§ A Novel of Time Travel
I always get a kick out of exiting on Hwy 9 and then taking Hwy 480 into Shepherdstown. The terrain is so beautiful; it just shines in my eyes. I feel vibrant and alive for some reason.
Anyway, I went through town and took a drive down the main street in town, which is called German Street. I love to look at the old store fronts and see what businesses are still there or if any new businesses have taken their place.
Taking a left turn at the last commercial part of German Street, I meandered through the Shepherd College campus. This is a four year college whose mascot is a Ram.
Getting back on Hwy 480, which becomes Hwy 34 in Maryland, I crossed the Potomac River into Washington County, Maryland and in two miles, entered my “Sacred Ground” – Sharpsburg, MD.
I proceeded through town and turned onto Hwy 65 to go to the Antietam National Battlefield Park. During the drive, I looked off to the east to view all the terrain over which the fighting in the central part of the battlefield took place. I looked back to the west and saw the position of the 3rd Arkansas, which was on a small incline overlooking the road.
Turning to the right, I drove up to the Antietam National Battlefield Park Visitor’s Center. I parked, and as I went up to the front doors, I looked at the cannon situated in front of the center. My mentor, James Smith, had passed away due to a heart attack, while in front of the cannon just before he was to give a lecture on the battlefield. I gave a nod to James as I entered the center.
The Visitor’s Center has had a few changes to the history room, but overall, it is the same as when I first visited in 1994.
The park boundary itself has doubled in the acreage that has been bought by public funds or through private land donations to the National Park Service.