Twas a grand Sunday at Antietam!
I arrived at 9 AM. At the Sunken Road, I ran into Gerry Mayers and we had a
nice talk. I spent an hour walking all the fields in front of the Sunken
Road. These fields are plowed and easily walkable in Spring. I admit that I'm
still quite puzzled by the position of units in the Federal line. In speaking
with the Rangers, they said they were recently out measuring the lines
(based on men per regiment) and feel the Irish Brigade was NOT aligned as
noted in Bilby/O'Neill book. I stopped at a cannon that is placed about 150
yards in front of the Tower. Has this always been there?
Later I spotted Gerry with Kevin Rawlings in town. Then I came across Dr. Tom
Clemens giving a tour.
The 1pm Ranger-led Hike was led by Rangers Mike and Brian. Member David
Lutton also joined us. The topic was Jackson's and Lee's movements on Sept
17. They provided a map and each general's intinerary for that day. We left
VC and entered West Woods, We crossed Rt 65 and stopped at Mary Locher
homestead (aka Alfred Poffenberger ) . Next I made my first climb up Hauser
Ridge. With part of Carman map along, we were able to determine our positions
as we moved about. We found the line of 1st MINN at base of ridge and walked
along top of ridge where Reb guns were positioned. What an excellent
platform! The view is somewhat obscured by cedar trees and other post-battle
growth, but it's still quite impressive.
We headed south past Hasuer Farm to site of the Reel Barn. It appears base is
original by barn is newer (original burned when hit by artillery). This area
is currently owned by CWPT.
We continued futher south to ridgeline opposite Sunken Road. We could see Pry
House far in the distance. The area was selected by Lee as a possible final
stand area and features several nice knolls along the ridge. Good ground.
We crossed RT 65 and returned to VC at 3:55 PM. I returned home sunburned!
Several questions arose which I'll post later.