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Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park

6541 Saylers Creek Rd., Rice, VA, 23966; Phone: 804-561-7510; Email: SailorsCreek@dcr.virginia.gov

About this park ...

Latitude, 37.17881. Longitude, -78.137372.

Photos and video

General Information

On April 6, 1865, nearly a quarter of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, more than 7,700 men, were killed, wounded or captured here. Lee surrendered 72 hours later at Appomattox Court House. 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. For more information about seasonal tours of the Hillsman House, call 804-561-7510.

Visit the Virginia's Civil War Trails website or call 888-CIVIL-WAR to learn more about this site. Trail travel packages are available as well; call 1-800-769-5912 for details.

Hours

Dawn - dusk. Visitor center, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 - 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Location

The park is at 6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, Va. From U.S. 460, take Route 617 (Saylers Creek Rd.) to the park. From U.S. 360, take State Route 307 (connecting highway between U.S. 360 and U.S. 460) to Route 617 North (Saylers Creek Rd.).

Its address is 6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, VA 23966; Latitude, 37.178810. Longitude, -78.137372.

Drive Time: Northern Virginia, three to three and a half hours; Richmond, one to one and a half hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, two and a half to three hours; Roanoke, two hours

Park Size

370 acres in Amelia, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties.

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

None. For information on availability of other parks' overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.

Cabins None.

Camping None.

Recreation

TRAILS

There are two hiking trails. The Confederate Overlook Trail (.8 miles), which leads to Sailor's Creek, enables visitors to walk where the Union army traversed the battlefield to assault the Confederate position. Another trail, the Custis Lee Trail, is being developed. It will allow hikers to see where Gen. Lee and his son counter-attacked Union forces.

Va. Outdoors sign

Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Sailors Creek Battlefield's trails.

SWIMMING

None at this park.

FISHING, BOATING

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.

HORSES

None at this park.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide.

Nearby Attractions

Sandy River Reservoir, Briery Creek Wildlife Management Area, Prince Edward/Gallion State Forest, Lee’s Retreat Driving Tour, Robert R. Moton School Museum, Longwood College Visual Arts Center, Moorefield Mine, Old Town Farmville, Twin Lakes State Park, High Bridge Trail State Park, Petersburg National Battlefield, Appomattox Plantation, Grant’s Headquarters at City Point, Blandford Church, Weston Manor, U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Petersburg Siege Museum, Centre Hill Mansion, Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Museum and Whitehouse of the Confederacy, Magnolia Grange Plantation, Crewe Historic Railroad Park, Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox.

The Hidden Depot Farm Bed and Breakfast is about 7 miles from the park.

Picnic Shelters

Picnic tables and grills are available near the Overton-Hillsman House and the visitor center. The park has no picnic shelters.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING FACILITIES

None at this park.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

The exhibit's timeline begins April 2, 1865, when Confederate forces leave Richmond and Petersburg, and ends on April 8, 1865, the day before the surrender at Appomattox Court House. Displays also features state-of-the-art holographic storytellers and artifacts native to the battles of Sailor’s Creek.

Open year-round, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and state-designated holidays, the center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. A gift shop and the park office also are in the building. Call the park for additional information.

There's no entrance fee for this park.

RESTAURANT

None at this park.

LAUNDRY

None at this park.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

None at this park.

SPECIAL FEATURES

None at this park.

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY

  • ADA-compliant picnic tables
  • 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.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

  • Commemoration of the battle - April
  • Star-gazing - Spring, summer, fall (may be cancelled because of bad weather)
  • Overton-Hillsman House tours - April through October, Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Veteran's Day Luminaria Commemoration
  • Antebellum Saint Nicholas - December

CONCESSIONS

None at this park.

HISTORY

The site is historical because 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. Click here to download a brochure that details the battle.

The Overton-Hillsman House, used as a field hospital during and after the battle, is open to visitors April 1 through Oct. 31, Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. There's no fee for touring the Overton-Hillsman House. Contact the park at 804-561-7510, sailorscreek@dcr.virginia.gov, to arrange a special tour for large groups during the off-season. The park can also arrange for special tours featuring period costumed interpreters.

The U.S. Department of Interior in 1985 designated Sailor’s Creek Battlefield a National Historic Landmark. The site is of national significance because the battle here ultimately led to the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army.

FRIENDS GROUP

Feel like lending a hand? The Friends of Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park is a hands-on volunteer 501c3 organization dedicated to preserving and supporting the park. Visit this website or email foscbhsp@gmail.com for more information.

MASTER PLAN

Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan. Click here for this park's master plan.

WILDLIFE

Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park.

View all wildlife encounter photos from Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park.

 

Upcoming Events

Date Event Type Event
04/11/2014  10:00 a.m.
     To       
04/27/2014
Geocaching/GPS
History/Culture
Kids/Family
National Events
Outdoor/Nature/Natural History
Self-Guided Programs
Spring Break Activities at Sailor's Creek
04/26/2014  9:00 a.m. National Events
Outdoor/Nature/Natural History
Volunteer Special Events
Earth Day / Arbor Day Observance at Sailor's Creek
05/03/2014  9:00 a.m. Outdoor/Nature/Natural History
Volunteer Special Events
Spring Stewardship Day at Sailor's Creek

At a Glance

The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
Camp Store/Gift ShopGroup CampingHikingNature/Cultural ProgramsPicnic TablesUniversally Accessible
Camp Store/Gift Shop, Group Camping, Hiking, Nature/Cultural Programs, Picnic Tables, Universally Accessible