For Part 1 of Lee’s Retreat, go here.
Day Two dawned dry and nearly sunny, which was a welcome change. If it was as soggy as Day One, I’m pretty sure everyone was willing to go sit in a bar all day and forgo the adventure part of the trip.
During the weird continental/short-order breakfast, we planned our day. Much like the Civil Wargasm chapter of Confederates in the Attic, someone had brought documentation and was reading interesting and relevant parts to both contextualize where we were in the overall picture of Lee’s Retreat and to get us revved up for the ambitious day ahead that would take us the roughly 92.3 miles from Richmond to Appomattox.
The Confederates covered this distance on foot in two weeks.
It was now three years ago that I spent my birthday weekend at the 150th Appomattox commemoration. You can read about it here, here, here, and here. History friend Mel and I spent four days touring both the historical village of Appomattox Court House and the local industrial complex with the more vigorous reenactments and a much larger cadre of living historians. This included saying farewell to Al Stone as General Lee of Lee’s Lieutenant’s, a Confederate officer reenacting group I had seen for years around the Northern Virginia battlefields. Mr. Stone was the best incarnation of Lee I’ve seen in person or in cinema and it was sad, yet fitting, that he was going to officially retire after the 150th Appomattox.
Al Stone at the Appomattox 150th in 2015.
Anyway. Fast forward two weeks from then.
My Civil War discussion group wanted to trace Lee’s retreat through Virginia to the final surrender at Appomattox, so we planned to start in Richmond and hit all of the stops on the way to Appomattox.