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History of Antietam National Cemetery (Dedication Poem)

Union soldiers, Battle of Antietam. Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


After the singing of the hymn, the poem written by Clarence F. Buhler, of New York, who was absent by reason of illness, was read by G. L. Cranmer, Esq., the Trustee of the State of West Virginia, as follows :


Upon a bright September morn,
Five years ago to-day,
The pleasant hills of Maryland
Green and untrodden lay ;
While autumn leaves were strewn around
In purple and in gold,
Like that Assyrian host o'er which
The plague at midnight rolled.

The pheasant beat his long tattoo
Where soon the drum would play,
And merrily Antietam creek
Went singing on its way ;
But many a tattered banner thrilled
Upon the armory wall,
As if it felt the coming
Of a tempest soon to fall.

The tramp of Lee's batalions
Struck faintly on the ear,
As thunder in the distance tells
A storm is drawing near ;
While stretched along yon bristling height
The Rebel files of gray,
Like leaden clouds that soon would burst
In ruin and dismay.

But round the flag of freedom
Her stalwart yeomen stood,
Resolved its stars should never set
Till they went down in blood.
No flower of speech lost on the blast
Had answered her appeal,
But marches like a gathering storm,
Or avalanche of steel.

With every hamlet adding
To the thunder of their tread,
As if the Revolution's graves
Were giving up their dead ;
And students fighting in their dreams
The Punic wars again,
Woke in a holier cause to bleed
On red Antietam’s plain.


Page #:

Maryland. Board of Trustees of the Antietam National Cemetery.


Collection Location:
Washington County Free Library.

Original Size:
23 x 14 cms

J.W. Woods, printer, Baltimore

Antietam National Cemetery; United States History, Civil War, 1861-1865, Registers of dead.

Washington County, Md; 1862-1869.

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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