This poor family had no say-so about the unfortunate incidents that pretty much destroyed their lives. Sometimes running to another place just isn't enough.
The Civil War began in Wilmer McLean’s front yard…and ended in his front parlor.
Wilmer McLean's home in Appomattox, Virginia.
In the summer of 1861, Wilmer McLean and his family were living on his wife’s plantation near Manassas Junction, Virginia. As Union forces approached, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard took over the farm as his headquarters. On July 21, 1861, Confederate and Union troops clashed in the first major battle of the Civil War along the small stream known as Bull Run, which ran through McLean’s property. A second major battle—the Second Battle of Bull Run—took place on the same ground in August 1862.
By the end of 1863, McLean and his family had relocated to the small hamlet of Appomattox Court House, some 120 miles southwest of Manassas Junction. McLean, who supplied sugar to the Confederate Army, was in Appomattox on April 9, 1865, when Confederate Colonel Charles Marshal approached him for assistance finding a suitable place to host a meeting between General Robert E. Lee and his Union counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant. That afternoon, Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Grant in McLean’s parlor, which Union troops later stripped for mementoes of the historic occasion. McLean put the “Surrender House” on the market a year later. He wanted to return to Manassas, which he did in 1867, though he never sold the Appomattox house. Instead, he defaulted on the property, and it was sold at public auction in 1869. Now operated by the National Park Service, the McLean Home opened to the public in 1949.
This poor family was fated to be part of the civil war, no matter what they did. Some things are just meant to be, I reckon.
Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's hot but not raining!