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Re-enacting the bloody battle of Antietam

Iowa - opinion. Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



It is early the morning of Sept. 17. 1862. A light frost gilds the grass on the bank of meandering Antietam creek.

Ten of the best brigades in the Confederate army are stationed in woods east and west of a tall cornfield. It is the beginning of Lee's bold move to invade Maryland and frighten Lincoln into bidding for peace.

There go Joe Hooker's boys in blue, moving down against "Stonewall" Jackson a mile north of the red brick Dunkard chapel. A withering rain of bullets pours forth from the wood.
The Blue line gains the southern edge of the cornfield. Then follows one of the most frightful carnages of the Civil war. Jackson's famous "Stonewall" division is nearly annihilated. A third of Ricketts' division is cut down.

Mansfield is mortally wounded. Lee stands on the hill by the cemetery in front of the town watching McClellan's columns pouring over South mountain. "Bloody lane" is piled level with bodies of the boys in gray who built a fortress of fence rails and refused to relinquish it.

The Union losses were 12,410; 2,108 killed, 9,549 wounded, and 753 missing. Confederate losses were never known with exactness, but 2,700 of their dead were counted and buried by the Union forces.

A minor replica of that fierce and desperate battle was staged at Antietam recently. It serves as a reminder of dark days when the Union was at stake, when this nation was split asunder by a wound that many felt would never heal.

But the wound has healed. And as we recall Antietam and as we view the fighting in Spain, we have reason to breathe a silent prayer of gratitude that civil war has never again wracked this nation.


Waterloo Iowa Daily Courier

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Used with permission of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier


Collection Location:
Western Maryland Room, Washington County Free Library.

Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862: Centennial celebrations, etc

Washington County (Md.), 1937.

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

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