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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pry Ford on Antietam Creek

Last Monday, my colleagues fellow Antietam volunteer Jim Buchanan and intern Justin McIntyre went off the beaten path so to speak and hiked over to the area where the Pry Ford is located. The photos here are taken from the east side of Antietam Creek generally facing west. If you click on the slide show you will see in Google maps exactly where I shot the photos.

If you are around the park on weekends, there is a great chance you will meet up with Jim if you visit the Philadelphia Brigade monument in the West Woods at stop 5 on the battlefield tour. Jim is a student of the West Woods fighting. Last Monday he was looking for the area where the Union Second Corps crossed the Antietam early on September 17th, 1862. Sumner's lead division under John Sedgwick very likely crossed in the area that these photos were taken. Withing hours of crossing there, Sedgwick's division would meet its destiny in the West Woods. In desperate fighting, over half of the 5,000 men in this division would become casualties in under one hour. Come and see Jim and he will show you where this action occured.


  1. I'm enjoying your blog Jim. I especially like the way you display these photos (and with captions) as opposed to static portrayal of imagery. Best, Robert

  2. Thank you Robert

    I am fortunate to live so close to the battlefield and I get to take a lot of photos. You will see more of these down the road.


  3. Can you slow down the pictures Jim?

  4. First time visitor. I enjoyed looking thru you blog. It brough back fond memories of my only visit to Antietam maybe ten years ago. It a long way from Minnesota but I intend to go back there and Gettysburg. Thanks a lot

  5. Hope you get back soon. It is a beautiful place

  6. Here's a soldier who died in the West Woods at Antietam: Justus Wellington of the 15th Massachusetts. I own an ambrotype of Justus.

    John Banks