Alfred R. Waud rendering of a somewhat partially apocryphal Antietam scene

These past several days have felt increasingly like Indian summer, with cool mornings and evenings interspersed with warmish afternoons. Today, September 17, I can’t help but think of the 158th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. The corn was tall and ready for harvest when Hooker’s First Corps came through The Cornfield at around 6:00 am with the first light. Usually on the day of the anniversary the Park Service has a number of all-day hiking tours and other events. It seems for this year they are doing a lot of virtual activities. I always get pensive around the time of the Antietam anniversary. It was the bloodiest day in American history, falls less than a week after the 9/11 commemoration, and just days before the official start of fall. Two future American presidents, Hayes and McKinley, were both there, as they had been at South Mountain.

I thought I would share another Alfred Waud image, this one too from the collection J.P Morgan bequeathed to the Library of Congress in 1919. It depicts the 14th Brooklyn, which indeed fought in The Cornfield, though I don’t think against Confederate cavalry.

Enjoy these waning days of summer, and take pause to remember the Battle of Antietam.

(image/Library of Congress)