Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another Bloody Battlefield

August 10th we headed out early to Sharpsburg, MD. Also known as Antietam for those of you from the North for a battlefield known as the bloodiest one day battle in America's history. We had to start out early due to the long drive, but I think it was worth it. Sarah and I both agree that it was the best of the battlefields that we have gone to this week. The park rangers were knowledgeable and passionate about the history. Ranger Jim Bailey gave us an excellent overview of the battle. You could tell that he really loved his job and wasn't just reading from a script, which was what it seemed like at the other battlefields. The weather was also on our side today. It was sunny, but not miserable. When you look out on Antietam you just shake your head in wonderment. Why would anyone want to battle here?

The sunken road and Burnside's bridge are my favorite areas. I know it may seem strange that I say things like that, but it's true. This is a battlefield that is well preserved. Things are still pretty much as they once were. In fact Sharpsburg is actually smaller now then it was during the battle. That's just something that boggles my mind. Jim snapped this picture of Sarah and I while we were walking the sunken road. That's the other thing I like the road is still sunken and you can sort of see how things might have been at the time. Another thing that intrigues me is looking down on Burnside's bridge. Charging that hill must have been daunting. It looks like suicide to me.

Another stop that we made was Harper's Ferry. Which really isn't all that far from Antietam. That in itself needs a day, but we decided to try and see a few things before we had to head back for the day. There's a point where you can stand and see the Potomac and Shennadoah Rivers meet as well as view three states, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. It's quite lovely. Another strange skirmish that occured here, but was an interesting sight. While we were walking along the trail we came across a doe and her two fawns. They seemed unimpressed by our presence and slowly meandered off. One fawn was so intent on grazing that she was totaly unaware of us. I felt the need to speak to her and let her know we were coming. I was probably within a little more than arms reach when she decided to scurry off. I mentioned to the hubby I thought I could have reached out and pet her but refrained for fear of startling her too much and pissing off momma. He said it would have been funny if she'd have kicked me. Now there's a supportive hubby.

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