There are 166 photos on display at the Museum of the Confederacy - Appomattox. Not one shows Lee's surrender to Grant. Linda Lipscomb, the museum site director, explains:
"April 2, 1865, is when the Confederate government evacuated Richmond. President Davis left about midnight. April 3 is when the Federal army came in and occupied Richmond.
"Lee is retreating and Grant is pursuing. They start a written conversation after the battle at Sailor's Creek when Lee lost a lot of his army, with Grant saying, 'Give it up. We don't want any more bloodshed. Surrender,' and Lee saying, 'We don't want any more bloodshed either but it is not time for us to surrender yet but if we did what would your terms be?' Grant is giving back his terms so they are corresponding for several days before they meet on April 9 down at the McLean House (at Appomattox Court House) and Lee formally surrenders to Grant.
"They meet again the next morning, on the 10th. The soldiers then are processed with those paroles; that takes a couple of days. On April 12 is when the formal stacking of arms happens at Appomattox Court House. That's when the Confederate troops come up, turn in their weapons - they stack their arms, surrender those flags. And then they go home.
"It's not photographed - we don't know what it looked like at the time - because everyone was still focused on Richmond. That was the goal of the whole Federal offensive: to capture Richmond. All the photographers are in Richmond and it is very well documented. By the time they start getting word about the surrender here of Lee and the things that are happening afterwards they decide, 'OK, let's pack it up here - we have enough photographs - let's go out and see what's happening at Appomattox.' They are starting to travel out here, which is about 100 miles. On the way they get word that on the 14th Lincoln is assassinated. They immediately stop and go to D.C. and start photographing all of those things that are happening there.
"No photographer shows up here until August 1865."