

Used: United States: Virginia, Appomattox Court House National Historical ParkAssociated Place: United States: Virginia, Appomattox

Related Event: Civil War


See more items in: Political and Military History: Political History, General History Collection, Government, Politics, and Reform, Military, National Treasures exhibit

Exhibition: Price of Freedom

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication:

Related Publication: Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History, National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PL.015820Catalog Number: 15820Accession Number: 59140Catalog Number: 15820

Object Name: chair

Physical Description: wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 45 1/2 in x 18 1/2 in x 20 in; 115.57 cm x 46.99 cm x 50.8 cm


Record Id: nmah_515978

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