Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Antietam: An old battlefield image?

Is this an old photograph of Dunker Church at Antietam? (Connecticut State Library archives)
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.
While researching a story on this 16th Connecticut captain at the Connecticut State Library archives recently, I found this image among a cache of other old photographs. There was no certain identification on the back of the image, but I think the large whitewashed building at the left center is the Dunker Church on the Antietam battlefield. That would make the prominent road in the photograph the famous Hagerstown Pike and the road that branches off in the left distance the Smoketown Road. The image appears to have been taken in the late 19th or early 20th century. If anyone knows for certain what this image shows and who took it, it would be Stephen Recker, author of the recently released (and highly acclaimed) "Rare Images of Antietam." Perhaps he'll weigh in with his thoughts.

UPDATE FROM STEPHEN RECKER: "Thanks for the kind words. Yes, that is the Hagerstown Pike in a photo taken by John H. Wagoner of Hagerstown in the 1890s. It appears in Martin Burgan's Guide book, published first in 1906. I am raffling a 1928 edition of that guide book this weekend at the Center For Civil War Photography's Antietam Seminar. Again, keep up the great work and thanks for the plug!"

HARTFORD COURANT ON ANTIETAM: Check out Jesse Leavenworth's story on soldiers' letters.
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FACES OF THE CIVIL WAR: Stories and photos of common soldiers who served during the war.
16TH CONNECTICUT SOLDIERS: Tales of the men in the hard-luck regiment.
MORE ON ANTIETAM: Read my extensive thread on the battle and the men who fought in it.

4 comments:

Jim Buchanan said...

John--I am certain that this is the Dunker Church looking south along the Hagerstown Pike. You are correct, the Smoketown Road comes in on the left in this photo. Sent a note to Stephen linking to this so he will probably post here shortly. His new book on Antietam images is just out so he is the expert on these things.

Anonymous said...

It sure does look like it.

Ian Workman said...

I think you are correct. There was a house near the visitor's center

Stephen Recker said...

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, that is the Hagerstown Pike in a photo taken by John H. Wagoner of Hagerstown in the 1890s. It appears in Martin Burgan's Guide book, published first in 1906. I am raffling a 1928 edition of that guide book this weekend at the Center For Civil War Photography's Antietam Seminar. Again, keep up the great work and thanks for the plug!