The Appomattox Court House is not a single building where a court of law is, but rather a reference to a small village that used to be the county seat of Appomattox County, Virginia. In the 19th Century, it was common for county seats were the courthouse (one word) was located to be called a court house (two words). The area is known for one of the most monumental moments in United States history, where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War. The battle that took place at the Appomattox Court House was Lee's last attempt to flee to Lynchburg, Va., where he had more supplies waiting.
Instead of surrendering at an actual courthouse, Lee actually surrendered at the McLean home on April 9, 1865. The house, along with the rest of the site, is now a protected national park in the United States, located in Central Virginia. Lee arrived at the home approximately a half hour before Grant, and both sides negotiated the terms of the surrender.
Given the notoriety of the generals involved, many believe the surrender of Lee actually ended the war between the states. This is not true, however. The war actually ended two months later, in June, when the last Confederate general surrendered, or signed a cease-fire agreement, in the Oklahoma Territory. Despite the fact that some generals continued to fight after the events at the Appomattox Court House, historians generally agree the beginning of the end was when Lee surrendered.
At the very least, the surrender at Appomattox Court House allowed the Union to send troops and resources to other battlefronts. Thus, it hastened the end of the war from a practical standpoint, though probably not a psychological one. Other generals may have surrendered, had communications been received that provided news of Lee's surrender, but many of the generals in other parts of the country had no idea of what had transpired in Virginia.
Those who wish to visit the Appomattox Court House today will find it fully restored to the condition it was in at the time of the Civil War. The area not only features the buildings, but also other artifacts such as artillery and other weapons commonly used during the war. The actual house where the surrender took place had once been dismantled, with the thought of moving it to Washington, D.C. That never took place, and it was eventually rebuilt on the original site.