Friday, October 21, 2016

Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland

We arrived in Kearneysville, WV, on Oct 14th with the temperature in the low 80s!  Never thought we would be back in shorts this soon:)  A bit too warm.  The next day, Oct 15th, we drove out to Sharpsburg, Maryland, to visit the Antietam National Battlefield where the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place.

 There are many Civil War Battlefields of course, and most Americans could probably tell you Gettysburg, PA, is one of them.  But if you do not know much about the Civil War you may not know that Antietam was the most horrific.  Over 100,000 Confederate and Union soldiers (Americans) fought each other on September 17th, 1862 with casualties of some 23,000!!

That awful day ended with General Robert E. Lee withdrawing his troops and a decisive turn took place in the Civil War.  It was after Antietam that President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

as with most battlefields now, just a few cannon keep watch over peaceful countryside

From an observation tower, a picture of Bloody Lane where bodies lay one on top of the other at the end of that fateful day.
view of Bloody Lane from an observation tower

the marker of an Irish brigade

4 types of cannon were used during the battle

the scoring in this cannon barrel helps the shot fly further with better precision

 "Union and Confederate" guides walk side by side to go gather their tour groups

Maryland Memorial

Burnside Bridge, a strategic bridge in the battle

the nearby town of Sharpsburg holds the Antietam National Cemetery

Most civilian farm houses in the area at that time were pressed into service as field hospitals such as the Pry House:

Contrary to popular belief, chloroform was in use at the time and amputations were not done without it.

Many of the drugs used at that time, however, led to deaths later as you can see by reading these descriptions:

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