Historical interpreters present various programs and living history events take place at various times throughout the year. Motorists traveling along Lee's Retreat can learn more about the battle by tuning their radios to AM 1610.
Sailor's Creek Battlefield Historical State Park is a great place to stop for lunch because it's midway between Petersburg and Appomattox Court House. There are charcoal grills and picnic tables at the Overton-Hillsman House and the visitor center grounds. No water is available. A pit-toilet is available during daylight hours.
The Overton-Hillsman House, used as a field hospital during and after the battle, is open to visitors June through August and by request at other times. Contact the park at (804) 561-7510 or email [email protected] to arrange a special tour. Period costumed interpreters commemorate the event and conduct other living history events throughout the year.
Dawn - dusk. Visitor center, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 - 5 p.m. on Sunday.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Admission is free. The daily parking fee for a passenger vehicle is $4 on weekdays and weekends.
Activities include picnicking, touring the Overton-Hillsman House, and there are three hiking trails with interpretive signs. Visitors may take the Kershaw Trail (.8 miles), which leads to Sailor's Creek where the Union army traversed the battlefield to assault the Confederate position. The .8-mile Custis Lee Trail allows hikers to see where Gen. Custis Lee counter-attacked Union forces. At Marshall's Crossroads, signs on the .2-mile Pickett Trail describe the final fighting at Sailor's Creek.
Several good fishing opportunities are a short drive from this park. The Appomattox River is a few miles to the northeast. Besides largemouth and smallmouth bass, the Appomattox is home to the Kentucky spotted bass and numerous other freshwater species. Access to the river is limited. Nearby Bear Creek Lake, Twin Lakes and Holliday Lake state parks offer fishing and overnight accommodations.
There are charcoal grills and picnic tables at the Overton-Hillsman House and the visitor center grounds. The visitor center also has restrooms.
Picnic tables are ADA-compliant. Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.
On April 6, 1865, the Black Thursday of the Confederacy, Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia lost 7,700 men, including eight generals, in the battles of Sailor's Creek.
This defeat was key to Lee's decision to surrender at Appomattox Court House 72 hours later, thus ending the war in Virginia.