Thursday, November 12, 2015

Antietam: A lonely place to die

Antietam National Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland 

"Near Sharpsburg. Sept 17th 1862. On the field, Dear Mother. It is a misty moisty morning. We are engaging the enemy and are drawn up in support of Hooker who is banging away most briskly. I write in the saddle to send you my love and to say that I am very well so far. — Dearest mother, I am wounded so as to be helpless. Good bye if so it must be I think I die in victory . . . Our troops have left the part of the field where I lay — Mother, yrs Wilder All is well with those that have faith"
Letter from Wilder Dwight to Elizabeth A. Dwight, 17 September 1862 - Massachusetts Historical Society

 Killed at the Battle of Antietam - Alexander Gardner (Library of Congress)

"Battle oh horrid battle. What sights I have seen now see around me. I am Wounded! And am afraid shall be again as shells fly past me every few seconds carrying away limbs from trees and scattering limbs about. Am in severe pain. Furies how the shells fly. I do sincerely hope shall not be wounded again. We drove them first till they got sheltered then we had a bad place. Oh I cannot write."
 Sqt Jonathan Stowe, 15th Massachusetts Invantry, 2nd Corps - Diary entry, September 17, 1862, CWTI Collection, USAMHI

Antietam National Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland 

 "The corn and trees, so fresh and green in the morning, were reddened with blood and torn by bullet and shell, and the very earth was furrowed by the incessant impact of lead and iron."
Francis Palfrey, 20th Massachusetts - A Diary of Battle - De Capo Press, 1998

1 comment :

  1. These are very powerful photos when placed in context with the letters. It is indeed sacred grounds.


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