About Me

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I am a lifelong student of military history with particular interest in the Battle of Antietam. I work for the federal government in Washington DC and have two young adult children who I love very much. I currently volunteer at Antietam and devote much time to the study of this battle and the Maryland Campaign. I enjoy collecting notable contemporary quotations by and about the men of Antietam. Since 2013 I have been conducting in depth research on the regular artillery companies of the Union Army and their leaders. I hope to turn this into a book on this subject in the future. My perspective comes from a 28-year career in the U.S. Army. Travels took me to World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific where American valor ended the tyranny of Nazism and Empire. But our country faced its own greatest challenge 80 years earlier during the Civil War. And it was the critical late summer of 1862, when Robert E. Lee launched the Maryland Campaign. It is an incredible story of drama, carnage, bravery, and missed opportunities that culminated around the fields and woodlots of peaceful Sharpsburg MD. So join me as I make this journey South from the North Woods.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Northern Battlefield Hike

Antietam Ranger Mike Gamble led another great hike last Sunday taking about 25 stalwart walkers around the northern part of the battlefield. Mike's hike was essentially a reprise of the spring hikes to date. We covered the Mumma Farm, East Woods, the pasture south of the North Woods, Miller Farm, the Cornfield, West Woods, and Dunker Church. Unlike our last foray into this area a couple weeks ago when we ran into a hail storm, this time the weather was perfect. In my series of photos on this hike, I invite your attention to the terrain. There are a number of views of such buildings as the Joseph Poffenberger barn, and the Miller farmhouse, taken at different angles and perspectives. The contrasts are often startling. The photos here in this article is a great example of this. It is from the edge of the East Woods and pasture looking northwest toward the Joseph Poffenberger Farm. Note that only the top of the barn roof is visible. From the middle of what was known then as the pasture, the view of the barn is much different. Here, most of the structure is visible. There are other examples of this difference in the terrain in the slideshow.

This Sunday, we shift to the center of the battlefield. While the hike is titled the Sunken Road, Ranger Brian Baracz who has taken us on some very interesting walks this year, will probably include the area around the Piper Farm, another under-explored part of the field, as part of the Sunken Road hike. Join us again on Sunday.

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