Still no time to blog, more’s the pity. Life intervenes. But I’m making time for a couple of trips to Sharpsburg in this Anniversary month. I hope some of you can join me.

Next weekend – the 13th and 14th – will be the biggest of the year at the Park. The Park Service page for the Anniversary events has all the information. I haven’t decided yet which event specifically, but will be there early Saturday morning, so I’m leaning toward the first hike going off at 8am called the Opening Guns: the role of Artillery on the morning of 17 September 1862.

Sharpsburg street clock (wikipedia)

The annual Heritage Days festival is in town in Sharpsburg the same weekend. I plan to catch the three SHAF historical speakers Saturday afternoon, at least. Much to do in Sharpsburg all day (and Sunday). Steven Recker is doing his O.T. Reilly tour of the town both days at 1pm, too. I can’t do that one, but hope you got a spot: he’s only taking 25 each day.

There’s also the annual battlefield tradition of the all-day hike on the battle anniversary date, proper. This year, as it did in 1862, September 17th falls on a Wednesday. If you can get there, you can spend the day chasing the battle action (and an intrepid Ranger or two) across the whole field in approximate time-step with the sequence of events.

The following weekend I’ll return to the area to wade the Potomac Saturday, where the Army of Northern Virginia crossed back into Virginia after the battle of Sharpsburg. In this case chasing Dr Tom Clemens on a tour of the ford and battle area of 20 September 1862. A rare opportunity I’m looking forward to grabbing, thanks to our friends at the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA). There may be food and beverages. Bonus.


I’m still working on the second installment on Federal artillerist Horatio Gibson (part one now months back). Presently having fun with one apparent aspect of his personality which I’ve also seen in a particular type of modern military officer: the ringknocker. If you recognize the term.

1847 USMA Class Ring

Here’s the ring, which is all you get til I finally post …. the rest of the story.

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