This spring, learn how the Civil War ended

Marvin Bond

The great national nightmare was coming to an end 150 years ago, but there’s probably a lot you don’t know about what happened in March and April of 1865. As we wind down our coverage of the Civil War’s sesquicentennial observance, Recreation News takes a look at the circumstances that led to Robert E. Lee’s fateful meeting with Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. In this issue you can check out places you can see and events you can attend that mark the surrender at Appomattox.

marcheditorBut, as is often the case, that’s only part of the story. Our Travel Line columnist looks south to the events in North Carolina that were taking place as two Union and two Confederate armies sought to join there. You’ll find out how the blockade runners managed to keep operating, what may be the largest reenactment of the observance, and about the largest single surrender of Confederate troops.

Of course, the end of the war was followed closely by the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and we look at two events that relate to the escape and pursuit of John Wilkes Booth. The Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Md., played a role in the assassination and sponsors Booth manhunt tours each spring. Booth was cornered and killed in Caroline County, Va., and the county is hosting a full weekend of activities and tours that we describe.

Recreation News has long provided quarterly Civil War sections recognizing the wealth of related attractions and experiences in the Mid-Atlantic from Manassas to Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox. We will continue our regular March, June, September, and December sections.

But the story goes beyond ceremonies and reenactments. One of the major reasons that Civil War sites are still being preserved today is the Civil War Trust, which continues to work with individuals and governments to purchase land on which battles were fought and protect it from development.

Now, the trust is assuming an even larger role at the request of the National Park Service. It will also work to preserve additional Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites. You can learn more about the trust at civilwartrust.org.

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