Civil War Transcendence , part 5

§    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.

Visitor Center, Battle of Antietam

The Visitor Center at Antietam National Battlefield.

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.

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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