Thanks for suggesting the Cornfield trail. Yesterday (Memorial Day
weekend) I walked the trail from Autostop 4. It was early Sunday
morning -- hazy but sunny; beautiful. As you predicted, I encountered
no one, although I did meet a fox, trotting along the northern
fenceline, that bounded off into the wheat when it saw me. It's only
when one walks the ground that one sees how deceptively contured
Miller's fields are. What looks like level ground from the road is
really a quirky patchwork of undulations. It would compartmentalize any
small-unit action here, the enemy appearing and disappearing from a
soldier's view as he moved forward.
The trail, after running east, turns north again towards Mansfield
Ave/Poffenberger lane. In this vicinity, at "the northwest angle" of
the woods and cornfield the artist Frank H. Schell [Battles & Leaders]
sketched Confederate wounded, including "a tall, young Georgian with a
shattered ankle" sitting next to his dead father. Would these have been
members of Colquitt's command?
--- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "dickeyr46" <dickeyr46@...> wrote:
> The suggestion of the area around the Locher cabin and the Hauser
> Ridge are excellent. Do not miss the NW portion of the West Woods
> where the 1st Minn was greeted with Pelham's artillery as they emeged
> from the woods. This NW corner tree line appears to be fairly true to
> the Carmen-Cope maps.
> Here's a suggestion for another easy to get to spot... it is the
> northeast corner of the Cornfield. If you get the NPS broucher "The
> Cornfield Trail," this location is marked as stop 4. It is easily
> reached by walking from Auto Tour Stop 4, north through the Cornfield
> using the trail, and then east along the northern Cornfield fence to
> where the Cornfield meets the East Woods. This spot trully is a
> location of "serenity and sacrifice." This spot is peaceful, with no
> vehicle traffic and little foot traffic. Yet, this corner of the
> Cornfield equaled or exceeded the violence of the western side where
> Gibbons fought. From the initial passing of Duryea's brigade at 6 am,
> to the attacks by Hay's Tigers, Hartsuff's men, and Law's Brigade, the
> stand by the Penn. Reserves, Ripley and Gordon facing each other, and
> finally Tyndale rolling up Colquitt's flank, this corner overlooked 3
> hours of back-and-forth sacrifice. This location is also neat in that
> most of the states had units in action in this vicinity. This corner
> was described as "...dead men literally piled upon and across each
> other" by one of Tyndale's regimental commanders. Of note is what you
> can't see from here... you can't see Miller's farm house, nor can you
> see the West Woods. This is a fantastic spot to appreciate how
> restrictive the terrain could be.
> Well, that's a suggestion as a way to appreciate the Cornfield from
> other than the "standard" read from Auto Stop 4.
> Ron Dickey
> --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" gerry1952@ wrote:
> > Gang,
> > In October (October 15th) I will be hosting a tour at Sharpsburg
> > (Antietam) battlefield for the Civil War Discussion Group Fall 2006
> > Muster. I realize some members of this board are also members of the
> > other board.... but this is not a cross posting.
> > I write with three main requests:
> > 1. In addition to the remaining portion of the West Woods between
> > Philadelphia Brigade park and the SR 64 bypass, what other off the
> > beaten path areas in the park are there in the area of the Morning
> > Phases of the battle that can be visited with needing special
> > permission to do so?