General Irvin McDowell and Staff Officers
Union general Irvin McDowell, shown at center looking away from the camera, poses with his staff officers in 1862 at Arlington House. McDowell was using the former residence of Robert E. Lee as his headquarters. A Wisconsin soldier described the condition of Arlington House the year the photograph was made: "The grand old southern homestead of Arlington, with its quaint and curious pictures on the wall, its spectacular apartments, broad halls and stately pillars in front, was an object of especial interest; but, abandoned by its owner, General Robert E. Lee, who was using his great power as a military leader, to destroy the Government he had sworn to defend, it was now a desolation. The military headquarters of McDowell's division was in the Arlington House, which was open to the public and hundreds tramped at will through its apartments."