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Old 04-10-2015, 01:15 PM   #1
MTShawn OP
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Lee's Retreat - 150th Anniversary of the End of the Civil War

April 2 – 9 2015 is the 150th Anniversary of the final week of the American Civil War. I set out last weekend to ride the historical route of Lee’s retreat from Petersburg, VA to Appomattox VA, collecting around 25 historical markers which demonstrate the route taken resulting in Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant; essentially ending the four-year American Civil War on 9 April 1865.


My original plan was to knock this out in one day – however, I got started a little late on day 1, and was pretty surprised at how long it took me to cover the roughly ~300 mile loop from my home in Ruckersville to Petersburg, Amelia Court House, Farmville, Appomattox Court House and back. I did my best not to hurry along the route, and as it turned out, I averaged about 150 miles/day over two eight-hour days of riding. That said, I did pretty well at not hurrying and there were plenty of things to stop and see.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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The Ride Plan

I found this map of Lee’s Retreat historical markers, starting in Petersburg and ending in Appomattox, and set out to collect each stop. The route follows the blue line on the map from East to West.





I got a late start on day 1 and didn't leave home until about 11am. I took state route 33 over through Louisa, and then got on 522 south at Cuckoo down to 64. Things were already progressing pretty slowly, so I got on I64 and rode high speed pavement to exit 173 and had stopped for lunch. Afterwards, it was back on 64 for another few miles to 288 South, and then I95 south to Petersburg and the starting point at the South Depot, which was the starting point of the Lee’s Retreat ride.







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Old 04-10-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
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Petersburg - South Side Depot



According to Preservation Petersburg, the South Side Depot is the oldest railroad station in Virginia, built around 1854. The loss of access to this depot is what caused Petersburg to fall and the Army of Northern Virginia fell into retreat.



Just down the road from the depot was another interesting historical building - the Peter Jones Trading Station. I merged the two information boards into one picture so you should be able to read the presentations on the back of the building.





Front of the Trading Station:





Next, I took a pic of this marker, just because I thought it was interesting:



Last pic from Petersburg - in front of the Courthouse:



Since it was already well after 3pm at this point, the visit to Petersburg was fairly quick - next stop is Pamplin Historical Park!



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Old 04-10-2015, 01:48 PM   #4
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Pamplin Historical Park

Next stop on the route is Pamplin Historical Park. The park is located on the site of the 2 April 1865 "Breakthrough" - the battle that ended the Petersburg Campaign and led to the evacuation of the Confederate capital at Richmond. There are a number of museums and restored homes and structures on the site.



On the road, following the signs:



Park Entrance and Lee's Retreat Marker. These markers are what I'll be collecting over the course of the next day or so.





Display outside the Museum of the Civil War Soldier:



Tudor Hall is one of the restored homes on the battlefield and was built around 1815.





The next series of photos are information markers found on the short-loop of the battlefield trail. By the time I got to Pamplin it was 3:30 and the park closed at 5, so I didn't take the long hike around.













Remainder of Confederate Breastworks:



At this point the place is closing, so it's time to get back on the road and head for the next marker at Sutherland Station.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
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Sutherland's Station

Stop 3 marks the Battle of Sutherland's Station. Fighting near here on April 2, 1865 resulted in the Union taking possession of the South Side Railroad, which was Lee's last supply line into Petersburg.



Historical Markers at Sutherland's Station:





Directly across the road from the historical markers was this old country store/museum.



I was going to just keep going, but I thought I could use a coke, so I pulled over and stopped. There was one old fella sitting outside on the patio, drinking Early Times from a pint bottle, fiddling with his cellphone, and cursing at a little yappy dog.



Turns out that I wasn't getting a coke, the store is no longer in operation but acts as a "museum". I got over it pretty quick though, because this stop actually turned into being one of the quirkiest on the whole route, and I'm really glad I took the time. When I got off the bike and approached the guy on the porch, I noticed the door was padlocked and said something along the lines of "you guys must be closed, huh?". Guy on the porch said he wasn't the owner, but he had a key and would open it up if I wanted to see it - so in we go:



The place had about 4 rooms full of all kinds of antiques and mementos, ranging from downright junk to interesting and historical. Lots of old newspaper pages, pictures, books, etc...The next series of pics are just a small representation of what was in the place....

Commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom:



Kennedy's Burial:



Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor:



Robert E. Lee Statue:



Monica!!



Thus Always to Tyrants:



This is a bad picture, but I took it because I'd never seen such a stack of large turtle shells. Most of the turtles I'd seen in the wild where of the small variety and those sightings were rare enough.



Wooden shoes, wiring instructions, santa bears, conspiracy literature, and a New Kids poster - this place has everything!!



