The Civil War Begins and Ends With One Person

His name was Wilmer McLean and he lived in Manassas, Virginia.  In 1861, in what was one of the first battles of the war, McLean’s house was hit by Union cannon fire.  The shell went through his dining room.  It was at that point William McLean and his family moved more than a hundred miles away to a small remote village.  He hoped, by moving there, he and his family would be safe from the war.  That was not to be the case.

In 1865, during the last battle of the Civil War, in a small town named Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, the war saw it’s last battle.  Robert E Lee, general of the Confederate Army, decided then and there to end the war and seek surrender.  Looking for a place to discuss surrender with the general of the North, a nearby house was found.  The owner?  Wilmer McLean. In McLean’s living room, the surrender was signed and the Civil War ended.


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