The text of the sign:
Between June 12 and June 28, 1862, Union Gen. George B. McClellan
maintained his headquarters here at the 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.
"At the Trent farm near by, were extensive bowers, woven of cedar
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.
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 the 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
commanders at a roaring campfire, he announced his plans to
abandon the lines in front of Richmond and retreat southward toward a
new base on the James River. The meeting, which disheartened the corps
commanders, lasted until almost 2 a.m. The headquarters facility moved
to Savage's Station that morning and shortly after to the James River.