Debate Over 'Lincoln' Appomattox Courthouse Scene Settled

Appomattox, VA - A scene in the new Lincoln movie has locals talking. Many are 100% convinced that the surrender scene set in Appomattox was actually shot in Appomattox.

ABC 13 heard talk about the movie being shot in Richmond and Petersburg, but never Appomattox.

Monday we went to find out the truth.

"'I believed it was in Appomattox," said Kathleen Kellem with the Museum of the Confederacy.

"I've been there for 40 years and I thought it was the real place," said Ira Quillen, WSET photojournalist.

Quillen is a WSET photographer and a major history buff.

"It was the well house and the fence, that's what made it realistic," said Quillen.

The surrender scene seems quite convincing, but according to Park Ranger Ernie Price, it's not Appomattox.

"The Appomattox scene in the film "Lincoln" was not shot in Appomattox," said Price, a ranger at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park.

Price says the film crew asked for plans of the McLean house and recreated it in Richmond.

"There's no interior rooms, no back, it's just a fake facade, just the front of the building. It's not a real structure you can go inside of, you can only go onto the porch of it," said Price.

If you look closely, the differences start to appear.

"If you notice that back wall, clearly that's a stairwell which their shot clearly doesn't show," said Price.

"They surely fooled me," said Quillen.

Kathleen Kellem has to break the news to her adult grandchildren who saw the movie with her.

"Oh no, I'm gonna have to tell her. I'm gonna have to tell her, 'Hey, Grandma lied to you.'"

Price says the crew considered filming in Appomattox, but decided building would be cheaper than shipping everyone to the real surrender grounds.