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Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland 4-4-02

Howdy Everyone!
On Wednesday I had the day off, so Kym drove me out to Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, MD for me to spend the day at. This is where the bloodiest day of the Civil War happened. On Sept 17, 1862, more than 23,000 Americans had fallen. This is the first time that the Confederate Army invaded the North. Because it wasn't successful, they retreated 2 days later. Lincoln considered it a victory, and thereby issued the Emancipation Proclamation thereby
freeing all slaves in the south. I was looking forward to spending the day there, and, thinking it was all nearby, was disheartened to learn that you take a 9 mile, self-guided tour to see it all. I was so discouraged! WALK 9 MILES just to see a Civil War site? I didn't want to walk -- I mean
c'mon -- it was my day off! But y'know what? I figured I'll probably never be back here again, today is my day off, and I have this grand opportunity to see it all, so I decided to go ahead and walk the 9 mile tour. The map marked around 10 points of interest for you to stop at, and many vehicles were driving that route and stopping at those points. But I had the definite advantage, because every 10 yds or so there was a statue, historical marker, sign, cannon, or view that all those people driving by were missing, but I stopped and read EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! I was really enjoying the walk after I got started! I met several people bicycling the route, and visited with them. I was near the end of the walk, when it started raining. I was only wearing shorts & a tshirt, and the wind picked up and I was getting wet. A man driving by stopped and asked "aren't you cold?" and I said yes. He said jump in, so I did. He looked to be around 60, and was from Colorado. His son lives in DC and was at work, so he was just dinging around till his son got off work. I still hadn't seen Burnside Bridge, or the Antietam National Cemetery, so this fellow said he'd drive me to it. I enjoyed visiting with him, and he was fascinated with my walk. He took me to see the bridge, which is where General Burnside (Union) was trying to send his 10,000 men across, and 300 Confederate men held them up there for 2 hrs, shooting at them from the cliffs on the other side. When he took me there, I jumped out of his pickup with his black leather jacket on while he waited for me. As I was walking to the bridge to take a couple
pictures, I thought: DUMB BLONDE MOMENT. Here is a man from Colorado who I don't even know his name, with my backpack in his pickup with all my money, ID, credit card, and stuff, and here I just jumped out with his jacket but he has all my stuff. Smooth move, Brown. When I was done taking pictures, he was still there, patiently waiting for me. He then took me to see the Cemetery, where I learned that of the 4,776 Civil War burials there, 1,836 are listed as unidentified. The total number of burials, including nearly 300 from recent wars, is more than
5,000. There are no Confederates buried here. By that time it started to rain pretty hard, so we
headed out for lunch and ended up at the Cracker Barrel. I called Kym and told her where to pick me up, and at 2:30 she was there. I had a great day seeing all the Civil War artifacts in the museum and then walking the park and seeing all the markers and sights. Take care and have a great day! KB

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