Wilmer and The War
The first serious battle of the American Civil War was fought in Virginia at a place known as Manassas Junction. The Union would come to remember it as Bull Run. Two great armies were converging on the farm of Wilmer McClean and he hurried home trying to reach safety before the fighting began. Wilmer was stopped and his home commandeered as a suitable place for the commanding Confederate general to use during the battle. One of the first shots fired was a cannon which exploded in Wilmer's summer kitchen. When the fighting was finished, Wilmer decided to move his family out of harms way. He choose a place in western Virginia called Appomattox Courthouse. It was here, three and one half years later that again the combatants came together. By this time however, the Army of Virginia was but a shadow of what it once was. Nevertheless, Wilmer scurried home trying to reach his family before the fighting began. Once again he was stopped by a Confederate soldier who again commandeered his house. This time however, it was to be used as a proper place for General Lee to meet and surrender his army to Union General Grant. Wilmer could rightfully claim, and often did, that the war had begun in his kitchen and was concluded in his living room.