Sunday, July 20, 2014


While the weather people argue whether the burst of cool (for July, at any rate) temperatures should be characterized as a polar vortex, the rest of us were just enjoying the temporary break from heat and humidity. Saturday seemed as good a time as any to pay a visit to the Antietam battlefield, in central Maryland.

The Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg - the Union and Confederate sides couldn’t even agree on the name of the darn thing, a la Manassas/Bull Run), held on September 17, 1862, was the first major battle of the Civil War on Union soil, is known for being the single deadliest one-day battle in the war, with over 22,700 dead, wounded, or missing. Although the outcome of the battle was inconclusive - despite far superior number, the Union forces couldn’t destroy the Confederate forces, though the Confederates ended up withdrawing from the battlefield - President Lincoln, in the aftermath of the battle and the retreat of General Lee’s forces back to Virginia, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the conflict states.

I’m not a big military history buff, and all the tactical business of moving armies around farmland bores me. However, it was a nice day for a walk, even in such a somber place.

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Maryland memorial

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Dunker Church

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Burnside’s Bridge

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Group floating down Antietam Creek

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