Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wilmer McClean


Apropos of nothing, here's something even War Between the States (aka Civil War) buffs prolly don't know.  At least this one didn't.

Confederate Ball
The initial engagements on July 18, 1861, in what would become the First Battle of Bull Run, fought on July 21, took place on Wilmer McLean's farm in Manassas, VA.

 Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, CSA, later reminisced:

 "A comical effect of this artillery fight was the destruction of the dinner of myself and staff by a Federal shell that fell into the fire-place of my headquarters at the McLean House."

Wilmer McClean, an erstwhile major of the Virginia militia,  was too old at 47 to muster for this kerfluffle.  Instead, McClean worked as a sugar broker for the CSA.   Because of his proximity to the Union army, and perhaps a second battle of Bull Run that ruined his tomato patch, Wilmer moved his family about 120 miles south to Appomattox County, Virginia.
(I see light bulbs flickering).

 "On April 9, 1865, the war came back to Wilmer McLean when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of McLean's house near Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War."

Later, McLean is supposed to have said "The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor

Sadly, this CSA patriot ended his days in infamy, working for ... for *why God why?* the Internal Revenue Service. See more fun details at Wikipedia, from whence I took this story.

Tom Mann


Anonymous said...

That fun fact was in the opening episode of Ken Burns documentary on the civil war.

john III

Rodger the Real King of France said...

*smacks Alzheimer-ed head*

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