Ken Burns is the reason for me finding my Sacred Ground.  I had been watching Ken’s documentary “The Civil War” on PBS in 1990 and for some reason I got fixated on Antietam/Sharpsburg.  It just sort of jumped out at me due to what some of the historians that were interviewed said about the battle.

So I read two books in succession Murfin’s The Gleam of Bayonets and Sears’ Landscape Turned Red and thought I had a little bit of a grasp of what the battle was all about.

I talked Nancy into a trip to the eastern Civil War battlefields in May of 1994.  She had been attending night school to get a degree in accounting during the past two semesters plus working full time and it wasn’t hard to get her to go on a trip, any kind of trip, even if it was dealing with Civil War history.

Well, we got all the information about Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania battlefields and started to plan how to see as many historical sites as possible.

We finally ended up deciding to fly into Baltimore on a Saturday, May 21st, rent a car, go to Gettysburg for a day and a half, then travel 60 miles to Sharpsburg, MD and tour Antietam Battlefield for 3 days, travel to Fredericksburg and tour Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg Battlefields, and then dropping by Arlington National Cemetery on the way back to Baltimore to catch a plane back to Little Rock on the following Sunday.

It was an ambitious journey, but we were up for it.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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