We woke up on the last day of our vacation, packed up camp, and headed to Antietam National Battlefield. Antietam is a large park, and since we were heading home and didn’t have a ton of time to explore, we chose to do the driving tour. The Battle of Antietam took place on September 17, 1862 and was one of the bloodiest days in American History. With over 23,000 casualties on both sides, the Confederate Army retreated back to Virginia, leading President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, the war wasn’t just about preserving the Union, but also abolishing slavery (NPS).
One interesting thing, all around the park are monuments like the one pictured above dedicated to state’s militias who lost their lives at Antietam. While driving around, we never saw a monument to the Michigan Militia. So, I did some research and found out that there are people working on raising money exactly for this purpose. They already have the land for it, but they need funds to construct that actual monument. There is a book that you can purchase to help the cause titled Michigan at Antietam. If you are a Civil War buff and would like to help, I recommend you check it out.
Before this trip, I really didn’t know much about the Civil War and what I did know I learned in High School. Visiting all of these battlefields really sparked an interest and has me reading a lot about it since I’ve been home. I’m glad I got to visit these places and learn about one of the toughest times in our country’s history. I really think more people need to do that, especially today. If we forget our history, we are bound to repeat it.
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