(Click on all images for full-screen interactive panorama.)
No Civil War battlefield is as haunting, or as mesmerizing, as Antietam. Alone on the field, I took this image on a cool September morning as fog lingered over the landscape. I imagine this is what it looked like on the morning of Sept. 17, 1862, before the Rebels saw the glint of the bayonets of Union soldiers who marched out of the North Woods and into the rolling cornfield of a farmer named David R. Miller.
"We had not half finished our meal, but it had grown considerably lighter, and we could see the first rays of the sun lighting up the distant hilltops, when there was a sudden flash, and the air around us appeared to be alive with shot and shell from the enemy’s artillery," wrote J. Albert Monroe of the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery of the opening of the battle. "The opposite hill seemed suddenly to have become an active volcano, belching forth flame, smoke and scoriae.”
The National Park Service recently restored the outside of the farmhouse.