Yesterday was another great day hiking the fields at Antietam.
On Wednesday night, a nasty storm of sleet/ice/snow hit northeast PA (portions of two interstates were closed). Nevertheless, my nephew and I left at 5 AM Thursday. Luckily the bad weather did not reached south of I-78. so roads were perfect for remainder of trip. I picked up two friends at Gettysburg and took quick drive over Devil's Den to view the results of the massive tree cuttings.
We arrived at Sunken Road and met Stephen Recker. In a cold, light mist we stood on Kimball's Knoll (in front of 6th ALA position) and discussed French's attack. Next we began a review of Irish Brigade's attack by walking out Roulette Lane to the cornfield where they deployed. Using Carman maps and Bilby/O'Neill maps, we traced their approach from the corn, across pasture, and thru the two fences. We hiked up the long slope in path of Meagher's right flank. Terrain was open (no crops) and views were grand as we got to top of the rise.
Headed to VC and made quick visit to 90th PA Monument. Stopped to show the Rock Ledge west of Cornfield, then headed to NPS Library building for short tour and chat with Stephanie Gray and Ted Alexander.
Next we began West Woods hike at Dunker Church. Headed up to 125th PA and covered their action. We walked 100 yds west and followed remnant of old hiking trail up thru the swell that leads to Phila Brigade Park. We visited Locher Farm and headed up Hauser Ridge (spooked a huge herd of deer on the way). Again no crops or foliage impeded us and a superb view was offered from the ridge.
Had a quick lunch at Burnside Overlook, then covered action at the bridge. Next, we headed west to far limits of the 40-Acre Cornfield. Met Rangers Brian Baracz and Keith near that field and had nice chat. Misting had stopped early in morning and remainder of day had been damp and cloudy. Not bad since we were constantly walking.
We departed Antietam at 4:30 PM. More details about the trip soon!
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