Wilmer McLean's Farm - April 9
- 2013 4 Apr
The Civil War began on Wilmer McLean's farm in Manassas Junction, Virginia, with the First Battle of Bull Run. A Union shell exploded in his kitchen. He moved to get 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 APRIL 9, 1865. Ken Burn's documentary film of the Civil War stated that the war began in Wilmer McLean's front yard and ended in his front parlor. The War resulted in approximately 258,000 Confederate deaths and 360,000 Union deaths. General Lee took off his sword and handed it to General Grant, and Grant handed it back. The next day, General Lee issued his final order: "After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude...I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes." Robert E. Lee concluded: "I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection."