Reading is not enough when it comes to understanding the military components of our civil war. One must visit to grasp things more fully. It was not until I visited Antietam for the first time in 2009 that I realized how close it was to Harper’s Ferry, South Mountain, and other places. This changed my whole concept of the fighting in these places, especially in regards to climate, time, and topography. Visiting also taught me that to understand Gettysburg, Antietam, or any other military activity from the war one must understand the campaign, not just one battle from it. However big and dramatic these events were, they are just one piece in a larger context.

So looking forward to seeing the handwritten Emancipation Proclamation the week after next.