Battle of Antietam
150 years ago this month was the bloody Battle of Antietam, a pivotal moment in the Civil War. Though we have photos of the apocalyptic aftermath, 28,000 dead or wounded, the tragedy of Antietam, and war itself, can best be understood through the words of the soldiers themselves. Below are several passages, from journals and letters home, written by both Confederate and Union soldiers. I have not noted for which side each man fought because, as we are all Americans, it doesn't really matter . . .
"Capt. Bachelle had a fine Newfoundland dog, which had been trained to perform military salutes and many other remarkable things. In camp, on the march, and in the line of battle, the dog was his constant companion. The dog was by his side when he fell."
"Dear Wife, The days after the battle are a thousand times worse than the day of the battle ...