5. SEND MY BIBLE HOME TO ALABAMA: On July 4, 1864, Confederate Private Lewis Branscomb was killed by a Union sharpshooter in the front yard of a house on Washington Street in Harpers Ferry, Va., (now West Virginia). The owner of the house recovered Lewis' Bible, and nearly three months after the war had ended, she sent a letter to his mother in Alabama.
"At the place he died," Margarett Cross wrote, "I picked up a Bible and written on the fly leaf was his name 'L.S. Branscomb, Co. D, 3d regiment of Alabama.' On the next leaf was written if found on my person please send to my mother Mrs. B.H. Branscomb at Union Springs, Alabama. Do so and oblige (friend) who ever you be." Read more.
4. DOCTOR'S REMARKABLE ANTIETAM LETTER: Friend of the blog Dan Masters shared with me a fabulous letter written on Sept. 29, 1862, 12 days after Antietam, by Dr. Augustin Biggs, who experienced first hand the battle and its terrible, bloody aftermath.
"They were poorly clad, indeed," the Sharpsburg, Md., doctor wrote of the Confederate soldiers, "and but few dressed alike -- barefooted, dirty, and filthy in the extreme. To judge from appearances they have had no change of dress the past twelve months. Some few were clad in Union soldiers’ dress. Most of them indecently ragged and their person exposed." Read more.
On July 15, 1863, the battlefield visitor, probably a soldier from a Massachusetts regiment, wrote a letter to editor of the Boston Journal about his summer day spent at Antietam. Read more.
"I stooped over him and discovered that he had been shot through the heart and probably did not live more than thirty seconds after the fatal bullet hit him," Glenn recalled decades later about a fallen Confederate. "In his hand was a daguerreotype of the above profile, the case of which had been shattered by the deadly ball, but, marvelously as it may seem, the profile remained uninjured." Read more.