Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Finding artifacts at Antietam

An Antietam ranger has a fascinating post about archaelogists uncovering a bit of the past there recently. Really neat photos. I can add a little bit to the history of Antietam:

 Way back in 1980s, when I was a reporter for the Martinsburg Evening Journal, I did a story on the family who owned the Miller Farm at the battlefield. The Miller Farm encompasses the famous bloody Cornfield, where savage fighting took place for hours. The family -- their name escapes me now -- placed all the neat stuff they had discovered on the farm over the years on a table in the driveway. Bullets, cannon balls, bayonets, shell fragments -- they dug up lots of artifacts in the course of farming the property. Of course, this was before that land was owned by the National Park Service, so this was all legit.

Several months later, a friend and I asked for the family's permission to do a little metal detecting of our own on the farm. They agreed. We turned up a lone bullet, but it was quite a thrill to pull it out of the ground after 120-plus years. Above is video of the famous Cornfield that I found on YouTube.

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