Appomattox Campaign Driving Tour Map

Blue and gray soldiers raced westward during the first week of April 1865. After spending forty-one weeks around Petersburg, Robert E. Lee hoped the Army of Northern Virginia could leave its adversaries behind. Ulysses S. Grant’s strategic and personnel decisions enabled his armies to intercept Lee multiple times until finally cornering the Confederates at Appomattox. Much has been written about this final clash in Virginia and the work of federal, state, and private organizations has made it one of the most interpreted and accessible Civil War campaigns. Borrowing from these efforts, I have created a tour guide that overlays the routes of both armies onto a modern map.

Readers are encouraged to dig into William Marvel’s Lee’s Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox (UNC Press, 2002), Elizabeth Varon’s Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (Oxford, 2013), and the latest from the Military Campaigns of the Civil War Series, Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia (UNC Press, 2018). Chris Calkins’s From Petersburg to Appomattox: A Tour Guide to the Routes of Lee’s Withdrawal and Grant’s Pursuit (Farmville Herald, 1983) and revised Lee’s Retreat: A History and Field Guide (Page One, 2000) remain the best resources for tracking the detailed marches of both armies.

Calkins spearheaded the creation of the Lee’s Retreat Driving Tour, a self-guided route that roughly follows the Army of Northern Virginia from Petersburg to Appomattox. Civil War Trails maintains this self-guided route today and the organization has placed additional wayside exhibits along the many roads taken westward. Check out their online brochure here. The American Battlefield Trust has substantially increased the preserved battlefield acres, particularly in Dinwiddie County, around Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park, and at Appomattox itself.

The hundred-mile journey is an absolute must for anyone with an interest in the Civil War and this updated map should enhance the great public history work already done for the Appomattox campaign. Download the full map as a pdf here.

(Update) The numbers listed on the map correspond with a suggested order of visiting the sites, as originally designated by the first Lee’s Retreat maps. In order, they are:

  1. South Side Depot
  2. The Breakthrough
  3. Sutherland Station
  4. Namozine Church
  5. Amelia Court House
  6. Jetersville
  7. Amelia Springs
  8. Deatonville
  9. Holt’s Corner
  10. Hillsman House
  11. Marshall’s Crossroads
  12. Lockett House
  13. Double Bridges
  14. Rice’s Depot
  15. Cavalry Battle at High Bridge
  16. Farmville
  17. High Bridge
  18. Cumberland Church
  19. Clifton
  20. New Store
  21. Lee’s Rear Guard
  22. Battle of Appomattox Station
  23. Burkeville Junction
  24. Crewe
  25. Nottoway Court House

8 Responses to Appomattox Campaign Driving Tour Map

  1. Ed your maps are fantastic. You’re rapidly solidifying yourself as the next generation’s cartographer for Civil War topics.

    1. A couple sources that I know:

      Captain Thomas Ballard Blake, 10th Virginia Heavy Artillery Battalion, has two articles in Volume 25 of the Southern Historical Society Papers, pages 139-145 and 285-287. The same volume has the report of Major William Starr Basinger, commanding the 18th Georgia Battalion Heavy Artillery, on pages 38-44. Blake wrote another reminiscence in Confederate Veteran, Volume 28, 213-216.

      The H.E. Howard series might contain more information and rosters for the Virginia units, not sure if there’s more for the Georgia battalions.

  2. Great service to bring together so many sources for those who have followed miles of these roads to locate where their ancestors fought and were captured (in my case at Namozine Church). I looked through my Calkin’s 1983, 1997 and 2000 publications but could not match the Numbers attributed to VA Civil War Trails Markers. Unhappily the link above (“Check out their online brochure here”) connected me to their brochure but with no numbers—only ‘red stars’. Can you help me locate the Number Keys?
    Thank you.

    1. Gene, send me an email and I can help you find the sites you are looking for. We keep adding sites so we have done away with the numbered ones on our maps.

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