The final edition of this past week's trip account, in re a storied field of honor and storytellers.
Awoke Sunday morning in Berryville VA to clouds and cool and rainy prospects. HES suggested we dispatch our plans and drive home to Michigan. I replied, 'let's!' We had arranged a rendezvous at the Antietam VC and needed to do that first.
Coming thru Sharpsburg on the Shepherdstown Pike, one is struck by how many structures are period, and it immediately puts you in the right frame of mind. You make a left in town, curve around a non-vintage partystore, and drive up the hill towards the Dunker church, turning into the VC parking lot.
Let me interrupt with an editorial: National Park Service, do not--I repeat, do not!--redo the Antietam VC. It's made of beautiful stonework; it calls up great memories of past visits; it has its own historicity; it is just fine, thank you.
Walking in, I immediately recognized our host, but since he was occupied with another guest the other ranger on duty greeted us. I was very pleased to meet John Hoptak of fame including this blog. When Mannie (this blog) freed up, he was most gracious; I know this for fact as HES was taken with his friendly demeanor. We chatted and then adjourned to another location where Mannie provided some requested materials on Michigan units. Had a good discussion, which will form a forthcoming post. Then we emerged into the atmosphere and took our poses by the 'bloggers' cannon':
BTW, I'm the one with the shirt-tail out.
Bade each other fond farewells. Per Mannie's suggestion, we drove to two locations, yielding pics from the observation tower (look closely in the left of the cannon photo for it in the background) and overlooking Burnside's Bridge:
Some of the horses weren't willing to stand still while the talk went on; perhaps they could still sniff something in the ground...
We didn't make it to any specific Michigan locations due to time and weather. For one site, here's an excellent post with a beautiful picture of the Michigan State historical marker on the 17th Michigan "Stonewall Regiment": Antietam on the Web.
A short but worthwhile visit: meet two compatriots, revisited familiar hallowed ground, saw vistas that provide insights traversing a century-and-a-half. Will go back for a tour and reacquaintance with our fearless ranger/s. Oh, and Michiganders, alumnus Mannie said to tell you "Hi!"