Wilmer McLean’s farm in Manassas Junction, Virginia, was the location of the first Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, who was using McLean’s house as his headquarters, wrote: “…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.”
The Confederates won the first Battle of Bull Run due in large part to General “Stonewall” Jackson holding his ground like a “stonewall,” resulting in his nickname.
With momentum on their side, Confederate troops could have pursued the fleeing and exhausted Union army 20 miles to Washington and won the war. Instead, an unusually heavy rain turned roads into mud pits and they called off the pursuit.
Wilmer McLean moved away from the conflict, yet almost four years later his new home, near Appomattox Court House, Virginia, was the agreed location for General Robert E. Lee to surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865.
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