Tuesday, August 6 – Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center

by Cam Miller. 0 Comments

Day 338 – Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

***Scroll down to see my offer for Red Cross donations.***

The Dunker Church

I returned to Antietam today, since I have not done this battlefield the justice it deserves for photo walks.  Although it was raining this morning, the skies were gray and cloudy when I arrived around 2:30.

I parked at the visitor center on Dunker Church Road, and then went inside to consult maps.  It turns out there was plenty to see and lots of great walking right in the vicinity of the center, which is perched on a ridge with great views of the farms and mountains.  Of course, there are also monuments everywhere.  (Which reminds me of the time that I was helping to chaperone a middle school field trip to Gettysburg.  One of the kids asked me, “How did they fight with all these statues in the way?”)

Church Interior

I walked first to the Dunker Church, stopping at the place where the famous Alexander Gardner photo of dead Confederate soldiers was probably taken, almost 151 years ago.  Americans had never seen such graphic photos of war prior to this time, and many were shocked by the images, which made the war real and immediate.  Gardner was working for the famous Civil War photographer Mathew Brady.

Sparrow with dinner!

I walked down a lane behind the church, which was closed to vehicular traffic.  There were cornfields, soybean fields, and more monuments, including some smaller ones for Maryland and Pennsylvania.

I returned to the church and walked across the road to the beautiful, domed Maryland monument, which was inscribed for each of the regiments that fought in the battle.  Its arches nicely framed the New York monument and the Dunker Church.

Beautiful Farmland Everywhere!

Next I walked to the New York monument, which rises majestically into the sky, topped with an eagle. There was a sparrow with a green caterpillar dangling from its mouth perched on the edge of the monument.

Scene through the fence.

I walked to the back of the visitor center, where one of the park rangers was giving a talk, and I continued behind the center alongside of a soybean field, passing cannons and split rail fences.  The views were beautiful and serene in this place where so many died in the battle.

More beautiful farmland

The last leg of my walk took me back to the visitor center, where I purchased yet another tack pin to add the growing collection on the flap of my camera bag, marking all the places I have been in this wonderful year of photo walking.

Kingbirds posed on the split rail fence.

Antietam is worth many visits.  I plan to return again in the fall for the fog and the autumn leaves, and in the winter, when the fields are covered with snow.  In this place where so many lost their lives on the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, on September 17, 1862, it is fitting that peace and beauty are now the hallmarks of Antietam.

Save the date!  Monday, September 2, will be the
last day of my year long photo walk project, and I’m planning a big
celebration walk with anyone who wants to join me!  September 2 is also
Labor Day, so many of you will have the day off.  The walk will be in
downtown Frederick, around 9 a.m., followed by a brunch.  More details
will be posted on my blog as they get confirmed.  But mark your
calendars, grab your cameras, put on your walking shoes, and join me for
my final Daily Photo Walk.  Let’s jam the streets of Frederick with
photo walkers! 

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
*************************************************
Forward me by email any receipt for an online donation made to the Red Cross for
disaster relief, and I will send you a 5×7 print of your choice from
any of my daily photo walks or from my website.  Offer good until
September 2, 2013.

Visit my web site: camscamerashots.zenfolio.com
Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots
Email:  cam.miller@comcast.net

Cam’s rules for the Daily Photo Walk:

  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably;
    always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the
    Nikon Coolpix P7700)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so
  7. Share

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