Antietam Anniversary

15 09 2008

I’m back from Sharpsburg, where the Sharpsburg Historical Society put on their annual Heritage Days festival.  I drove down Friday evening with my friend Mike, and met up with SHAF president Tom Clemens to set up our booth behind the German Reformed Church (UCC) early Saturday morning.  We manned the booth until it was time for us to head up the street to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for our talks at 2:00 and 3:00 PM respectively.  Prior to that, fellow bloggers Mannie and Brian showed up at the booth, Mannie only briefly to snap a few photos before heading back to the battlefield for his rangerin’ duties.  (By the way, I will never, ever submit my readers to photos of my ugly mug, so you’re safe here.)  While about 20 folks were in attendance at beautiful St. Paul’s for Tom’s talk on Shepherdstown, only 8 stuck around for my program.  And three of them were friends of mine!  But I hope everyone enjoyed the presentation, and a fairly lively Q&A ensued regardless.  I also realized that this fourth presentation of a version of my Threads program took place in the fourth different state, the others being PA, NC, & OH.  Tom, Mike, Brian, and I capped the day off with a nice dinner at Captain Bender’s in town, then I took Mike on a ride around the area, visiting the National Cemetery, the Pry farm, the Upper Bridge, Shepherdstown’s Cement Mill ruins, Ferry Hill Place, and Lee’s HQ before returning to our motel in Martinsburg.

Due to a SHAF board manpower shortage, I again returned to the Festival early Sunday morning to set up the booth while Mike went back to the park for a tour.  Good friend Chris Army came down and visited for awhile after attending the early morning Ranger Walk, helping to take my mind off the mid 90’s (heat and humidity) conditions.  A couple board members showed up around lunchtime, and Tom provided me with a super letter by and photo of a 14th Brooklyn soldier who returned to the battlefield in March 1862 – I’ll be posting it later.  Mike and I then went up to the VC at the park and took a quick walk along the Union Attack Trail on the east side of Burnside’s Bridge – then it was back on the road for home.  I got here around 7:30.  High winds kicked in: the power went out in the 2nd quarter of the Steelers-Browns game, and I awoke this morning to a Black & Gold victory and some vinyl siding missing from the house.  Take the good with the bad.

Anyway, gotta get caught up, including writing my reviews-in-brief for America’s Civil War.  Back to posting after that.