Although many statues representing the Civil War are rightfully being removed, the most significant individual of that time lacks a statue.
Ladies and gentlemen! May I present Wilmer McLean!
Haven’t heard of him? And you call yourself a history buff?
Wilmer McLean was a green grocer in Manassas, Virginia who, in his younger days, had served as an officer of the Virginia militia. Confederate General Beauregard was using McLean’s home as his headquarters when the first shots of the Civil War–the battle the North calls the first Battle of Bull Run while the South calls it +the first Battle of Manassas–occurred at McLean’s farm.
His home was bombarded by union shells. One cannonball dropped down the chimney, destroying the dinner that was being prepared for McLean and the general.
Shortly after the battle, for a variety of reasons, including business, McLean decided to move to Southern Virginia. However, his karma seemed to be in overdrive. A few years later, in 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant sent a messenger to find a suitable location for Grant to meet with Robert E. Lee to discuss surrender. The messenger found a house that might do, knocked on the door , and Wilmer McLean grudgingly agreed.
So, the Civil War started at McLean’s home, he moved, only to have the Civil War end at his new home.
Thanks to Guy D. McCardle, Jr. for jostling my memory on this fascinating Civil War fact.