|Richard Clem on the Philip Pry farm at Antietam battlefield.|
(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.)
Nearly a decade ago, I connected with Richard Clem for a story about a Connecticut soldier who was killed by friendly fire at the William Roulette farm at the Battle of Antietam (Md.) on Sept. 17, 1862. Since then, we have become great friends, and no Antietam visit is complete for me without a visit with Richard, who knows the nooks and crannies of the battlefield from his days hunting for relics (legally) and visiting with many of the locals. He’s one of the all-time great storytellers — the “Babe Ruth of storytellers,” I call him.
On Sunday afternoon, accompanied by our friend John Davidson, another lifelong area resident, we visited the O.J. Smith farm (an Antietam hospital site) and the Bloody Cornfield. (You can follow John's relic hunting adventures on Facebook here.) I shot the above image of Richard on the Philip Pry farm, where he unearthed dozens of bullets long ago. Soon, I’ll spend some quality time with Richard to create a record of his battlefield stories.
What a storyteller. What an outstanding human being.
I am proud to call him one of my best friends.
Here are stories Richard has written for my blog, including several on his remarkable Civil War ID tag finds. And below is a video we shot on the Pry farm.