Monday, July 30, 2007

Unwitting Witness to History

Descendants of Wilmer McLean gathered on Monday for their first tour of his house in Appomattox, Virginia—the same house where Grant accepted Lee's surrender at the close of the Civil War.

The oft-repeated irony is that McLean, who lived in Manassas, had moved to Appomattox after the first Battle of Bull Run to escape the war.

“He used to say that the war started in his front yard and ended in his parlor,” said Patrick Schroeder, a historian with the Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park.
According to Charlotte Lageman, McLean’s great-granddaughter, “a family story is that a cannonball came through the chimney and fell into a pot of soup he was cooking in Manassas. That’s when he said, ‘This war is getting too close.’” [Link]
[Photo credit: McLean House by Mike McBride]

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