Friday, September 21, 2012

Antitem: America's Bloodiest Day

My favorite memory of Antietam is of the cannon fired and the imagined line of smoking artillery on both sides. Some set fire to the woods to kill the enemy, burning them horrifically. I worked at Fort McHenry "National Shrine", with a flint-knapper from Maryland. It had had its cannons pointed at the city of Baltimore "to discourage Southern sympathizers" rather than the harbor, Robert E. Lee's reputed designed steam pile-driver had built the hexagonal Fort Carroll to protect the Baltimore harbor further out, today nearby the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The flint-knapper made "gun-flints" of grey chert from Texas for sale in the National Park, sold as replicas to discourage looting of the battlefield. For a time, Mr. Lee was commandant of West Point Military Academy and lived in a house archeology has tested in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, a street there named so. There's a story that his son was a hostage in nearby Fort Lafayette, now an underwater site, dynamited for the eastern pier of the Verrazanno Bridge. N.Y. Times Opionator "America's Bloodiest Day

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