Dead on the Field

When asked where his division was following the attack on The Cornfield, Confederate general John Bell Hood responded, “Dead on the field.”

Antietam has, of course, surpassed Gettysburg as my all time favorite battlefield. Today’s event was surprisingly not as out of control as I thought it would be, probably because most people were down the road at The Big Event.

The Toddler decided today he wanted nothing to do with the artillery. So unfortunately I got limited pictures. I did snap a pic of the Irish Brigade walking up from Bloody Lane:

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After action report:

We had four guns today in our battery. Rumor has it there are upwards of 65 guns at The Big Event. Anyway, across from us, waaaaaay on another ridge, there was a counter battery of Yankees. So, after we fired, about five minutes later the Yankees fired back.

Fire by piece.
Fire by section.
Fire by battery.

And wait.

The cannonade at the actual battle cut down entire ranks of men standing in The Cornfield. They were “mowed down in heaps” and “legs, arms, and other parts of human bodies were flying through the air like straw in a whirlwind.”

A Yankee said, “I thought I had seen men piled up and cut up all kinds of shape, but never anything in comparison to that field.”

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Truth be told, it was a hard event to maneuver with The Toddler. There were tons of lectures and speakers that would have been cool to see. In other news, we may or may not have needed to pay to get in to the event and wandered in as if it was free. Look, I can’t imagine it cost to get in. The park is free. It’s an enormous field, people were everywhere. There was no designated entrance and/or exit.

Still…I’m still not entirely sure. Some people had wrist bands, some people didn’t. Where did these wrist bands come from? I didn’t see a place to buy them. No one stopped us as we strolled in and out all day. I mean, I picked up an event pamphlet and the National Park Service didn’t stop us. So…I’m thinking no. Free event.

In the end, having The Toddler there really changed very little. Even if he’d stayed home and I dressed out, the only real difference is that I wouldn’t have sunburn on the backs of my ankles (yeah, I know, random sunburn-age). We still wouldn’t have gone up to The Big Event. I still wouldn’t have bought a new dress (bummer).

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A good day was had by all.

Quotes are taken from http://jarosebrock.wordpress.com/maryland-campaign/antietam/the-cornfield/ accessed 15 Sep 2012

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