Nancy and I went to lunch at the same convenience store/sandwich shop. After we got stuffed on huge turkey sandwiches, chips and Diet Dr. Peppers, I bought some of the small Confederate Flags.



Leaving the store we drove back to the Visitors Center and we walked down the hill south of the Center to a Historical Marker. It described Walkers Division. One of the Brigades in this Division was commanded by a lawyer from Hamburg, AR, Colonel Van Manning. His real name was Hartrog Vannoy Manning.  The 3rd Arkansas was a part of this brigade and was the only Arkansas Regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia from just before the Maryland Campaign until the end of the Civil War. I stuck one of the Confederate Flags in the ground by the historical marker and saluted.  small confederate flag


We started a long walk north toward the Dunker Church, which was a landmark that the Union Forces wanted to capture.  I read the historical markers as quickly as I could so we could continue our trek. Just north of the church there were more markers that described the charge by 3 regiments of Van Manning’s Brigade across the Hagerstown Pike toward a Union held position.


I thought of how much noise there must have been during this portion of the battle. The Union Cannon from the East Woods firing. The Confederate Cannon from their positions to the south firing. Add to this the incessant musketry and there must have been such an assault of the senses that the only thing a soldier knew to do was the ingrained procedure of loading and firing his musket. The officers had to get close to the ear of any subordinate and yell to have any of their orders heard.  Thus, where the officers sent the Colors (the regimental flag) and the Color Guard (the flag protectors), the soldiers followed.


The three regiments mentioned above charged across the road and were shot to pieces. Colonel Van Manning was wounded and the three regiments retreated back into the West Woods, the Confederate Stronghold.


Even though we had been over this part of the battlefield the previous day, Nancy and I continued walking north.

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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