Finally, we've got a Reagan Wins page and a "Double Barrel Grit Shooter" hanging up in the corner. This was a pretty neat little stop, and it would probably be pretty easy to spend hours just going through all the stuff in there.



As I was leaving, I pulled over and flagged down traffic to help make sure this fella didn't get splatted as he oh so slowly crossed the road. First time I've ever seen a turtle this big out and about and I guess it explains all the turtle shells from the previous picture.





And we're off to Namozene Church!
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:34 PM   #6
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Namozine Church

According to Wiki, the Battle of Namozine Church signaled the beginning of the Union Army's relentless pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia after the fall of Petersburg.

Historical Marker near the Church:



There were a couple guys sitting on the stairs of the Church, so I gave them some space and didn't get up close for pictures. At first it looked like they were out there without any transportation drinking beer on the steps. After I took my pictures and pulled away though, I saw two tents set up on the far side of the church. So if you guys were ADVer's, hola!







Leaving Namozine Church, I headed to Amelia Court House, which would be the last stop for Day 1.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:44 PM   #7
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Stop in Mannboro

On the way to Amelia Court House, I figured I was ready for a stop to get the cold drink I couldn't at Sutherland's Station, so I pulled into this small store at Mannboro. This was a twofer - not only could I get a bottle of water, I could also collect the "USPS Zip Code ending in 5" that I was looking for in a motorcycle tag game from another board.

I grew up very small town out West, and always like to see places like this because it reminds me of home. This little store was great, there were four or five guys sitting inside shooting the breeze, and I'm sure the BS was flying.

"Best Fried Chicken in LA (Lower Amelia)"





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Old 04-10-2015, 03:04 PM   #8
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Amelia Court House

I pulled into Amelia Court House in the early evening to collect the last marker of the day. It was at this location where the two streams of Lee's Army, one from Petersburg and one from Richmond, met in the expectation that rations would be delivered. The food never came, and the delay resulted in allowing the Union Army to cutoff the planned escape route to the south at Jetersville.

I arrived at the court house marker at that elusive "perfect" time of evening and I believe it was the first magnificent spring evening for this year after a long winter. What a great way to end a day of riding and sightseeing.

Marker at Amelia Court House:



Monument at the court house:



After collecting the marker at Amelia Court House, it was nearing 7:30 pm, so I decided to spend the night there rather than pushing on to collect a few more markers and find a place to stay in Farmville. Priceline put me into an Econo Lodge which was very clean and comfortable and closed out day 1 of the 2 day ride.

Day 2 is coming up but maybe not right away as I need to organize the pictures and upload to smugmug. Writing up a ride report is taking a lot longer than I imagined it would.....
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #9
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"the war of northern aggression"







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Old 04-10-2015, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red bud View Post
"the war of northern aggression"








By it's very nature, this trail is pretty Confederate specific...
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:37 PM   #11
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Day 2 Start - Jetersville, Amelia Springs, Deatonville, Holt's Corner

So after spending the evening at the Econo Lodge in Amelia Court House, I set out at 7:45 am to continue the ride.



Back to the Court House square to get on track for Jetersville.



The next few stops went pretty quickly - collecting the marker at Jetersville.



On the way to Amelia Springs.



Markers at Amelia Springs.





Marker at Deatonville.



Holt's Corner.





From Holt's Corner it's a short hop to Sayler's Creek Battlefield and Hillsman House.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:02 PM   #12
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Sayler's Creek Battlefield and Hillsman House

Less than a mile down from Holt's Corner is the Sayler's (Sailor's) Creek Battlefield and Hillsman House.

I'll use Wiki once again to set the stage here - The Battle of Sayler's Creek was composed of three separate engagements; the Battle of Hillsman's Farm, the Battle of Marshall's Cross Roads, and the Battle of Lockett's Farm or Double Bridges. The following pics are from Hillsman House as it stands today - there is an interesting pic on the Wiki page showing it as it stood in 1936 before being restored.

The markers at Hillsman House.





Markers with the house in the background.





Next post will be Marshall's Crossroads, Lockett's Farm, and Double Bridges.

MTShawn screwed with this post 04-10-2015 at 05:26 PM
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:25 PM   #13
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Marshall's Crossroads, Lockett House, Double Bridges

Just down the road from Hillsman House are Marshall's Crossroad's, Lockett House, and the Double Bridges.

Marshall's Crossroads.



The markers across from Lockett House.





Lockett House.



Double Bridges.







Next stop is Rice's Depot, working closer to Farmville.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red bud View Post
"the war of northern aggression"
Yep.

Great thread.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:23 PM   #15
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Thank you. A great ride.


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