about this blog


I’m Brian Downey and this is where I go behind the scenes of my history website “Antietam on the Web” (AotW).

webmaster face

I blog about soldiers and the war, doing digital history, the Antietam battlefield, and about related happenings that I see around the internets. I spend the majority of my time digging into the people who were at Sharpsburg in September 1862, so they are most often my focus here.

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

This blog 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.

If you have a private comment or question feel free to email me directly (bdowney at aotw dot org).

By way of further explanation here’s my first post on the blog, from March 2006.

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 have time to post on a blog or a board, I should instead do research and write for the website.

That 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 or share them. So here’s such a place.

We’ll see if anything interesting pops out.


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 at the very bottom of the page are from a photograph of President Lincoln and General McClellan with some of his officers taken by Alexander Gardner near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in October 1862.

The visual design of behind AotW is based on the Simpla theme (c. 2005) by Phu Ly, but I’ve customized mangled it beyond repair. The blog runs on WordPress software.