What to Do, Where to Stay in Petersburg and Appomattox
Writer John Thompson retraced some of his great-grandfather's footsteps in the Civil War. Here's his reporter's notebook.
About 2 hours to Petersburg and about 90 minutes more to Appomattox
From the Beltway, travel south on Interstate 95 to Exit 52, then east two miles on Route 36 (Oaklawn Street) to the Petersburg National Battlefield visitor center. Here you can pick up a free "Lee's Retreat" map, which outlines the route to Appomattox.
WHERE TO STAY
Several chain hotels and motels cluster along I-95. In addition, the Folly Castle Inn (323 W. Washington St., Petersburg, 804-861-3558; http:/
In Appomattox, the Babcock House (250 Oakleigh Ave., 434-352-7532, http:/
WHERE TO EAT
On a cobblestone lane in Olde Towne Petersburg, the Brickhouse Run (407-409 Cockade Alley, 804-862-1815, open Tuesday-Saturday) serves hearty English pub fare for $12-$25. Also in Olde Towne, Wabi-Sabi (29 Bolingbrook St., 804-862-1365) combines Japanese with regional cuisine; crab cakes, seared seafood, stir-fries and sushi go for $6 to $20. Just south of town, Nanny's Family Restaurant (11900 S. Crater Rd., 804-733-6619, http:/
In Appomattox, the Babcock House (see above) prepares lunches (except Monday and Saturday) and dinners (except Monday) for $5-$19.
WHAT TO DO
Petersburg National Battlefield's Eastern Front Visitor Center (Oaklawn Street, 804-732-3531, http:/
General Grant's Headquarters at City Point (eight miles northeast in Hopewell, at Cedar Lane and Pecan Avenue, 804-458-9504), situated at the scenic confluence of the Appomattox and James rivers, was the busy staging area for the siege of Petersburg. The visitor center is in a 1763 plantation house, which served as headquarters for Quartermaster Rufus Ingalls. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m., except holidays; free.
Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park (Route 617 north of Route 307, east of Farmville) features trails and information boards. Fierce action swirled around Overton-Hillsman House; nearly 8,000 Southern troops were lost.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (three miles northeast of Appomattox on Route 24, 434-352-8987, http:/