The Civil War Round Table of Kansas City is held its 466th Regular Meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Lane Smith and Randy Durbin delivered powerful performances as General Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, respectively in a three scene play, "The Road to Appomattox."
Take your imagination back to April, 1865. You will find yourself at the evening headquarters tents of General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E Lee on roads moving west from Petersburg, Virginia, You will witness the final surrender of General Lee at the McLean House in Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia and you will find yourself in a pasture between the lines of the two armies witnessing a conversation between General Grant and Lee the following day.
It’s been 4 long years of war and nine months of siege operations in and around Petersburg, Virginia. On April 2, 1865, General Grant’s Army of the Potomac is able to break the lines of General Robert E Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the trenches surrounding Petersburg, Virginia.
General Lee’s army begins a retreat west in hopes of being able to join forces with General Joe Johnston now commanding Confederate forces in North Carolina. The plan would be to defeat Sherman in North Carolina with their combined forces and then return to Virginia and confront General Grant.
However, General Grant chases Lee west and after five days of continual fighting and movement, General Grant decides to open dialogue with General Lee in hopes of convincing him it is time to surrender his army.
Scene one is the dialogue between the two commanders taking place April 7 and April 8 on the road to Appomattox.
Scene two is in the McLean House at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9.
Scene three is on the road from Appomattox, depicting an informal meeting between Grant and Lee on April 10 in a pasture between the lines of the two armies. Grant attempts to convince Lee to use his influence to persuade the other Confederate armies to surrender.
It was an evening of entertainment and education to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War.