Sunday, July 30, 2006

Antietam: My favorite Civil War battlefield

I visit Antietam battlefield at least once a year. It's a haul traveling from Texas, but my folks conveniently live in Pittsburgh, about 3 1/2 hours from the battlefield. A recent trip to Sharpsburg was special. I collect Civil War photographs -- ambrotypes and tintypes of soldiers I am lucky enough to have identified. One soldier, Justus Collins Wellington (at left) of the 15th Massachusetts, was killed in the West Woods on Sept. 17, 1862. I took the ambrotype I own of Justus back to the battlefield and put his picture next to his name on the 15th Massachusetts monument (below). Probably the last time ol' Justus will get to visit the battlefield again. Don't know where his grave is -- I searched in the national cemetery in Sharpsburg. He may have been buried on the northwest side of the Mary Locher cabin at the Antietam (bottom). Not sure if his folks had his body shipped back to West Brookfield, Mass., or not. There's an excellent Web site on the 15th Massachusetts that has information supplied by yours truly. Here's the link.

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