“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sandston in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Trent House

McClellan’s Headquarters


—1862 Peninsula Campaign —

The Trent House - McClellan’s Headquarters marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
1. The Trent House - McClellan’s Headquarters marker
Inscription. Between June 12 and June 28, 1862, Union Gen. George B. McClellan maintained his headquarters here at Trent House. Known as “Reynoldsville,” the house dates from about 1825. During the Civil War, it was the home of Dr. Peterfield Trent who served in the Confederate army as a surgeon in a local defense regiment.

In 1862, the main road ran on the other side of the house to the west. McClellan pitched his headquarters tents under some walnut trees about 100 yards east of the house. Here, accompanied by his extensive staff, the general planned the final phases of his campaign to conquer Richmond. The house and surrounding fields became the nerve center of the Army of the Potomac. Telegraph wires ran in all directions. A signal station stood nearby and intelligence-gathering aeronaut Thaddeus S.C. Lowe periodically raised one of his observation balloons from this commanding ridge.

The army commander monitored the Battle of Gaines’ Mill from here on June 27, 1862. Knowing that his plans for capturing Richmond no longer were feasible, McClellan called a council of war that night. Joined by his corps commanders at a roaring campfire, he announced his plans to abandon the lines in front of Richmond and retreat southward towards a new base on the James River. The meeting, which disheartened the corps commanders,
McClellan’s Headquarters image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
2. McClellan’s Headquarters
This marker is part of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign of the Virginia Civil War Trails.
lasted until almost 2 a.m. The headquarters facility moved to Savage’s Station that morning, and shortly after to the James River.

“At the Trent farm near by, were extensive bowers, ingeniously woven of cedar boughs, which had surrounded the headquarters where McClellan had recently resided, in a village of canvas, provided with every appliance of luxury. Here also was his telegraph office…”
— Rev. R. L. Dabney, Chief of Staff to Stonewall Jackson.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 32.626′ N, 77° 16.601′ W. Marker is near Sandston, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker is on Grapevine Road 0.3 miles south of Old Hanover Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sandston VA 23150, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Trent House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Grapevine Bridge (approx. half a mile away); Seven Days Battles (approx. half a mile away); Chickahominy Water Trail (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Seven Days Battles (approx. 1.1 miles away); Savage Station (approx. 1.1 miles away); Battle of Savage’s Station (approx. 1.1 miles away); Seven Days Battles - Savage’s Station (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sandston.
More about this marker. On the upper right is "This sketch by Union officer Robert K. Sneden probably shows the house 20 years after the war, with an 1862 scene painted into it. You are looking east. The Trent House sits on a prominent ridge, making this an ideal location for balloon observations." - Copyright Virginia Historical Society, 1999
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 20, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,832 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on December 7, 2008, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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