Wecome to After Appomattox: Artifacts of Slavery and Freedom.

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House - the beginning of the end of the American Civil War. Use this online activity to learn about the nationally-significant events that occurred at Appomattox Court House, especially as they affected enslaved African Americans. It draws from historical and archeological evidence to tell the story of two women, Hannah Reynolds and Margaret Abbitt, who were enslaved at Appomattox Court House before the war and emanicipated by its end.

Essential Question
What can we learn from historical and archeological evidence about the African Americans at Appomattox Court House who were freed by the end of the Civil War?


  • Learn basic information about the Battle of Appomattox Court House
  • Understand some of the impacts and results of emancipation on real people
  • Discover how historical and archeological evidence provides insight into untold stories

This online activity is developed primarily for 4th-grade audiences, but can be scaled to lower or higher grade levels. It provides a starting point that you can adapt to suit the needs of your learners.

Skills and Standards
Each section asks learners to draw on skills such as reading comprehension, independent or group work, writing, and using evidence to support conclusions. The activities provide opportunities to meet several Common Core State Standards, Virginia State Standards, and National Council for the Social Studies Curriculum Standards Themes. The content can be adapted to address Virginia State Standards for grades 4, 5, 8, and 11.

Part of a series of articles titled After Appomattox: Artifacts of Slavery and Freedom.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Last updated: December 8, 2020