The other day I wrote that Salona had a connection to General George McClellan, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac. Several of McClellan's letters from the fall of 1861 reference the tiny hamlet of Lewinsville, Virginia in the vicinity of Salona, which at the time was owned by the Smoot family. On the night of October 12, 1861, he appears to have been a guest at the house, which was then serving as the headquarters of General "Baldy" Smith. McClellan had learned earlier in the day that a Confederate force was approaching the Union lines in Northern Virginia. He decided to remain in the field to direct operations rather than go back to Washington. As McClellan told his wife, Mary Ellen, in a letter in following day:
On the 12th while at [General Fitz John] Porter's camp I heard that the enemy was advancing in force. Spent last night in WF Smith's camp expecting an attack at daylight.
|George B. McClellan, Harper's Weekly, January 25, 1862 (courtesy of Mr. Lincoln's White House)|