Treading the paths of Civil War history
April 9, 1997
Web posted at: 8:55 a.m. EDT (0855 GMT)
(CNN) -- Wednesday marks 132 years since the end of the war that claimed more American lives than any other in history. On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, a village in Virginia.
The area is now a National Park, with a museum and six miles of walking trails. The house where the surrender took place has been reconstructed, along with the courthouse that gave the town its name.
"This is essentially where Lee ran out of gas," says Joe Williams, curator of the park's museum. "Lee was moving to the west along the line of the Southside Railroad. He was trying to outrun Grant, but when they got here, Grant got forces on the west side of him as well, and blocked his way."
The park marks the occasion -- and the formal surrender on April 12 -- with lectures about the war. Williams says living history exhibits, with guides in period costumes, begin on April 13.
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