I spent many hours contemplating the ultimate sacrifice given by so many during the Civil War Battle of Antietam while I wrote DIVIDED LOYALTIES. Some 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862.
Last week, while on my way to a travel writers’ conference, I took a detour to Sharpsburg, this time to stop at the National Cemetery which marks its 150th anniversary this year — in fact, today.
It’s a peaceful place now, but after spending so much time in my imagination thinking about these soldiers and their families, I found myself deeply touched as I strolled among the old headstones. I whispered their names, thought about them traveling so far from home to die here. And I said a prayer that they have gone to their great reward and that their families and all of us remember their sacrifice on this most terrible day of battle.
Ⓒ Text and photos
Mary K Tilghman