Key Commanders at Appomattox

Maj. Gen. George G. Meade
Maj. Gen. George G. Meade

NA image

Federal Commanders

George G. Meade

Meade, a 49-year-old Pennsylvanian, commanded the Army of the Potomac during the Appomattox Campaign as he had since June 1863. He was largely over-shadowed, however, by Grant’s presence.

Gen. Ord
Maj. Gen. Edward O. C. Ord

ACHNHP image

Edward O. C. Ord

Ord, a 46-year-old Marylander, took command of the Army of James in January of 1865 after recovering from a wound received in the previous year’s fighting near Richmond.

Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan
Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan

NA image

Philip H. Sheridan

Sheridan commanded four cavalry divisions in addition to supporting infantry during the campaign. He was one of Grant’s favorite officers. After the Battle of Sailor’s Creek he advised Grant saying, “If the thing is pressed I think Lee will surrender.” Learning this, Lincoln telegraphed Grant saying, “Let the thing be pressed.”

Maj. General George A. Custer
Maj. Gen. George A. Custer

Vol. 4 Photo. History of The Civil War

George Armstrong Custer

Colorful and impetuous, Custer’s cavalry advanced on Appomattox Station late in the afternoon of April 8, 1865, capturing several trains containing Lee’s desperately needed supplies and engaging Confederates in the direction of Appomattox Court House also capturing 25 pieces of artillery and taking almost a thousand prisoners.

Maj. General Chamberlain
Brig. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain

ACHNHP image

Joshua Chamberlain

A former college professor from Maine turned soldier, Chamberlain's men received the Confederate stacking of arms on April 12, 1865. He was noted as saying, “We received them with honor due to troops, at the shoulder and in silence. They came to a shoulder on passing my flag and preserved perfect order.”

Lt. General James Longstreet
Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

NPS image

Confederate Commanders

James Longstreet

Lee’s senior lieutenant, 44-year-old Longstreet commanded the 1st and 3rd Corps. He has been called a superb battlefield commander with great tactical skills and led the advance units of Lee’s retreating army.

Maj. General John B. Gordon
Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon

ACHNHP image

John B. Gordon

A 33-year-old Georgian, Gordon commanded the 2nd Corps and the remnants of Richard Anderson’s Corps after the Battle at Sailor’s Creek. His troops acted as the army’s rear guard during most of the campaign and made the final assault at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, in an attempt to open an escape route to the west. On April 12, 1965, He was in charge of the Confedrate troops during the Stackng of Arms ceremony.

Maj. General Fitzhugh Lee
Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee

NPS image

Fitzhugh Lee

The Army of Northern Virginia’s chief cavalry officer, Fitzhugh Lee was the 29-year-old nephew of General Lee. He and much of his cavalry eluded the tightening Federal noose on April 9, 1865, reached Lynchburg and disbanded. He surrendered a few days later.

Last updated: June 1, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
P.O. Box 218

Appomattox, VA 24522


(434) 352-8987 x226

Contact Us