Sunday, September 12, 2010
Pry Farm, General McClellan's HQ at Antietam
Dane and I spent time at the little visited Pry Farm and barn on the way to Antietam Battlefield. This was McClellan's HQ and also the Union hospital, where rows of Union soldiers were tended to in the barn. Its location on steep rise makes it possible to survey the area for miles around. In the late Maryland summer (August 28, 2010) the fields were dry and crackling, crickets and grasshoppers chirped loudly, air was hot and humid, grass broke under your feet. There was little in the way of tree cover in the farming area from Boonesboro to Sharpsburg. On arrival, we heard a banjo jam session coming from the barn and were invited in. Living in history does not get much better than this. The stillness of our morning there is what I remember as a child growing up nearby. The carnage in front of Dunker Church, the Sunken Road--all landmarks which still exist as they did while the savage battle was under way. The Pry Family was uprooted from their farm and lost virtually everything to the Union troops--their livestock, hay and foodstuffs, for which they received little compensation many years later.