Preview – Schmidt & Barkley, “September Mourn”

29 09 2018

1498780487

September Mourn: The Dunker Church at Antietam Battlefield, by Alann Schmidt and Terry Barkley, is a book that I have been anxiously anticipating due to a familial connection. My great-grandmother Smeltzer’s brother, Pvt. James Gates of the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves, was mortally wounded on September 17th, 1862, as he and his regiment moved south towards the Dunker Church outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. Prior to the war, however, he came down from his home in Bedford County, PA, to Sharpsburg and hired himself out to local farmers to assist with the harvest. One of those farmers who hired him was David Long, an Elder of the Dunker (German Baptist Brethren) Church. In fact, if a comrade’s recollections can be trusted, James had struck up a romance with one of the Long daughters, making the circumstances of his wounding and death all the more tragic.

While my great-great-uncle (or great-granduncle, depending on who you ask) and his story did not make it into this book, there is plenty on Elder Long, and plenty else to make this chronicle of one of the war’s most iconic structures worth your time. This history of the Church and its influence in the Sharpsburg community from its founding in 1853, through the battle and afterward, to its destruction and eventual restoration is thoroughly researched and engagingly told.

Schmidt is a former Antietam National Battlefield ranger and a pastor. Barkley is a former archivist and museum curator, and was the director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices.





Bull Runnings Artillery Tour Update

29 09 2018

 

mekhqtn

Be prepared and avoid looking like Larry’s daughter on October 20

Craig and I are working out the mechanics of the tour, and this one looks pretty simple.

Just a reminder on logistics. This is a free tour – you get what you pay for!

  • We’ll meet at the Manassas National Battlefield Park visitor’s center at 9:00 AM.
  • Remember, it’s rain or shine. Dress appropriately. Boots are recommended. Even though it’s late October, tick spray is recommended and shorts are discouraged.
  • Umbrellas are discouraged (can’t hear over the pitter patter), however guides may use them – they have to keep their powder (papers) dry.
  • This is a caravan tour. CAR POOLING IS NOT OPTIONAL – there is very limited parking at our stops. Yes, this means you, Mr./Ms. “I can’t ride in someone else’s car and they can’t ride in mine.”
  • We’ll have one crossing of Sudley Road – not sure yet where or how we’ll do that. I’ll have more on that later.
  • Walking will be moderate, over rolling terrain. But we’ll be standing still for periods, so if you want to bring one of those little portable stools, feel free.
  • Lunch is ON YOUR OWN, and brown bags are recommended (driving to and from a food joint, and getting served, takes time and we’ll move on schedule).
  • Keep an eye out for digital handouts. We won’t be providing paper handouts. Printing or downloading them to your device is your responsibility.
  • Don’t forget the reading list!
  • UPDATE YOUR STATUS ON FACEBOOK. Failure to do so may result in sending you to THE UPSIDE DOWN!!!

Everybody got that?