about this blog

BRD avatar Hello! I’m Brian Downey and this is a webmaster’s side project, taking you behind the scenes of my history website “Antietam on the Web” (AotW). I write about Digital History, the War, the battlefield, and related events on the internets. I most enjoy learning and writing about the people who were at Sharpsburg in September 1862, so they are often the focus.

You can expect a new post only occasionally, but a real-time stream of links from AotW to keep you current on the updates there.

This is meant to be a two-way conversation, so I very much want to hear from you. Please comment on anything that strikes your fancy – things posted here or seen on the main AotW site. I make an effort to pay attention and usually respond quickly.

If you’d like to email me privately, please use the handy AotW contact form.
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By way of further explanation as to why this site is here, here’s my inaugural post

Just what we need… another blog.

I started this one, a companion to Antietam on the Web, to catch some of the spin-off that comes from researching, writing, and coding for that site.

I initially resisted blogging or participating much in other online communities, because I’m jealous of my time and energy. I figured if I had time to post on a blog or a board, I should instead have been writing or reading for the website.

This may still be true, but I find all sorts of good things bubble to the surface as I'm working on AotW – things that don't get onto the site or necessarily belong there – and there's nowhere to catch them. So here's such a place.

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The illustration at the top of each blog page, going from pixels to picture–or vice versa– is from a War-era tintype called New York Zouaves. The group below are from a photograph of President Lincoln and General McClellan with some of his officers taken near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in October 1862.