The stone observatory on the Bloody lane is now finished and ready for visitors. The view from this point alone is worth a visit to the famous Bloody lane as you can take in the entire right to the left nearly four miles. There will be, when all planted, nearly four hundred markers, giving one a good idea of the entire battle field with the advantage of the good roads. Every body ought to visit it and make a study of this great battle.
Rare image of 11th CT Monument at Antietam in its 1st Position
As a follow-up to my book Rare Images of Antietam, and as reported here, I have decided to write my next book about O.T. Reilly, Antietam's Eye-Witness Guide. In 2007, I spent a lot of time with his grand-daughter, the late Missy Kretzer, interviewing her on videotape about her experiences with her famous grandfather. During one of our sessions she commented that somewhere in the house she had a stack of old photos on 'old orange cards' from 'pop-pop's candy store.'
One day I went over to her house and, true to her word, she handed me a stack of amazing images of Antietam Battlefield taken by J.H. Wagoner of Hagerstown that she had found in O.T.'s shop after he died. I could not believe my eyes, or her generosity, for that matter. I had read that back in 1894, O.T. hired Wagoner to take pictures of the battlefield for a guide book that was to be sold at the dedication of the Connecticut monuments in October 1894. I have never seen the book and believe it was never published. I also believe that these images Missy gave me where taken for that book and were never published and have never been seen before now.
Typically I would not put such a rare image on the web before I had a chance to include it in my book, but it will take me another ten years to get another book out, so I figure I will just blog about my research and let people enjoy these great images as I go.
In the days to come I will have a lot to say, in O.T.'s words, about this monument and Connecticut Park in which it sits.