Appomattox Court House

Updated 12/13/05

Eastern ACW Books

The end of the war in the East. After the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, Lee tried to escape to the west and then wanted to head south to hook up with Joseph Johnston's army in North Carolina. He never made it. Lee finally surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

Chris M. Calkins
Updated 8/01/03 It's one of the few titles out there on Appomattox so I consider it a good book to own. Plus Chris Calkins is one of the, if not the, foremost scholar on the Appomattox Campaign. He does a fine job of giving an overview of the Campaign without going into too much detail. The maps are generally good, but are usually of brigade level. The text was easy to follow and I definitely recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in the campaign. 237 pp., 16 maps

Pursuit To Appomattox: The Last Battles

Jerry Korn
New 6/14/03 This is an entery in the Time-Life Books Civil War series. I just bought it, so I'll give my further impressions soon.
Chris M. Calkins

Updated 12/13/05 This little-known gem was self-published by the author in the 1980's. It makes a perfect prequel to Calkins' book Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House, April 8-9, 1865, an entry in the H.E. Howard Virginia Battles & Leaders series of books, and one which I will be reviewing in an upcoming blog entry. Back to Calkins' earlier work for now, however. The author's blurb near the front of the book is now a little outdated (Calkins is now chief historian at Petersburg National Battlefield), but one piece of information is there that is most important. The author spent five years at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, and while there he took quite an interest in the battles of the campaign. As it stands today, Calkins has written at least three books on the campaign that are known to me, numerous magazine articles, and he even helped design the driving tour for the campaign. All in all, he probably knows more about the Appomattox Campaign than any other historian living today. Due to this, I encourage you to read some of his work if you haven't before. This 80 page book (really a large pamphlet) contains numerous maps, many of them created by the author specifically to match up with his writing. The maps are full of detail, and Calkins even breaks down the VI Corps attack at Sayler's Creek in regimental level detail. This book is worth the $14.00 I paid for it just for the maps alone. Luckily, the text is solid as well. Calkins covers the relatively well-known battle of Sayler's Creek, but he also covers some of the lesser-known actions of the campaign, such as the running skirmishes at High Bridge and the Battle of Cumberland Church near Farmville on April 7. Many Federals believed the war could have ended there had the VI Corps promptly forded the Appomattox River and joined in the attack on the Confederates by Humphreys' Federal II Corps. Not content with just the text and maps, Calkins also liberally sprinkled the book with numerous illustrations of the people and places covered in the book. Pictures of important crossroads, houses, and even Cumberland Church grace the pages of the book as well. I highly enjoyed this one and recommend both to fans of tactical studies and wargamers..

81 pp., 18 maps

The Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House: April 8-9, 1865

Buy From C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller

Chris M. Calkins

New 8/01/03 This is a book in the Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders series. I just bought the book today, so I obviously haven't had a chance to read it. It's author Calkins is an expert, probably THE expert on the Appomattox Campaign, and he recreates the last two days of the Army of Northern Virginia. These two days were surprisingly filled with more fighting than most people believe. Calkins chronicles the tactical situations that arose. I will have more info after I have read the book. For most books in the series, I would recommend getting them from C. Clayton Thompson. He offers great prices and usually has these available. 300 pp., 19 maps

Lee's Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox

William Marvel
NEW 5/19/04 I just recently purchased this book. I will go into more detail after I have read it. From first glance, it appears to be more of a narrative than a tactical study.