About Me

My Photo
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 teenagers who I love very much. I currently volunteer at the battlefield 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. These words often add a degree of color and character not found elsewhere in their stories. A feature of this blog is the presentation of some of these quotes. 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 that fortune could have gone either way. 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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A New York Soldier Goes Home 147 Years Later

I echo John Hoptak's sentiments that no one out there expresses the feeling and emotion better than Antietam Ranger Mannie Gentile did today in describing the ceremony at Antietam National Cemetery where the remains of a young New York soldier killed 147 years ago in the Cornfield were sent on their way home. See Mannie's post here, and his You Tube video below.
My son Jimmy, also a volunteer, and I had a small part to play as the Civil War Union soldier honor guard at the ceremony. Jimmy (in the photo taken just before the ceremony) is just 18. In that uniform, I could envision a young man much like my son. This week if you are of a mind, think of the sacrifice of the soldiers at Antietam, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day almost exactly 147 years ago, and those who soldiered on after that. And remember too, those who serve in our armed forces today. Freedom is not free.

3 comments:

  1. Jim, what a lovely addition to your website. It is wonderful that all those people honored that young soldier so many, many years later. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you! Iron Brigade Daughter

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. It was an honor to be a part of this historical occasion.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  3. NOTE: Warren & Pat LeGere sent me the following comment which somehow did not find its way to my post. I wanted to acknowledge and thank them for it myself. Here is their comment:

    We live in upstate NY, about 30 miles from the National Cemetery at Saratoga and are also frequent visitors at Antietam. We were privileged to attend the vigil at the NY Military Museum on the evening of September 16, 2009 and the very moving internment ceremony at the gravesite on the anniversary of the battle, September 17, 2009. As I write I am again moved at the response of the community for this young man who perished 147 years ago in the fields and woods of Antietam. There was standing room only, an escort by dozens of Patriot Guard riders. Lots filled with vehicles overflowing out to and on the streets leading into the National Cemetery and moving words spoken, including those from New York adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Joseph J Tauluto. We could but wonder what a 19 year old from 1862 might have thought had he been able to see it 147 years after his sacrifice.

    Warren & Pat LeGere
    Albany, NY 09/17/09

    ReplyDelete