Maj. Gen. John Alexander Logan Camp# 4

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Raleigh, NC

 

September 2012 Program

The Battle of Antietam

 

On September 6th Larry Jones provided us with an expert and detailed perspective on the Battle of Antietam.

Larry is a Maryland native and has had an active interest in the Battle of Antietam since his first visit there 50 years ago as a Boy Scout during the Civil War Centennial. This interest led him to be a Civil War re-enactor for 10 years in the 1990's at which time he was involved in the movies "Gettysburg" and "Glory".

 

He discovered that he has four Confederate ancestors from NC who fought at Antietam in every phase of the battle. In recent years he has participated in several Chambersburg Civil War seminars that featured the battle of Antietam.

This July he attended a five day seminar in which he was able to again walk the battlefield with noted historians learning more details about the intense fighting there. Larry has been a member of the John Logan SUVCW camp since October 2007.

He gave a brief overview of the Maryland Campaign and other factors (political, foreign intervention etc) that led up to the battle on September 17, 1862. This background perspective provided insight into why the battle had such a critical significance.

 

He discussed the advantages, disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses of each army and diagramed the position of the armies and the battle plans of General's Lee and McClellan prior to the battle.

 

Larry showed how the battle unfolded and discussed the fighting in the key areas which are most famous. He discussed reasons why the casualties were so high causing the battle to be the bloodiest day in American military history and also discussed briefly the weapons used, noted units on the field and the experience of the common soldier in the battle.

 

At the conclusion he reviewed the aftermath of the battle and its political implications.

 

We then were treated to a brand new video on the Battle called "The Witness Tree", a moving and inspirational view of the Burnside Bridge engagement thru the eyes of a tree that stood during the battle, and stands to this day, next to the bridge, and witnessed the numerous assaults on the bridge by Burnside's forces on the Union left.

 

 Brother Larry is a career Law Enforcement Officer (40 yrs) and trainer and has a BA degree in Criminal Justice from Rollins College in Fla.

 

 

Bennett family farmhouse

 

The tour started with the details of the positioning of the two armies and the meeting of the generals on the old Hillsborough Road.  We then got a near eyewitness feeling for the events outside the farmhouse while the surrender negotiations were under way.  I did previously not understand the interaction between the two cavalry Commanders and their troops.  Jeremiah made us feel like we were there. 

 

 

 

Outside the farmhouse discussing the interactions between the Cavalry Commanders

 

 

 

Sketch made at the time of the confrontation between the Cavalry Commanders

 

 

 

Inside the farm house where the surrender took place

 

 

In the Bennett Family Kitchen where the family stayed during the negotiations

 

We are very grateful to the Bennett Place State Historic site for their Hospitality to the SUVCW over the years.