Friday, May 7, 2010

Do You See What I See?

No, not dead people (or bad jokes). While waiting for guests to arrive at my grandaughter's birthday party, I scanned the open fields and woodlots surrounding a park on Old Frederick Rd, near Frederick, Maryland. I had been thinking about McClellan's army moving west in pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the Maryland campaing of 1862. Many of his troops marched along that very road.

Whenever I approach a Civil War battlefield, I begin to look at the landscape differently. Instead of grassy slopes in the distance, I see battery positions. In place of tree lines along the edges of fields, I see cover for skirmishers, perhaps even sharpshooters. And the occasional old clapboard structure? Headquarters, of course. Does this happen to you as well?

4 comments:

Dylan Hyde said...

Most definitely! And I've been walking a lot of ground around Frederick lately with these very thoughts. Glad to see I'm not alone. What portion of Old Frederick Road were you near?

Harry Smeltzer said...

All the time, Steve. And not just on battlefields.

Steven Mynes said...

Dylan - I was just east of New Market. The town was in the middle of its Market Days Festival, complete with a Civil War camp (which I did not see).

Harry - Aren't you located up in French and Indian War territory? Be sure not to mix the wars together, that would just be crazy.

markerhunter said...

I see lines of sight. Dead space where the ground folds. And features offering concealment or cover.

Then I start thinking about the units occupying those positions - comparing what I see to what I know from the historical record.