Saturday, October 04, 2014

Antietam panoramas: The Bloody Cornfield on Miller farm

Click here for battlefield panoramas from Antietam, Cedar Mountain, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Harris Farm, Manassas, Malvern Hill, Salem Church and Spotsylvania Courthouse.

When I visit David R. Miller's farm at Antietam, I am reminded of the words of author Bruce Cattton, who eloquently wrote of the savage fighting that took place in The Bloody Cornfield there on Sept. 17, 1862:

"The glint of bayonets could be seen here and there amid the leafage and long, tearing volleys came out of the corn, while wreaths of yellowish-white smoke drifted up above it as if the whole field were steaming." 

Alone in the field,  I shot these images last Saturday afternoon, a picture-perfect fall day.

                Federal I Corps marched toward the camera the morning of Sept. 17, 1862.

"The number of regimental standards floating in the morning air indicated the immense numbers of the advancing enemy. It was a wonderful sight."
-- Private Isaac G. Bradwell, 31st Georgia

                Some of the most savage fighting of the Civil War took place in this field. 

"A man but a few paces from me is struck squarely in the face by a solid shot. Fragments of the poor fellow's head come crashing into my face and fill me with disgust." 

-- Private George Kimball, 12th Massachusetts


                                       A late-September view of The Bloody Cornfield.

"Men are falling in their places or running back into the corn. The soldier who is shooting is furious in his energy. The soldier who is shot looks around for help with an imploring agony of death on his face." 
-- Major Rufus Dawes, 6th Wisconsin


             The Miller farmhouse suffered surprisingly little damage during the battle.

"The corn and the trees, so fresh and green in the morning, were reddened with blood and torn by bullet and shell, and the very earth was furrowed by the incessant impact of lead and iron.” 

-- Lieutenant colonel Francis Palfrey, 20th Massachusetts

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