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Wheeling Intelligencer - August 23, 1907


Of the Late General Curtis - A Pipe Hewn From the Apple Tree of Appomattox


During the present week a reunion of the surviving sons and daughters of the late General W. B. Curtis is being held at the family homestead in West Liberty, which, since the general's death some years ago and the scattering of several members of the family, has been the home of Hon. W. H. C. Curtis and the Misses Callie and Maude O. Curtis. Attending the reunion are the following:

Hon. W. H. C. Curtis, of West Liberty.
Miss Maude O. Curtis, of West Liberty.
Miss Callie Curtis, formerly a teacher in the West Liberty State Normal school, and who will teach the coming year at the Athens Normal.
E. H. Curtis, of Bethany.
Rev. and Mrs. Zach Springer, of Triadelphia, the latter formerly Miss Ella Curtis.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Summers, of Washington, D. C., the former connected with the government printing office, and the latter formerly Miss Bird Curtis.
Rev. J. H. Trussell and wife, of Bound Alban, N. Y., the latter formerly Miss Annie Curtis.
Mrs. Lou N. Jerome, of West Liberty, a daughter of General Curtis.

The reunion is one of the greatest enjoyment to the members of the Curtis family, and is being participated in by a number of the grandchildren. There has been nothing formal in connection with the gathering, but this fact has added to, rather than detracted from its pleasures.

The only absentees are those who have been removed by the hand of death - - Captain Clinton K. Curtis, of the United States navy, who passed away at Norfolk, Va., about a year ago, and Lieut. J. M. Curtis, who, after serving in the Union army with his father during the Civil war. died a few later.

A Treasured Relic

The widow of Captain Clinton K. Curtis has sent to the West Liberty members of the family, one of its most cherished heirlooms - - a pipe - - massive and superbly ornamental, made from a limb of the historical apple tree at Appomattox, Virginia, beneath which General Robert E. Lee surrendered the armies of the confederacy to General Grant on that historic day in the spring of 1865. General Curtis, who was commanding a brigade comprising West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania regiments, was present when the surrender occurred, and almost immediately wrenched off a limb of the tree as a memento of the event. Half an hour later apple trees on all sides were stripped of their limbs, there being much confusion within a few minutes as to under whoch one the surrender accually occurred, but the limb secured by General Curtis was from the surrender tree, without a doubt. In the General's was a German whose proficiency as an artificer in wood had attracted his notice, and to this soldier General Curtis entrusted the limb, with instructions to fashion from it a pipe. This the soldier did, and it was a masterpiece in the art of wood carving.

Some weeks later General Curtis was in Richmond - - this after hostilities had closed - - and while there his brigade was visited by a number of Wheeling people, including the late Henry K. List, who was greatly interested in the pipe of Appomattox. Asking the general to be entrusted with the relic for a time, Mr. List took it with him to New York, where he had it ornamented with gold, beautifully fashioned, and later returned it to General with his compliments. Since the latter's death the pipe has been in the keeping of Captain Clinton Curtis, and now on the latter's death, his widow has in turn presented it to the West Liberty members of the family, by whom it is indeed highly prized. During the coming week of the reunion of the Society of the Army of West Virginia it is to be placed on exhibition at the Hancher jewelery store on Market street, where it will doubtless attract much attention.