Appomattox Surrender Document Found?

During a move a Philadelphia museum has found what they think might be one of the original surrender documents signed at Appomattox. Long thought to be a photocopy, it has been authenticated as original, although there is a question as to whether it’s the long-lost Confederate copy or a souvenir made at the same time.

Patrick A. Schroeder, historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, said that while there were three official copies, “it doesn’t mean that there weren’t more copies made.”

Schroeder, who saw a photograph of the document, said the stationery looks more like the paper soldiers used to write letters to their loved ones than the paper used for legal documents.

He suggested someone may have made a personal transcript of the document as a souvenir – a common practice at the time – then asked the six men to sign it.

“I would say it’s probably a souvenir copy done at the time and signed at the time,” Schroeder said.

Without knowing where the donor got the document, he said, it is hard to determine whether it is the official copy provided to the Confederacy. But he said it would be wonderful if that were confirmed.

“I hope it is,” he said. “That would be great to have another mystery solved.”


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