Go deeper into the history of each park with scholarly articles and essays from Oxford University Press, freely available for the centennial year.
American National Biography
General George Armstrong CusterCivil War general, Indian fighter
At Dinwiddie Court House and Five Forks, and in the pursuit of Robert E. Lee's army from Petersburg to Appomattox, Custer and the Third Division won a string of victories and finally, at Appomattox Station, blocked the further retreat of the Confederate army. On the morning of 9 April 1865 the white towel signifying Lee's wish to meet with Grant was borne to General Custer. The Original Truce Flag is exhibited at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.
Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil WarElizabeth R. Varon
Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House evokes a highly gratifying image in the popular mind -- it was, many believe, a moment that transcended politics, a moment of healing, a moment of patriotism untainted by ideology. But as Elizabeth Varon reveals in this vividly narrated history, this rosy image conceals a seething debate over precisely what the surrender meant and what kind of nation would emerge from war. The combatants in that debate included the iconic Lee and Grant, but they also included a cast of characters previously overlooked, who brought their own understanding of the war's causes, consequences, and meaning.