Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Antietam 150th: Rangers in Action!

Well, folks, Antietam's 150th is just about here. All around the park, tents and new panels are being put in place, grass is being cut, barriers and signs are being set out for safety, and everywhere you look, there seems to be a park ranger working on something.There are many Rangers hard at work this week, making sure that the park is ready for all of the national attention which it will be receiving in the days ahead.

On facebook, the interp staff has been posting a series of videos, one a day, to track the Maryland Campaign as it occurred 150 years ago. We are also filming a series of videos advertising the 150th anniversary of Antietam, as well as videos to track the course of the battle 150 years from when it happened.

 The Pennsylvania History Mobile has arrived at the park, and will be open for the general public to visit during the Sesquicentennial events from the 14th through the 17th

Rangers have been out walking the trails and fields of Antietam, preparing for the hikes which are sure to draw hundreds upon hundreds of visitors. I will be leading two hikes myself: on both Saturday and Sunday morning, I will be leading the 90 minute overview hike of the Cornfield and the West Woods, leaving from the Visitor Center at 10 am. Hope you can tag along!

While many rangers have been hard at work recently, one of those deserves a special shout out in this blog post. My good friend and colleague Ranger Mannie Gentile has been working up a storm in his "Photo Tent" getting ready for the 150th. Let's have a look at what Ranger Mannie has been up to....

Outside the photo tent are signs, made by Ranger Mannie, advertising what is inside...

Inside one gallery, visitors can view many of the photographs of the battlefield taken by Alexander Gardner in the days following the battle...

An image of Alexander Gardner himself

Ranger Mannie hard at work with just a few days to go before the 150th...

Even Bob Casey, head of Western Maryland Interpretive Association, was driving by to check out Mannie's handiwork...

 Ranger Mannie has spent the last week or two painting a very large mural of Burnside Bridge to go inside the other gallery of the photo tent. Although the three canvases still need to be firmly affixed together, the finished product is almost there. Visitors will be able to set their camera on a post and sit in front of the mural to get their picture taken with the Bridge and Antietam 150 in the background. In the end, it should look something like this...

Ranger Dan and Ranger Mannie in the Photo Tent at Antietam!

If you are able to come to Antietam this weekend, please do so. Rangers like Mannie Gentile have been working very hard to make sure that this event is one that people will still be talking about when the Bicentennial rolls around in 2062.

I have to say that the past few days have been some of the best days I can remember. Between my research presentation and award on Saturday, all of the attention the park has been receiving this week, and the events to come, I have to pause and say that I am truly blessed to work at Antietam, and to work here with such wonderful colleagues and friends. On to the 150th!!

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed the photography tent as well. I'd learner about Brady previously and was happy to see it there. :)