Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Civil War Anniversary

Bloody Lane - Antietam

Cemetery Ridge - Gettysburg

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.    As a devout history buff, this is an important and very moving milestone.  I've been a history buff as long as I can remember.  As a kid Cowboys and Indians was more often Jeb Stuart leading the Calvary.  Only problem was that in my less than clear 8 year old brain Jeb and the boys were often charging the Nazis at Valley Forge.  I did eventually work out the details and even went so far as to receive a college degree in history.  Couldn't get enough of it.  Even today I would say 70% of my pleasure reading is in history.  Still can't get enough.  In fact, I feel somewhat lost if I don't have one or two history books waiting on my "to read" bookshelf.

Several years ago my wife and I travelled to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to visit her brother and his family with the second intent to visit certain Civil War battlefields and sights in the area.  We spent time at Antietam, Gettysburg and Harper's Ferry.  Those side-trips were very emotional for me and I took many photographs of the battlefields and historical sites.  Two of those images are here.  There are more on my website.  And they are for sale at my Fine Art America Gallery.  They are also part of the website Civil War Album.

It is estimated that approx. 620,000 Americans lost their lives in that war; more than the total number of American casualties in all other wars we have fought throughout our history.  The Battle of Antietam (known as the Battle of Sharpsburg in the South), which occurred on September 17, 1862,  was the single deadliest day in American history with more than 26,000 casualties.  I believe it is very important that we recognize and honor the sacrifices made by Americans on both sides during those bloody 4 years.  So much lost, and so much gained.

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