Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Maryland, My Maryland (Antietam Reenactment) 2012

At about six thirty this morning, a group of men in the Pennsylvania Reserves, with blue jackets and deer tails in their hats, formed a thin skirmish line before a field of corn. The dawn air had an oppressive humidity like a wool blanket, and the wet ground muffled their footsteps. Silently, they crept into an impenetrable fog to meet their destiny.  The stillness of the morning was shattered by the crack of rifles, thunder of artillery and the screams of the wounded and dying.  Just as their role in the battle of Antietam began for the First Pennsylvania Bucktails, 150 years ago on September 17, 1862. Many vanished into the white mist, never to return. A quiet, peaceful morning began the single bloodiest day in American history.

"...Smoke from the artillery and musketry inundated the field. Soldiers in the thick of the fight were covered with the black, greasy stain of burnt powder, which gave a deadly, ghostlike appearance to the participants. The pungent smell of trampled vegetation, sweat, powder and bodies imposed a surrealistic perception that survivors carried with them the rest of their lives." --Carnage in a Cornfield. Robert C. Cheeks, America's Civil War magazine, September 1998

In tribute to those men who didn't come home, we got a taste of that today.