Friday, July 15, 2011

Antietam Battlefield

We saw a few battlefields on the trip. This one is Antietam which is in Maryland. 

Side note: I love Maryland and the east coast. It is near the ocean, it is beautiful, and there are fireflies. Even this battle field is gorgeous. However, it wasn't always. 

The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in the Civil War. There were 23,000 casualties. It is still the bloodiest day for Americans. 

This battle was almost a fluke. Lee's battle plans were found lying on the ground and found by a union soldier who passed it up to his supervisor and eventually it got to General McClellan. Who actually moved forward to fight! (There might be a post on him later. Not exactly the greatest guy in history.)

If I remember correctly, both the Confederate and Union lost five generals. The battle could not be declared a win on either side. 

So while this battlefield is gorgeous today, you have to try to imagine it covered with soldiers. Some still fighting and some wounded and dead on the ground. It was in September so the corn was high.

During the civil war, photography was a new technology. After the war, photographers took pictures of the battlefield. There were still soldiers on the battlefield who had died. Thankfully today that practice didn't stick around.

If you are at all interested in knowing more, check out wikipedia. There is much more on this battle then I remember.