Well, we got to Antietam around 9:30am and it was already almost 80 degrees out. This is not something that brings joy to the hearts of individuals about to dress in wool.
The baby and I were also not excited. Well, the baby was not excited because I slathered him in sunscreen and forced him to wear a goofy hat. I decided that, out of the baby’s best interest, I would not dress out. Let’s be honest: it’s hard enough to wrangle a six month old without having to simultaneously wrangle a hoop skirt.
So we went back to the hotel while The Hubs set off artillery. It was probably better that way, since people were going down from the heat and ambulances called before 11:30am.
But I still managed to get sunburn on my back, complete with hilarious lines where the baby held on to my shoulder.
One thing I did NOT miss about not dressing out was the inevitable question: “Are you hot in that?”
Let’s see. I’m dressed in cotton stockings, leather shoes, calf length split leg drawers, a chemise, a corset, a hoop skirt and a dress. Meanwhile, you’re dressed in a tank top and shorts and are sweating buckets.
Yes. Yes I am.
I was stoked to watch the event this time. The baby and I just hung out and played tourist for awhile. Antietam is a stark contrast to Gettysburg. Whereas Gettysburg has tons of commercialism and thousands of monuments, Antietam has farm land and a few monuments. There’s a feeling of old timeyness that I dig.
I did have some trouble imagining what the field looked like during the battle. The cornfield, where soldiers died still laying in the lines they had marched in, is open ground. The woods are open fields. But the Sunken Road, also known as Bloody Lane is there! I spent lots of time loitering in the Sunken Road, snapping pics:
Accounts and historical photographs tell us the bodies were stacked up in the Sunken Road.
I don’t know if it was the heat this weekend, but Antietam was pretty deserted. Which was nice, while I posed for my ubiquitous self portraits:
I did have a brief moment of creep-ed out, when walking behind Dunker Church. It kept sounding like someone was tramping along next to me, but inside the wood line. I’d stop and look. Nothing. Keep walking. Same thing. I don’t know, just weird. I can easily convince myself of anything, but i can deny the weird factor. Not as weird as the ghost I may have seen at Gettysburg, but that’s a another blog post completely.
So, look, here’s the plan: Antietam’s sesquicentennial is in September. I’m in. The Hubs and I anticipate leaving the kiddos at home and running amok reenacting the 150th of the entire campaign: Siege and Capture of Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, Antietam. Epic.
Makes me tired just thinking about it.
But hey, I got a ton of outlining down on my Civil War WiP. So hurray for that! Seriously, when it comes to the Civil War, the best way for me to add authenticity to my writing is to wriggle in the history.
I don’t consider Antietam wriggled yet, but come September, the party begins.