A little more than 2 months ago, I had made a road trip down to the Antietam National Battlefield Park in Maryland. It’s about a 4 hr. trip down there for me. I left the house around 6 am and hit the road for a somewhat long drive for me. Of course, I had most all my camera gear in anticipation of what I might see or find. One of the Historic places I wanted to see was the Henry Piper House that saw much of the bloody fighting that took place during the Civil War.
Arriving at the Battlefield, I went right into the Visitor Center where I could find something cool to drink and use the bathroom. Got me a nice cold bottle of Lemon Soda Water to quench my thirst. After snooping around a bit, I headed out to the car to start my Tour of the Battlefield.
I stopped at some of the Historic places where fighting took place and to read the Historic Plaques placed there by the Park Service. The road around the Battlefield is only one way around. No 2-way traffic is allowed. Of course, there were lot’s of other people there and one of them was an Elementry School group in 2 bus’s that seemed to be doggin’ my every move. Trying to take some Images with a bunch of yappin’ kids getting in the way of everything, is a challenge! They don’t care if they walk in front of my camera & tripod one bit. Finally the Teacher’s came and saved me. Told the kids to stay away from the camera & me.
So movin’ on I toured the rest of the Battlefield, leaving the school bus’s behind me. In my return to the Visitor Center, I happen to notice a “lane” leading down to what I thought was the Piper Farm, but was not sure. I saw this in going by it, so I had to swing around and go back. Turning down the lane something was telling me I should not be here. Sure enough, I was right. I noticed a big sign that, stated “NO ENTRY. AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.” Oops! didn’t know that. I stopped right away. Did not want to get a nasty fine. Left and went back to the Visitor Center to ask why it’s closed like that. I was told that the Piper Farm is owned by the Park Service, but is rented out to a private couple. Ok. Now, I know. The people that live in the Historic House do not want all kinds of people tromping around the property! Can’t blame them for that. So, with that, I headed back out to Sharpsburg. That’s another story.
What I had to do is go on the Internet to show you what the place looked like. The above Image is just as I saw. It’s the Piper Barn that was used as a make shift Hospital during the heavy fighting here. When I was here, I stopped the car just in back where you see the Lane curve around a bit. The sign is just behind the Barn.
This is another Image of the Piper Farm, but it now shows the Slave Quarters. Henry Piper owned 6 slaves at the time of the fight. They were all set free!!
“I entered the yard, which was covered with bloody clothing, straw, feathers, and everything that was disgusting,” the daughter of Henry Piper wrote to a friend in Ohio. “I went up the steps and opened the dining room door and was thunderstruck. Great Heaven! What a sight met my gaze. The room was full of dead men! Pools of blood were standing on the floor.”
During and after the horrible fighting that took place here, one can only Imagine what it must have been like. Now, the area is quiet. No sound that I heard. The ground here must have been littered with dead & dying soldiers from both sides. What I wonder, is with all the monuments being torn down from Civil War Sites, are these buildings going to have the same fate? I don’t think so! This area is Hallowed Ground!