Tuesday the 24th of May we woke with aching backs and groggy noggins. The first order of business was getting some coffee made.

We both hit the kitchen with a vengeance and got the coffee going. Outside we heard the lowing of cattle and looking out the window we saw a herd of cattle in the pasture next to the house moving toward a large barn to get some feed that had been put in troughs for them. It was a scene right out of Americana.

Bloody Lane reenactmentOnce we had eaten and gotten ready, we toured the middle part of the battle field and walked Bloody Lane. Here three brigades of Confederates held off two Union divisions until sheer weight of numbers overwhelmed the Confederate defenders. Some eyewitnesses after the battle claimed you could walk from one end of Bloody Lane to the other without stepping on the ground because the wounded and death were so thickly stacked in the lane.

There is tall stone tower that was built at the end of the lane in the 1890’s so all the old veterans could view the battlefield without having to walk long distances.

Roulette family farm antietamThere was still a working farm next to Bloody Lane. During the Civil War it was owned by the Roulette Family.  Tourist weren’t allowed access to the farm.  It is a shame because this is where a lot of the fighting took place during the middle morning hours of the battle.

There was a Confederate Regiment, the 6th Alabama, in Bloody Lane commanded by Colonel John B. Gordon that was shot 5 times during the fighting here. The last wound he received hit him just below the left cheek bone and exited out his neck. Luckily, it didn’t hit any vital organs.  He was nursed back to health by this wife and rose to the rank of Major General and was one of General Lee’s most trusted Generals by the end of the Civil War.

During the afternoon we visited the Bookstore at the visitor’s center and I believe we bought everything that wasn’t nailed down. I did purchase one book that is my Bible to this day, John Michael Priest’s book, Antietam: The Soldier’s Battle.


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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