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.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Four Years

January 17, 2009
I started writing South From the North Woods just over four years ago.  As blogs go, it is by no means a blockbuster but I am proud of the 46,233 visitors and 165 posts.  SFTNW spun off another blog Antietam Voices, and I have collected over 4,100 quotes.

Often the march forward of time is barely discernable as we plod forward each day.  But much has changed in the past four years.  My son has grown up and is now a Marine lance corporal stationed aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard.  My daughter is a college student, volunteer firefighter, and EMT trainee.  The 150th anniversary which was just a dim distant object in 2009 has come and gone. 

Perhaps nothing better illustrates change than this.  Today I flipped back to one of my earliest posts. I was struck by the differences that have occurred to the Joseph Poffenberger barn since I began posting.  Here is a picture taken four years ago for that post and one taken today for this post.

January 19, 2013

So to SFTNW a belated happy fourth birthday.


  1. Congrats Jim, and thanks for the blog. I've learned so much from it. Here's to another four years, and hopefully more.

    (an anonymous reader)

  2. Thanks Andrew,
    I am glad you have enjoyed it.