Jennie Wade House

The McClean house in Appomattox Court House, was the site where General Robert E. Lee surrendered his confederate army to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865.

Battle of Big Bethel

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Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia

BIG BETHEL: First Battle (Civil War Series)

Years in the making, Battle of Big Bethel relies upon letters, diaries, newspapers, reminiscences, official records, and period images―some used for the first time. The authors detail the events leading up to the encounter, survey the personalities as well as the contributions of the participants, set forth a nuanced description of the confusion-ridden field of battle, and elaborate upon its consequences. Here, finally, the story of Big Bethel is colorfully and compellingly brought to life through the words and deeds of a fascinating array of soldiers, civilians, “contraband” slaves, and politicians whose lives intersected on that fateful day in the early summer of 1861.

The battle at Big Bethel Church, known as the Civil War's first land battle, was a baptism of fire for a nation newly torn apart by civil war. Northern and Southern soldiers alike could not imagine how fiery passions and technological advances would collide into America's bloodiest war, all beginning that hot, cloudless day at Bethel, as the shells burst among the smartly clad Zouaves. Here, the war saw its first friendly fire incident, the death of the first West Point graduate, the death of the first Confederate infantryman and the first Confederate victory. Join award-winning historian John Quarstein as he details the story of the June 10, 1861 battle, when soldiers first realized that the war would not be filled with glorious parades but rather desperate struggles to decide the fate of the nation.