Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Antietam video: 40-acre Cornfield, 16th Connecticut monument

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On Sept. 17, 1862, the green 16th Connecticut was routed in the 40-acre Cornfield at Antietam, suffering 43 killed among more than 200 casualties. Decades later, a veteran in the regiment described the fighting there:
“We were but a lot of green boys, many under 19 years old when we went into the Antietam fight. Only a few knew anything about guns. We had received our guns at Arlington Heights but had not had any drills in shooting of the manual of arms. As we forded the creek on the morning of the battle, we could see the Confederates. After we crossed the creek, we marched in line of battle for some time. Shells were coming our way and some men of the Eighth regiment we could see falling. A shell burst and a part of it flew up striking me on the side, and making a sore place which lasted several days. Finally we were ordered to go by the left flank and enter the corn field. We could not see any Confederates and went out in that field. The Rebels opened on us with several volleys. We did not know what to do. After a while, Captain Pasco said, 'Boys, I don’t know what orders to give but you had better disband and get out of this field.' "
-- 16th Connecticut Sergeant John Gemmill

On Sept. 17, 1915, the 53rd anniversary of Antietam, the Hartford Daily Times published
16th Connecticut veterans' recollections of the battle.  John Gemmill is at bottom left.
                                40-acre Cornfield and 16th Connecticut monument.
                                     (Click at upper right for full-screen experience.)

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