The 217th Military Police Detachment gathered once again, April 1, for a marathon journey through history.

The annual Lee’s Retreat Run takes the Soldiers past towns and counties, retracing the path Gen. Robert E. Lee took some 140 years ago when leading his troops out of Petersburg. The first 50 miles saw the Watchdogs run through Amelia and Dinwiddie counties – passing by landmarks like Namozine Church, Amelia Court House and Holt’s Corner.

The second part of the journey is scheduled Sunday, a day before Lee’s surrender of command in 1865 at Appomattox Court House.

The run route concludes at the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park.

Capt. Ronald Sargent, 217th MP Det. commander, coordinated the event for his unit for the second time and hopes to keep it a long-running tradition.

“This event separates us from the pack and serves as a platform to showcase our Soldiers physical and mental fitness,” said Sargent. “It doesn’t glorify a surrender so much as it acknowledges a pivotal moment in history.”

The Soldiers will run more than 100 miles during the two-day event in relay format. Starting before daybreak on both days, the MPs run in pairs for about two-mile stints before passing the unit guidon to the next runners.