African Americans and Appomattox Manor Within the Structured Landscape of the Eppes Plantation
Brown, Gail W
Shackel, Paul A.
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The Civil War brought about many changes in Virginian society, including the area around City Point, Virginia. These changes greatly effected the manner in which plantation owners managed their farms. Plantation owners had to find new ways of obtaining and exploiting their labor, and protecting their resources. The goal of this report is to explore those changes between the years 1851 and 1872 on the Eppes' plantations. I examine how Dr. Eppes structured his landscape to aid in controlling his productive resources, and the relationship he held with African-Americans. Part of exploring that relationship will be examining the living conditions of African-Americans on the Eppes' plantations as slaves and freedmen laborers. Dr. Eppes' home, Appomattox Manor, and its grounds now make up the City Point Unit of the Petersburg National Battlefield. This report will place the City Point Unit into its larger historic context. Though the unit is best known as the location of General Grant's headquarters during the Siege of Petersburg, its history is far more extensive. In this report, I place City Point and Appomattox Manor in the plantation context which surrounded them before and after the war. It will show how the Civil War was not an isolated event, but was effected by and affected the social world around it.