The dirt road I was walking on was rutted and crude. It was so different than the paved road that I drove on year after year from Sharpsburg to the Battlefield.
As I walked along, I passed the Dunker Church on my right, and at the bottom of the small hill south of the church, I looked to my right. In the moonlight I could barely make out the hill that the 3rd Arkansas and 27th North Carolina had occupied on September 17, 1862. It was from that position that they had charged across the road I was on and advance off to my left for about 300 yards. It had helped stymy the Union breakthrough of the Confederate line in the Sunken Road, later given the name Bloody Lane. And speaking of Bloody Lane, I passed the entrance to the lane on my left.
Up until now the road had been bordered on both sides with a post and rail fence. At the entrance to Bloody Lane, the left side of the road was bordered by a stone fence about two feet high, while the post and rail fence continued on my right.
I was enthralled by the countryside that was beginning to flatten out and be more illuminated by the moonlight.
I passed the Piper House Lane on the left, and it wasn’t the nice white gravel road that I was used to. It was just a dirt lane. I could just barely make out the house in the distance. My wife and I had spent many a night in this old house, which was a Bed & Breakfast in the 21st Century.
The whole area was not the manicured fields, fences and houses of later years, but a very primitive landscape, especially the road I was traveling.
I was also amazed by the fact that the line of houses that normally lined the right side of the road were gone and replaced by plowed fields, which I could see were sectioned into individual parcels. As I arrived at a curve in the road that went down a small hill into the town, I looked to my left. It was here that a convenience store normally stood, but now it was a cornfield.
Then it hit me. How was I going to explain my clothes?