[post in progress – if you are seeing this message please check back in a bit – there’s more to come!!]
I took to heart what I had read somewhere about getting over to and cycling around the Antietam Battlefield Park from the Towpath- that there was a significant hill up from the Canal and that the ones on the loop roadway from the Visitor Center around the battlefield would make that hill seem like no big deal.
So I stopped at Barrons Store
at the end of Snyder’s Landing Road and asked John and Renay, the very nice people who now own and operate this Towpath icon [link] if they would be willing to keep an eye on my panniers for the several hours it would take for me to go up and see the battlefield. They graciously agreed, and I headed up the road towards Sharpsburg unencumbered by 40 pounds/18 kilograms of panniers and stuff.
Sharpsburg is one of those places that, if it didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it just to have it adjacent to the Antietam battlefield. History is written by the winners, as the saying goes, and military historians in the North saw fit to call the battle Antietam after the creek that runs through the southeast corner of where the fighting occurred. Southern historians call it the Battle of Sharpsburg, and to my mind they are probably more correct, as this tiny town seems central to the events of that terrible and bloody day in mid-September of 1862, now more than 150 years ago.