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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Remembrance: 150th Anniversary of Antietam Battles

A good friend has a special reason to remember the 150th
anniversary of the Antietam battles of the civil war.  Her
ancestral roots are from that area and she has expressed
so elequently the "realism" that confronted her ancestors
and those involved  in that time of conflict.  Lest we forget . . .

ANTIETAM. 150 years ago, today, was the bloodiest
day in American history. For several months afterward, my
ancestral family farm served as a field hospital for 100-300
wounded soldiers. Most of the Antietam farmers' assets were lost --
crops and stores were consumed, hogs were butchered for
meat, fences were burned for firewood, horses were
commandeered for battle. Amputated limbs and the dead were
buried in the fields, which could not be replanted. The winter's
store of apples, onions, potatoes, corn, hams, etc. were lost.
Those whose lives were disrupted by the Union were lucky.
Eventually, after petitioning Congress, they were able to recover
a small portion of their losses, if they could show receipts
(for their fences, horses, crops, etc.) to 'prove' their claims.
Those who suffered loss at the hands of 'an invading foreign
government' (the South) were not compensated.
There were 22,000 casualties in one day -- in just a few hours.
Many more died of infection and disease in the months and years
that followed.

Courtesy of Sandy Taylor, Richmond, Texas

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