|Alexander Gardner probably shot this image of David R. Miller farmhouse on |
Sept. 19, 1862, two days after the Battle of Antietam. (Library of Congress collection)
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.
|An enlargement of Gardner's image reveals five people, probably members of |
Miller's family, on the porch. The Millers sought refuge nearer
to Sharpsburg during the battle.
|In this enlargement of Gardner's 1862 image, possible evidence of |
battle damage may be seen on the side of the David R. Miller's house.
Or does the arrow point to a water spout?
Wounded were also treated at Miller's house, but those soldiers soon were moved to a larger hospital established nearby. Of course, the crops of all three farmers were ruined during the fighting or used to fuel both armies. Miller's cornfield, infamously known as The Bloody Cornfield (see my interactive panorama), is where the Yankees and Rebs slugged it out for hours starting about dawn on Sept. 17, 1862.
|A tiny piece of history: A bullet from|
the Battle of Antietam.
I get a little nostalgic when I visit the old Miller farmhouse, currently under renovation by the National Park Service, which acquired the property in 1990. Way back when I was a cub reporter at the Martinsburg (W.Va.) Evening Journal in the early 1980s, I visited the Culler family, who had farmed the Miller property for 40 years or so, for a story on war relics they had found while farming the land. On a large table in the driveway leading to the house -- the same driveway that's there today -- the Cullers had laid out on a small table a collection of artillery shells, bullets and other detritus the armies left behind. A month or two later, while relic hunting with the Culler's permission in their freshly plowed field astride the Hagerstown Pike, I found the fired bullet at right. (Remember, it was private property then, and relic hunting was allowed with the owner's permission.) It may be insignificant to others, but that bullet remains my greatest Civil War find.