The earliest mentioning of Appamatucks (Appomattox) comes from a 1612 map of Virginia drawn by Captain John Smith during his early explorations of the New World. The 1612 map he drafted details many of the natural and physical features of the region, but also the settlements of the many Indian tribes he encountered. Following the "Powhatan Flu," now known as the James River, at one tributary is indicated an Indian village "Appamatuck." This would be near the modern-day area of Bent Creek.
Over the course of years the spelling varied and simplified to the now standardized "Appomattox." Appomattox County, however, was not formally created until 1845 when the Virginia General Assembly on February 8, 1845 created a new county from portions of Buckingham, Prince Edward, Charlotte, and Campbell counties. Each county were to give a portion of their territorial lands as of May 1, 1845. The county seat was formed in Appomattox Court House, then known as Clover Hill and located along the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road. The first courthouse was built in 1846.
The newly formed county remained relatively calm and unscathed from this time through the early years of the Civil War. Not until the final days of General Robert E. Lee's desperate retreat would Appomattox become synonymous with the Civil War. After bloody battles at Petersburg, Five Forks, and finally Sailor's Creek, on a cool spring morning in April, 1865, General Lee recognized the end was near. Union General George Custer advanced to the train depot at Appomattox Station (aka Nebraska), a few miles west of the Courthouse and intercepted a supply train, and then captured twenty-five cannon and one hundred wagons. This final battle convinced General Lee that it was time to end the carnage. I-le ordered his advance officer to find a suitable location for a meeting with Union commander Ulysses S. Grant.
† Appomattox County Comprehensive Plan Update, 2021, www.appomattoxcountyva.gov, accessed July, 2022.