On Sunday, April 7th, and almost 150 years to the day, reenactment of a momentous event in history, Surrender at Appomattox, will be presented at the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center, 406 Main Street. First person reenactors, Larry Werline and Company, will bring history alive as they portray Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, General Robert E. Lee, and other Civil War notables as they signed surrender documents in the parlor of a home in the Village of Appomattox Courthouse.
Werline says, “Our unit is called ‘Grant, Lee, Custer & Co.’ We were formed in 2002 as a group of Civil War reenactors that had both an interest in a particular Civil War character and a physical resemblance. The group started performing at reenactments and has branched out to museums, historical sites, schools, historical societies, and anywhere there is an interest in first person American Civil War living history. Our purpose is to bring history to life.”
With his army surrounded, his men weak and exhausted, Robert E. Lee realized there was little choice but to consider the surrender of his Army to Lt. General Grant. After a series of notes between the two leaders, they agreed to meet on April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse. The formal ceremony marked the disbandment of the Army of Northern Virginia and the parole of its officers and men, effectively ending the Civil War. At its conclusion the bloodiest conflict in the nation’s history neared its end. At the surrender ceremonies, about 28,000 Confederate soldiers passed by and stacked their arms.
The program will be presented at 2:00 pm., a donation of $5.00 is requested. The program will be the first of a series of programs presented by the Savanna Historical Society in June and July, featuring guest speakers and performers relating to an exhibition entitled “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.” The exhibition is made possible from a grant obtained from the American Library Association Public Programs Office, with generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and cooperation from the Savanna Public Library.