Thursday, March 22, 2018

Antietam gallery: Supreme views from War Department tower

                          PANORAMA: Click at upper right for full-screen experience.

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To enjoy perhaps the most spectacular Civil War battlefield view, one must have a wee bit of Sherpa mountain guide in your DNA. The climb is steep to the observation deck of the 1897 War Department tower at the east end of Bloody Lane at Antietam. The old iron steps inside the stone structure can be a tad slippery, too. Wary of heights? You may wish to stay grounded; enjoy the impressive Irish Brigade monument near the tower entrance instead. For those who want to soar, go for it.

On a frigid, windy March afternoon, a visitor had the tower observation deck -- and
 this impressive view of Bloody Lane -- all to himself.
View of Bloody Lane through a portal in the tower.
Metal tablets in the tower -- which casts a long shadow -- provide distances to locales and
 prominent battlefield landmarks such as Dunker Church, also known as Dunkard Church (below).

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