150 years ago yesterday, Confederate General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, the legendary "Stonewall", crossed over the Potomac River into Maryland with his command. 150 years ago today, he was followed by James Longstreet's command. Riding across the Potomac with Longstreet's command, in the back of an ambulance due to badly bruised and broken hands, was the man who had, just a few weeks earlier, saved the city of Richmond from McClellan's army and, just a few days earlier, smashed John Pope's Army of Virginia at Second Manassas. While Robert E. Lee was entering Maryland in the back of an Ambulance, the strength and momentum of his army was moving towards what he hoped would be a war winning victory in Maryland.
150 years ago, the Maryland Campaign was officially underway.
I will do my best to keep posting 150 updates on here over the next few weeks, but if you are looking for more 150 updates, be sure to check out the Antietam National Battlefield facebook page. My colleagues and I are posting short 30 second videos every day from now until September 17th, some days more than 1 video. These short segments will cover the main events going on 150 years ago that day. Things are getting very busy at the park. Crowds are up, the phones are ringing off the hook, official programs have arrived, the schedule is set, and now all we have to do is to sit back and enjoy the ride!
If you are in the area this weekend, be sure to stop by the Battlefield on Saturday morning, as I will be presenting my research for the Save Historic Antietam Foundation's Joseph L. Harsh Scholar Award at the SHAF seminar at the Mumma Farmstead. I am speaking at 10:45, and I hope to see you there.
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)