So You Think You Know Antietam?: The Stories Behind America’s Bloodiest Day
By James and Suzanne Gindlesperger
Administered by the National Park Service, the Antietam National Battlefield contains nearly 100 monuments, each with its own story. So You Think You Know Antietam? honors those who took part in this darkest of days in our nation’s history by telling the stories behind the monuments.
§ Who designed the monuments and what do the symbols represent?
§ Why are no Confederate soldiers buried in the national cemetery?
§ What connection did Clara Barton have with the battle?
§ Who was Johnny Cook and what did he do?
So You Think You Know Antietam? answers the above questions and more. Readers will learn some of the lesser known stories about Antietam and the human side of war through poignant vignettes that reveal the ironies and tragedies not normally found in typical guidebooks. Featuring close to 300 color photos, 10 color-coded chapters and maps, and GPS coordinates of all monument locations, So You Think You Know Antietam? is a well-organized, attractive book meant to enrich the reader’s experience.
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2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the Second Battle of Manassas, one of a series of bloody engagements in the summer of 1862 in which the fortunes of the Civil War briefly swung in the Confederates’ favor. Here, as in the first battle in 1861, the Rebels triumphed convincingly.
Now, a portion of the battlefield is threatened by a proposed Washington outerbelt. While it is clear that the traffic in the DC metro area is horrendous (as I have found out painfully many times this summer, including a 4-hour delay coming through DC after my Florida vacation in June), locating an interstate on a battlefield does not make sense if there are other alternatives on less historic ground.
Stewart Schwartz is a descendant of famed Confederate horse artillerist, John Pelham, known as the Boy Major. He fought at both battles at Manassas, and now his descendant is fighting another battle. Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, a lobbying group which is trying to spread the word of the threatened battlefield and help develop other plans. Click here to visit his website and here to sign a petition to protest the planned route.
Stewart writes, “Please see the joint press release below explaining the significant concerns of preservation groups about the proposed highway at Manassas. This is shaping up to be the biggest battle to protect Manassas since the Disney fight in 1994.
The joint comments on the draft Section 106 Historic Preservation agreement are attached along with VDOT’s letter and the draft agreement with the National Park Service that we find to be significantly flawed. Attorneys at the Southern Environmental Law Center and National Trust for Historic Preservation played a key role in drafting our response.”
Stewart Schwartz can be reached at email@example.com.