Let the Festivities Commence: Antietam’s 145th

Thank you God for roughly 23,000 casualties, for Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet, and George McClellan.  Thank you for the Dunker Church, the Cornfield, Bloody Lane, and Burnside’s Bridge.  Thank you for Lee’s steadfastness and McClellan’s bungling.  Thank you for: “If Lee’s line was penetrated at any point the entire army would have collapsed” and “Perhaps McClellan could have seized the day if his attacks were better coordinated or used his reserves.”

I hope everyone has a fun day.

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation if you are so inclined. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

8 comments… add one

  • Brian Sep 17, 2007

    Hi Kevin,
    Could you elaborate a little? I hear the tone, but I’m not clear on the message. Is there something specific behind this?

  • Michael Aubrecht Sep 17, 2007

    Try this one Kevin… Thank you Lord for the selfless sacrifice that these brave and courageous men made on these hallowed grounds of Antietam that we recognize today. Thank you for seeing us through this dark and direst of times in our nation’s history, and for granting us the grace and providence to see this trail through to the end, Thank you for reuniting our country so that we could come together again as brothers and sisters. We thank you Father for the gift of your faith, your words, and your wisdom that sustained these Christian soldiers while on campaign, and gave both them and their loved ones comfort when they did not return. We gather today Lord not to celebrate this battle, but to celebrate the best of human nature that ultimately came out of it. In Jesus name we pray Amen. (That’s off the cuff from me, but it should work nicely.)

  • Kevin Levin Sep 17, 2007

    A few people have asked me to explain more fully what I was trying to get at with this post. I am reluctant to do so other than to say that the news stories and events that accompany anniversaries such as this reflect a continuous nauseating loop. We could just as easily take the news items published last year or the year before and publish them once again. Michael’s little prayer completely misses my point, but I appreciate his words even if they are meaningless to me. God does indeed work in mysterious ways.

  • TOCWOC Sep 17, 2007

    Have a Happy: Celebrating the bloodiest day in American history

    Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory has a bitter screed about people going to Antietam and enjoying themselves, damn it. Its a battlefield! People died! Platitudes are being uttered!
    What do you see when you go to a national battlefield? If the N…

  • Scott Mingus Sep 19, 2007

    Well, September 17, 1862, was certainly not fun for my ancestors, who were among the troops trying to take the Sunken Road. That being said, one of my sons and I did head down to Sharpsburg for the commemoration, and the NPS did a nice job in presenting the battle to the tourists and buffs. As my son and I stood in the Sunken Road and gazed out at the fields where the 7th WV charged, I could not help but think I prefer today’s visit much more than my ancestors did on their first trip there. I took time to remember their service and celebrate their lives and the heritage they left behind.

  • Kevin Levin Sep 19, 2007

    Scott, — Glad to hear that you had a good time on your trip. My post was not simply about the events held at Antietam; I have nothing but respect for the work they do. I was thinking in the broadest terms.

  • Mannie Gentile Sep 20, 2007

    Kevin,

    I thank ‘goodness” for arch supports and a good foot bath after four long day of tours and hikes.

    Most of the folks I spoke with during battle anniversary were encountering the story for the first time in their lives.

    They seemed moved.

    Mannie

  • Kevin Levin Sep 21, 2007

    Hi Mannie, — I do hope you did not read this post as a criticisim of events at Sharpsburg on 9/17. I think my feelings about the NPS are pretty well established on this blog. Enjoy your much deserved rest and I do hope that by the time of the writing of this comment that you’ve taken your feet out of the bath. :)

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