The Cornfield Casualty Top Ten

Nearing the end of 2018, we’ll be bombarded by the annual parade of “top ten” lists counting down everything from the year’s news events to songs and online fads. For those of us interested in understanding and preserving the events of the Civil War and Antietam’s Cornfield, here’s our own such list – the Cornfield casualty top ten.

Abner Doubleday in Antietam’s Cornfield: No Day in the (Baseball) Park

Abner Doubleday may not have invented baseball, but his actions amidst Antietam’s deadly Cornfield rightly cement his place in American history.  This is that story... Born on 26 June 1819 in Ballston Spa, New York to Ulysses F. and Hester (Donnelly) Doubleday, Abner joined a respected family with deep ties to the still-young United States. … Continue reading Abner Doubleday in Antietam’s Cornfield: No Day in the (Baseball) Park

The 2nd Massachusetts in the Cornfield: Robert Gould Shaw’s Command Baptism by Fire

Viewers of the 1989 film “Glory” know it tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts African American regiment and its commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who share a fate at the 1863 assault on Fort Wagner. Fewer know about the film’s opening scenes, which take Captain Shaw and the 2nd Massachusetts into the horror of the Cornfield. This is that story …

The 5th Virginia’s Private Ezra Stickley: Irony in the Cornfield

The 5th Virginia's Ezra Stickley awakened and realized the firing had picked up considerably. Gathering up his gear...Ezra discovered he’d misplaced the right glove of his newly-purchased pair, a loss that troubled him considerably. Within the hour Ezra would be troubled by a much greater loss...and discover the ultimate irony of Antietam's bloody Cornfield.

John Cook: An Ohio boy comes of age in Antietam’s Cornfield

John Cook swung his bugle over his shoulder and wrested from the dead man his leather pouch, bearing the undelivered shell without which the cannon was useless. From that moment on, John Cook worked a gun alongside the trained artillerymen to face down the onslaught of Wofford’s attacking Texas Brigade. It was an act that earned John Cook—who had turned fifteen years old barely a month before—the Medal of Honor.

Garland’s Brigade at the Cornfield: The Death of a Reputation…and Much More

  The 5th North Carolina’s Captain Thompson “came up to me in a very excited manner and tone cried out to me “They are flanking us! See, yonder’s a whole brigade!” I ordered him to keep silent and return to his place…but, when this act of indiscretion occurred, they began to break and run…” By … Continue reading Garland’s Brigade at the Cornfield: The Death of a Reputation…and Much More

The 88th Pennsylvania at Antietam: A Cornfield Invalid Saves Washington

Now was the moment of truth for Major George Gile and his new command, the 88th Pennsylvania. Instantly Gile’s “stentorian” voice “rang out, “88th. On first division, deploy column, march. Forward, guide centre, halt. Commence, firing!” And with that the 88th Pennsylvania entered the fight for Antietam’s Cornfield...    The 88th Pennsylvania Infantry was organized … Continue reading The 88th Pennsylvania at Antietam: A Cornfield Invalid Saves Washington

Farming the Cornfield: D. R. Miller’s 1862 Harvest of Death

With the sun glistening off rainwater on the tall, waving cornstalks this clear September morning, David Miller could have no way of knowing that soon his cornfield would become the most dangerous place to be on earth. Tuesday, September 2nd, 1862 dawned bright and clear on the rolling hills of western Maryland. David Miller was … Continue reading Farming the Cornfield: D. R. Miller’s 1862 Harvest of Death