Yesterday Walt and I drove to Sharpsburg, Md., to see the Antietam Battlefields. It's funny how historical places become so much more interesting as you get older. I didn't know much about this battle, which took place on September 17, 1862, but Walt has read a lot about it and he filled me in. Antietam was the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War and ended the first Confederate invasion of Union territory. Of nearly 100,000 soldiers engaged in the battle, 3,650 men were killed and more than 18,000 were wounded or missing. Leading the Union Army was General George B. McClellan and leading the Confederate Army was General Robert E. Lee. Both survived the war, although McClellan was relieved of his command a month later in November 1862, for what Lincoln called "a bad case of the slows." Four days after the bloody battle, President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which marked a turning point in the Civil War.
Antietam is a beautiful area, very peaceful and calm and there were lots of people walking the roads around the battlefield. The battle lasted 12 hours and you can follow the course of the battle, either by car or on foot, from the beginning near the Dunker Church, through the surrounding farmland and cornfields.
There are lots of monuments, of course, honoring all the different regiments, both Union and Confederate.
Most of dead from the Union Army are buried in the Antietam Cemetery. Interestingly, the Confederate soldiers are buried separately, in nearby cemeteries.
It was fascinating to see markers like this one and to realize that these soldiers fought right around where we live (we live near Dranesville and Great Falls).
We also went to see The Artist on Saturday night, which we really liked. I was afraid I would be bored with a silent movie, but not at all. It's so refreshing to see such a creative and thoughtful movie, especially when it seems like there is so much junk at the movies. We have seen most of the movies that were up for Best Picture this year, and liked all of them, but I am glad The Artist won! And love Jean Dujardin, mais oui!