“Burnside’s Bridge” across Antietam Creek. A bucolic scene of a graceful old bridge, built in the 1830’s by the local German-American farmers. On September 17, 1862, hundreds of soldiers were shot down trying to cross it. I kayaked under the bridge, and you can still see countless pockmarks from bullets.



The bridge in 1862. Hand-colored photograph from Library of Congress



The “Dunker” Church at Antietam. The German Baptist Brethren were a pacifist sect. Their simple church was pockmarked with hundreds of bullets during the battle, and served as a field hospital, filled with the wounded and dying. After the battle, it was used to embalm bodies – –  just one of the many wonderful areas of technological advances during 1861-1865.






Repeating rifles using metal cartridges were available during the war, but the majority of soldiers were still using muzzle-loaders. So to be a soldier, all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth, to bite off the top of the paper cartridge holding the gunpowder and bullet.



Old house overlooking the Antietam battlefield.  If I remember right, it looks out toward Bloody Lane.






“Little Round Top” is a rocky hill at Gettysburg. General Gouverneur Warren climbed it and instantly realized that if the approaching Confederate forces occupied it, the battle was lost. Yankees won the race up the hill, and held it.








Civil War, Decoration Day, History, Memorial Day, photography, Uncategorized

Memorial Day 2017. Pictures of Gettysburg & Antietam


4 thoughts on “Memorial Day 2017. Pictures of Gettysburg & Antietam

  1. Jan Theobald says:

    I look forward to seeing your pictures every day. I love history and these make me stop and think. Thank you.

  2. Great photos. I’d love to kayak under that bridge myself. It did occur to me only this morning: “civil war” may be one of the most underrated oxymorons in the world.

    • Antietam is in some absolutely beautiful countryside. Yes, it’s a whopper of an oxymoron. It’s such nice farm country, with some quiet pacifist sect settled there, and then to have all that bloodshed. I read a book a couple of years ago, all contemporary accounts of the battle, from letters and diaries, and some of the horrors they mentioned are hard to get out of your head when I look at the pictures I took.

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