Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Antietam: Silent Guns

Antietam National Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland 

Scattered guns kept the silence as I walked the battlefield on a sunny October afternoon, and I tried to imagine the noise and chaos of that September day in 1862 as the battle raged over the rolling Maryland farmland.

"'The roar of the infantry was beyond anything conceivable to the uninitiated,' General Williams told his family. 'If all the stone and brick houses of Broadway should tumble at once the roar and rattle could hardly be greater, and amidst this, hundreds of pieces of artillery, right and left, were thundering as a sort of bass to to the infernal music.' The cannon could be heard as far away as Hagerstown, sounding like the muttered rumble of a summer storm on the horizon."*

*from Landscape Turned Red, by Stephen W. Sears (Houghton Mifflin, 1983)


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