Battlefield Guide Services

Monday, August 15, 2016

McClellan at Minor House, Fairfax County, Virginia - Then and Now (Updated)

     Sadly, the much altered original structure is about to meet the wrecking ball, but thanks to our intrepid reader, Stephen Masters, we are able to provide a then and now look at the spot where General McClellan posed with other officers on the front lawn of the house, in January 1862.
See also the July 24 post linked here.

January 1862. McClellan at center with hand on stump.

     August 2016. This is the best, approximate angle available today due to the hedges in front of the house. The stump would have sat just inside the ell-shaped bend in front of the tree and hedge, at center. Of course, the original camera angle is coming on a diagonal to the left, from the right, as illustrated in my scale diagram below.

     McClellan's position is indicated by the red dot, to the right of the stump, indicated in brown.
The larger brown dot is the approximate location of the larger, mangled tree in the left, rear distance of the January 1862 photograph. Four approximate post locations mark the nearby signal and observation tower, to the right.

     Here are two additional views of the front entrance to the original house, approximating the angle of the McClellan photo, but from a much tighter camera position, so that the wing at left is visible. Both photos supplied courtesy of Stephen Masters. For clarification to those who are just now coming into this information, the original log structure (which had board siding) was bricked over many years ago, turned into a two-story structure and had an addition attached to the east face.

The neighborhood today.
Close up with the original house, outlined in red. Tower to the right.
Original camera position indicated, looking northwest.
View showing tower to east of the Minor House.

     There is also a much larger history to the Minor House and its property beyond the McClellan photograph, one that includes the fact that both President James Madison and wife Dolley came here as the government fled the burning of Washington in 1814. The President arrived here looking for his wife but not finding her, continued on to Falls Church. Dolley arrived later and is said to have spent two nights there. 

Additional information can be found at the Wikipedia link provided by clicking here.