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 Wilmer McLean

Wilmer McLean

Birth
Manassas, Manassas City, Virginia, USA
Death 5 Jun 1882 (aged 68)
Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, USA
Burial Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 5824 · View Source
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Civil War Figure. He was a wholesale grocer residing near Manassas, Virginia in July 1861 when the first major pitched battle of the American Civil War took place partially on his property. His estate on the Bull Run river became part of the Confederate Army defenses after the beginning of the Civil War, and two months later his land became part of the First Bull Run battlefield. One of the first artillery shots went down his chimney and exploded in a stew that was cooking for Confederate commander General P.G. T. Beauregard, who was using McLean’s resident as his headquarters. Seeking to protect his family and to continue his trade of being a sugar broker for the Confederate Army in safety, he moved to Appomattox Court House in Appomattox County, Virginia. In April 1865 the remnants of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia retreated to the area around Wilmer McLean’s house, where they fought their last battle with General George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac. When General Lee surrendered his forces to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, overall Union Army commander, on April 9, 1865, effectively beginning the end of the Civil War, he did so in Wilmer McLean’s parlor. After the surrender Union Army officers who were present took nearly everything in the room as souvenirs without asking Wilmer Mclean permission, however they did compensate him monetarily. He later moved back to Manassas, then resided in Alexandria, Virginia, where he passed away at age sixty-eight in 1882. A reconstruction of his house in Appomattox stands in the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, and the location of his residence in July 1861 is today part of the Manassas National Battlefield Park. After the war it was a popular saying about Wilmer McLean that “The war started in his front lawn and ended in his front parlor”.



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5824
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Wilmer McLean (3 May 1814–5 Jun 1882), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5824, citing Saint Paul's Cemetery, Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .